On the Sunday evening of April, 2nd, Mark William Calaway, The Undertaker fought his last match at WrestleMania, ending his 27-year WWE career in his 25th WrestleMania appearance.
The Undertaker's entrance at WM32, image taken from WikiCommons
Performing his final Wrestlemania match in a defeat to Roman Reigns, The Undertaker left the ring after Main Eventing the wrestling spectacle to the applause, adoration and respect of all in attendance.
At 52 years of age, The Deadman has been performing as an active member of the WWE roster since his debut at Survivor Series on the 22nd of November 1990.
Despite performing less in his later years, the Demon from Death Valley has routinely marked an appearance at the WWE's marquee show WrestleMania; where he has always performed at his highest level, leaving the wrestling world with a record of 23 victories and 2 defeats.
Roman Reigns, real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, 31, was the superstar who defeated The Undertaker last night, continuing a great wrestling résumé; while contributing to the conclusion of the greatest sports entertainment career in history.
The Undertaker, standing at a height of 6ft 10in (2.08m), is considered the most respected wrestler of his generation and one of the most admired sports entertainers of the modern era.
As the last competitor to walk to the WrestleMania 33 ring, Taker looked as impressive as ever in his renowned attire of: black trench coat, black felt-rimmed Western hat, and black leather gloves. However when Roman Reigns delivered the final spear which left The Deadman down for the 3-count, it became clear that this was not an ending fans were prepared for.
Image taken from WikiCommons
As the audience were stunned to depicting cold stares and visceral boos in the conclusive direction of Roman Reigns, the Undertaker laid prone in the centre of the ring.
While Reigns respectfully celebrated, walking up the ramp-way after his fourth WrestleMania victory, the returning Hall of Fame commentator Jim Ross, Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield acknowledged that the victory was the biggest of his career.
The wrestling torch was passed, and there was a new owner of the yard.
As Reigns returned to the back, where superstars gathered together to watch the end of The Deadman's final chapter, the Orlando Citrus Bowl Arena turned to an icy blue.
As The Undertaker sat up for the final time, fans saw through the gimmick of the wrestling star, and applauded the man within The Undertaker, Mark Callaway.
As the show aired replays of the match highlights, hiding what was happening in the ring, Mark put back on the renowned coat and hat which he had been wearing routinely throughout the final evolution of his character.
As fans grew to realise the magnitude of this final match, the commentary team fell silent and allowed the atmosphere to tell the story.
Echoes of #ThankYouTaker grew through the room and on social media, and The Undertaker stood in the iconic dark blue shadows he had made infamous. Looking out to the fans, Mark took in his final farewell as the show extended beyond the 5-hour mark.
Teasing a shortened goodbye, Mark motioned to exit the ring, but remained in his yard to face the hard-camera; before peeling away the final centrepiece accessories which had characterised The Deadman for years. While fans looked-on understanding what was to come, Mark shared his final in-ring goodbye with the WWE Universe fans.
First taking of the gloves, placing them in the centre of the ring, then the coat, motioning to dust it off before laying it down, Mark paused.
Holding the rim of the hat in his trademark pose, a moment was taken to savour the image fans of all ages had witnessed many times before. But this time, on this stage, it was the last time.
Mark took off the hat, revealing his eyes which had been rolled back into his head, and posed for the last time as his unprecedented character. However, this time displaying a face of fragile emotion rather than fury.
Leaving the ring for the final time, Mark walked to the ring-side area and embraced his wife Michelle, another act revealing the man behind The Undertaker; in his last ride.
As Taker's theme music reran, he walked up the aisle. With the layers of the character shed away, Mark stood as the centrepiece at the top of the entranceway.
Standing before the colossal WresteMania sign at what was his last appearance at the showcase of the immortals, Mark looked back at the ring where has had performed for the past 27 years; knowing that on this stage he would be leaving as a sports entertainer for the last time.
Looking back at the WrestleMania sign, the greatest performer at the WWE show gave all wrestling fans a final WrestleMania moment.
The Undertaker's entrance art WrestleMania 29 - Image taken from WikiCommons, by Schen
He held is right arm aloft, like he had done many times before, and disappeared into the annals of sports entertainment.
While Mark left viewing amidst his blue lighting and mystical fog, the arena fell dark. His music ended, and a poignant gong was struck which echoed through the arena. Depicting the wrestling ring-bell being struck, while signalling the final goodbye of The Deadman, the gong was called a final time.
WWE and Mark Callaway ended his final WrestleMania performance dedicating a prolonged ending to the show to respect WrestleMania's, and, what many consider, sports entertainment's great ever performer.
Legends are remembered, but heroes never die.
Goodbye Deadman, thanks for the memories.Suggest a correction