Is The Undertaker the Greatest Wrestler of All Time?
After diggin' holes and takin' souls for 27 years, is the Undertaker the greatest professional wrestler to ever lace up a pair of boots? For years, I've heard that Taker has the greatest gimmick of all time, he's greatest big man of all time, etc., etc., etc.. But, if you REALLY look at his career, I think that the argument could be made that he is just flat out the greatest of all time, no quantifier needed.
On the surface, the Undertaker gimmick is one of the most ridiculous ideas Vince McMahon ever had. An Undead grave digger who dressed like a Wild West mortician? Sound ridiculous, right? A lot of those gimmick guys maybe got a good year run and then faded away into the sunset or were repackaged. Not Taker. Some how, he managed to take a goofy, monster of the week gimmick and turn it into a career. If that doesn't speak to the level of talent he and Paul Bearer had, I don't know what does.
Secondly, look at the level of work the Phenom put in over 27 years. If Taker wasn't the guy, he was always a top guy. Maybe he never had his Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold run of being SUPER RED HOT, but guy even when was a heel was always super over and involved in a main story line. I don't think anyone other than Bruno Sammartino can claim a main event run that long or epic.
Plus, can you name any other star in WWE history with more memorable moments than the Undertaker? From becoming the youngest WWE Champion in 1991 by beating Hulk Hogan (something that was UNHEARD of in 1991) to the invention of the casket and buried alive matches to all of his epic Wrestlemania entrances and matches. And those are just a few examples...there are literally hundreds I could list out.
And that's just the stuff that happened on screen and in front of the crowds. In the locker room, Taker was a leader and mentor. Unlike guys like Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan, who used their backstage influence to politic for personal gain, Taker used his to make the WWE a better place to work and help guys out. He would work with young talent to try and get them over with crowds. If there was a locker room dispute, he was the one to settle it. He was the man that kept egos in check and made sure all the boys were taken care of not only by each other but by the company. In the locker room, everyone called him 'Boss'.
He is hands down the most respected individual in the history of wrestling. The things the man accomplished both in and out of the ring are absolutely stunning. I don't know what you is your measuring stick as far as being the 'GREATEST' is, but from where I'm sitting, The Undertaker hits all check boxes that could possibly be hit.
From being a locker room leader to a 7 time World Champion, thank you for nearly 30 years of epic performances and amazing story telling.