WWE HOFer Says Undertaker’s American Badass Is Superior To Deadman Persona


 Sai Mohan

Undertaker brought back his “The American Badass” persona to WWE programming for the first time in nearly 20 years on the “Raw is XXX” special episode, much to the delight of fellow WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray.

Reacting live to Undertaker riding down the ramp in a motorcycle Monday night, Ray made a remark that got many wrestling fans talking.

“American Bad Ass > Deadman. #WWERaw30,” Ray tweeted.

Fans who reacted to Ray’s opinion were split, with many arguing that “The American Badass” was truly an alter ego of The Deadman, and that the smack-talking biker gimmick never exuded the aura of mystique such as The Phenom. Several others lamented the fact that Taker’s motorcycle-riding character was never revisited by WWE during the retired wrestler’s final few years. However, Taker did take the form of “The Unholy Trinity,” a combination of The Deadman, American Badass, and Mark Calaway, in his farewell Boneyard match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36. 

In the early 2000s, Undertaker moved away from his Deadman persona — or variations of his Prince of Darkness gimmick — for a span of four years when he first debuted “The American Badass” at Judgment Day 2000, and later evolved to “Big Evil” in the middle of the Team Alliance vs. Team WWE rivalry. Undertaker would eventually bring back The Deadman in the lead-up to his match against Kane at WrestleMania XX, after losing a Buried Alive Match to Kane at Survivor Series 2003. 

Much like Undertaker, Bray Wyatt, too, has reinvented himself with different characters over the years. On the “Raw is XXX” broadcast, Undertaker essentially passed the torch to Wyatt – regarded by many as his spiritual successor in the WWE realm — by whispering some words and nodding at Wyatt before leaving the ring. Later, Undertaker commented on the significance of the moment via Twitter

“Moments define this industry. This one was special!” Taker wrote of his in-ring moment with Wyatt.

After Wyatt himself commented on the legend’s gesture, Taker responded, “Respect is earned!”





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