After the primary two episodes of WWE’s docu-series Undertaker: The Last Ride, followers are beginning to study who Mark Calaway is. This week’s chapter continues to point out the connections that the Undertaker has made over time, but it surely additionally exhibits a real-human dilemma that the “Dead Man” is battling.
Chapter Three is titled “End of an Era,” which isn’t only a nod to Undertaker’s WrestleMania 28 match with Triple H, but additionally his connections with the boys within the ring that evening. It’s these connections that make this newest episode one other nice look ahead to wrestling followers. Calaway’s emotions towards Triple H and Shawn Michaels is on full show, in addition to how these males consider Calaway and what he is meant to them.
These three males had been the pillars of the WWE for a few years, so there’s fairly a bit revealed on this episode—particularly Calaway’s mindset as he continues his seek for that one “last” nice match, that last match that he feels snug retiring on.
But as we get by the episode—and, actually, as we get by each chapter of the collection—it is turning into clearer that that match could not exist and it is a unhappy actuality.
Right off the bat, the episode begins with Calaway being important of his WrestleMania 34 match with John Cena. While he felt and appeared nice, it was booked for just some minutes when he felt that with all of his coaching he might have gone 20-30 minutes.
So clearly, this wasn’t the match that Taker felt was becoming for him to stroll away—it additionally will not be the final time we hear Calaway say that—but it surely gave the wrestler the boldness to know that he can nonetheless do it.
With this newfound confidence, Calaway is now wrestling somewhat extra. We see him face Rusev on the first WWE Saudi Arabia present, The Greatest Royal Rumble and the lead as much as Super Show-Down towards Triple H.
On the topic of Saudi Arabia, the documentary does not go into the behind-the-scenes dealings between WWE and the nation. (This is an in-house manufacturing, in any case.) Calaway himself talks about how the WWE is attempting to enact change within the nation and is stunned by how they take to his character. It’s fast and people on the lookout for extra right here should not count on it.
After the Undertaker’s match with Rusev, Vince McMahon proposes a match between him and Triple H, which is once we get into a few of this episode’s most fascinating bits.
Fans know the connection between Triple H and Shawn Michaels, but it surely’s Calaway’s relationship with them that is very intriguing. Like his relationship with Vince in Chapter 2, we get to see a brand new aspect of Calaway as we hear Triple H discuss assembly him for the primary time and the way the Undertaker accepted him. The two are nearer than many followers notice, and that love and respect is current in Triple H’s bits.
Calaway and Michaels, alternatively, had been within the enterprise collectively across the identical time and their respect is really easy to see. It additionally does not harm that they’d back-to-back nice WrestleMania matches that many followers say are the very best within the firm’s historical past.
Hearing Calaway discuss Michaels and the best way he was in a position to exit on his personal and retire gave me a heavy coronary heart. Calaway admits that he is jealous of Michaels, and we get the Undertaker at his most susceptible as he will get emotional speaking about it. We’re studying what’s fueling Calaway’s quest for this final match, and it makes you root for him to search out it.
There are different fascinating moments, within the episode like Undertaker’s final look at Madison Square Garden, but it surely’s actually the retrospective of these three that basically elevates this installment.
Kane will get some love, too, however not as a lot as Shawn or Triple H. Whether it was reduce for time, or the WWE is saving it for one more time, who’s to say, however I’ve all the time felt the story between Kane and Undertaker could be an interesting watch. Still, the portion on Kane provides a brand new aspect of Calaway, the person who would assist the brand new wrestlers and was, for all accounts, selfless within the locker room.
When we lastly get to that tag-team match between Triple H, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker and Kane at Crown Jewel, it is as unhealthy as you bear in mind. Just about something that would go incorrect does, and to listen to the rivals discuss it’s fairly humorous. The Undertaker even provides some perception into his psyche that day, which is not explored as deeply as one could like, however hey, because it appears fairly private, what do you count on?
When the match ends, Calaway is not happy and his spouse, Michelle McCool (who’s my vote for MVP of this collection), comes out with the road of the episode: “Oh boy, here we go. I know it’s a vicious cycle. He’s not going to be happy with his performance, which means he’s going to have to redeem himself.”
The Undertaker must redeem himself once more, which is able to end in a good match that he’ll be pleased with and go away him hungry for that final “great” match. And if he has a dud, he must return to redeem it. It’s a vicious cycle with no sign of ending.
Calaway is not in an enviable place. When will he really feel he can shut the door on his profession? Maybe that day by no means comes. It’ll be fascinating to see what he is pondering within the subsequent episode once we lastly get to that notorious match towards Goldberg.
Bottom line, the third chapter of Undertaker: The Last Ride is required viewing for wrestling followers. It spotlights these years when the Undertaker was arguably at his peak with some nice perception.
The backstage and interview parts—particularly with Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Kane—are the very best elements of this episode. But in the long run it is Calaway’s story and we’re getting a peek at his psyche. As we see that vicious cycle at work, you simply can not help however hope Mark Calaway finds the closure he is on the lookout for.
Chapter Three of Undertaker: The Last Ride will probably be accessible to stream on-demand starting at 10am ET this Sunday on the WWE Network.