The Undertaker—What's Real and What's an Urban Legend?

Most myths about the Undertaker are not true

World Wrestling Federation's Wrestler Undertaker Poses June 12, 2000 In Los Angeles, Ca.
Getty Images / Hulton Archive

Even those who aren't really familiar with the world of professional wrestling might have heard of the Undertaker. The name has a certain ring to it that's not easily forgotten. Wrestling fans know all about the Undertaker's legend, and most know better than to believe everything they hear or have heard. Due to the nature and length of the Undertaker gimmick, there are many myths and urban legends about his career. Here's a summary of what's real and what's fake.

The Undertaker Was Introduced As Kane

Legend has it that the Undertaker was introduced as Kane the Undertaker in his WWE debut, but this is false.

He was first introduced as the Undertaker at the 1990 Survivor Series. This urban legend goes on to say that he was also called Kane for the first few weeks that he appeared on TV. That part of the legend is true.

There Have Been Multiple Undertakers

The man playing the part of the Undertaker today is rumored to be a different person than the one who started out as the Undertaker, but this isn't true either.

Mark Calaway has always portrayed the Undertaker, although at one point an angle was introduced alleging that there was a fake Undertaker. The wrestler who portrayed the fake Undertaker in 1994 was Brian Lee, but the scenario was just that: He portrayed a phony Undertaker. 

The Undertaker Teamed With Sid Vicious

It's been said that prior to becoming the Undertaker, Mark Calaway was part of a dominant WCW tag team with Sid Vicious called the Skyscrapers.

This story is false. Mark Calaway actually replaced Sid in the Skyscrapers. They were never in the team at the same time. Mark Calaway wrestled as "Mean" Mark Callous at the time, and his Skyscraper teammate was Danny Spivey. When Spivey left WCW, he was replaced by a masked Skyscraper for one match. The masked Skyscraper was played by Mike Enos.

The Undertaker's Relationship to Kane

The legend goes that Kane and the Undertaker are brothers in real life. Not true.

They've been portrayed as half-brothers in various story lines, but they're not related. 

The Undertaker's Relationship to Sara

This is a good one and it's true: Sara was the wife of the Undertaker.

WWE fans were introduced to the character of Sara in 2001. They were informed that she was the wife of the Undertaker and Sara Frank was indeed the wife of Mark Calaway in real life. The two divorced in 2007 and Calaway has been married to Michelle McCool since 2010. 

The Managers of the Undertaker

Legend has it that the Undertaker was managed by someone else prior to Paul Bearer, and this is true. 
The original manager of the Undertaker in the WWE was Brother Love.

Paul Bearer's Pre-Wrestling Career

Was the Undertaker's former manager, Paul Bearer, a mortician in real-life? He was. Paul Bearer was a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

So there you have it. The Undertaker: fact...and fiction.