By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) granted a rare out of character interview to Ed Young recently and spoke about the advice he shares with younger wrestlers. “I’m a firm believer in less is more, especially with my character…” Undertaker said. “Wrestling and sports entertainment, it’s not about the moves, it really isn’t. It’s being able to evoke emotion in one facet or another. You have to either make people love you or make people hate you. It doesn’t matter really which one. Certain people like to be hated and other people like to be loved, but if you can’t bring that emotion out of your audience, you’re not going to have them for long.
“A lot of times what happens with the young guys is they are so athletic, they’re so gifted, they’ll do some type of double crazy backflip off the top rope, land on somebody on the floor, and then that’s what the audience takes away from it, this guy does crazy stuff. Well, you can only see that so many times before you’re like I’ve seen that, I need something new. Okay, well, that’s a double backflip, full gainer onto somebody, now how do I up that? And that’s the position they sometimes back themselves into, like they have to keep upping the ante and when you up the ante like that then you increase your potential for injuries and catastrophic injuries at that.”
Taker also said wrestlers need to be genuine rather than emulating others. “We get a lot of people from different sports,” he said. “Maybe they were football players or amateur wrestlers and they think I can do that. And what you end up finding out is these guys come out and they don’t look genuine. They look out of place because what they’re doing, they’re trying to emulate or be like a wrestler they liked on TV instead of being the wrestler on TV… If you can be the original individual, that’s the key to making people believe in you and that’s what you have to do.” View the full interview below or at Youtube.com.
Powell’s POV: There’s some great advice for young wrestlers in the words above and even more in the actual interview. It’s a real treat to see Taker speak openly while dropping knowledge about the business. He also looked back on Vince McMahon approaching him with the character, how he tried to keep his persona different compared to what others were doing while staying true to the persona, and about the success of wrestlers such as Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, and Ric Flair. In a fun story, Taker also talks about the match that Andre the Giant wanted to have with him and the mystery that still surrounds it.