By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) spoke with Variety to promote “The Last Ride” documentary series that will premiere Sunday night on WWE Network. The following are among the highlights of the interview, which can be read in full at Variety.com.
On the Boneyard Match with AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36: “We got really lucky in that. I think the world of AJ not only professionally but personally. I just didn’t know if I had enough gas in the tank to give him what he was expecting…With all the negative aspects of what happened, we got to do something so unique and so innovative. It was like a mini-movie. I think there will probably be more matches in the future shot like that. Not on every card, but with those specialty matches I think they’re really on to something. It’s so different from what you normally see and so different from the regular product. I was very fortunate to be able to do that with someone of AJ Styles’ caliber. And then all the talent that was there production-wise, I was very happy with how that turned out. It showcased what I do best. I’m a storyteller. That’s what I believe wrestling matches are. They’re stories. When it’s done right, you tell a great story, and I think we told a great story. To me, that’s a good night’s work.”
On “The Last Ride” documentary series: “It goes without saying that I have far more matches behind me than I do in front of me. I think for the very reason I protected this character for so long is why I felt like this docuseries was the thing to do, because I don’t know how much there is left.”
Powell’s POV: It has to be especially flattering for Styles to have someone in Taker’s position speak so highly of him as a performer and a person. The Last Ride documentary series premieres Sunday night on WWE Network immediately following the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. The remaining four parts will stream on future Sundays on WWE Network.
I know some fans hate cinematic wrestling matches, but I think this shows there are some cases where it works. If Taker and AJ had gone out and put on a regular 15 minute match, it’d have probably been forgettable. Styles is too good for it to have been bad. By his own admission, Taker doesn’t have a ton left in the tank though. However you can hide that with this type of presentation. The match also still felt like a fight. It’s just all in how you script it. Cena/Wyatt being an example of what poor choices can do.