In this five-part documentary series from the WWE Network, we follow the Undertaker in the ring and backstage as Mark Calaway while struggling to come to terms with the end of his career.
One of the main reasons this documentary is so engaging is because for the Undertaker’s entire 30-year career in the WWE, we don’t hear anything about what happens with him backstage. Even in his real life, he has committed to staying in character by wearing all black. And we don’t even know what happens when he gets injuries.
Mark Calaway, at age 55, has had 17 surgeries including repairing crushed eye sockets. In the documentary, we see his hip operation which has been causing him pain for 15 years. I bit my knuckles seeing how gruesome and violent it was. Knowing that he went through that plus other surgeries from head to toe that also included his fingers, deepened my appreciation for his commitment and dedication.
I really adored seeing him find inner peace with Michelle McCool. It was known that they were a couple in public but we never really knew how it all started. Seeing even “the Deadman” having a romantic side and then bursting into tears after recalling all the support that Michelle gave him over the years plucks my deep childhood heartstrings.
Vince McMahon has been a huge part of Undertaker’s career. And Vince shows loyalty for Undertaker’s well-being because Undertaker never left Vince when the rest of the locker room were being pirated by WCW. The deep loyalty and support these two show each other is something I never knew growing up and certainly one of the nicest things that is explored in the documentary.
One intriguing thing they discussed in the documentary was his loss against Brock Lesnar in Wrestlemania XXX. I remember re-watching the replay for that match over and over again and being shocked about the outcome. My jaw dropped like the rest of the fans who were watching it live. You see, Undertaker’s streak in Wrestlemania was one of the most legendary records in sports entertainment. And for it to be beaten just like that, made me stay away from the WWE. But I felt great concern and worry after learning that the Undertaker suffered a concussion after Brock’s F5. He walked back to the locker room not knowing who he was. He was taken to the hospital and when the nurse asked him who he was, he tried fooling his wife to answer the question.
Undertaker made this documentary for three years. We get backstage access to all the things he has been going through and it was really rewarding and sweet to me and all the wrestling fans who marveled at his presence. If you aren’t a wrestling fan, you’re sure to get hooked with all the unavoidable details in the life of a wrestler.
Overall, The Last Ride gave me a lot of closure to the mysteries of Mark Calaway. It reminded me of the simpler times of my childhood. And when we all wanted to become wrestlers. And it made me respect the Undertaker even more.
Undertaker: The Last Ride gets an 8/10