“I Knew That Was It for Me”- WWE Legend The Undertaker Reveals the Exact Moment He Decided to Retire

Published 04/25/2021, 11:56 AM EDT
AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 07: WWE legend The Undertaker watches from the sideline during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the LSU Tigers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)


The Undertaker called it on his career after 30 years of delivering the best performances at the highest level. The WWE veteran walked away for good after an emotional farewell speech at Survivor Series 2020.

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That big decision doesn’t come easily to many, especially since walking away would be much harder for a man who’s been doing it for 30 years. However, Taker realized at one point last year that he couldn’t continue the way he used to. 

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 23: The Undertaker recovers during his fight against Brock Lesner at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

“About halfway through that night with AJ [Styles], I knew that was it for me. It became really obvious throughout the course of that night that I could no longer physically do things the way I want to do them, and I refuse to ever shortcut our fans,” Taker explained, speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated.

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‘The Deadman’ is obviously talking about his Boneyard Match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36, which stole the show as being the first-ever Cinematic match in WWE history. Even though it was shot with obvious cuts and re-takes, Taker felt the fatigue of the performance. 

The Undertaker did not have a memorable set of final matches

Earlier in 2020, he fought a match against AJ Styles at Super ShowDown which lasted mere seconds. Fans did not appreciate the fact that AJ Styles was pinned after just one chokeslam, and this moment really pointed out the fact that Taker couldn’t wrestle longer matches. 

In light of this, he decided not to disappoint fans again and leave with dignity and with his respect intact. This is probably why ‘The Deadman’ chose to walk away instead of wrestling yet another match. 

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However, the signs of Taker’s decline were there for the last few years. Even though he could still deliver a good performance, his moves were rusty, and due to the constraints of his age, he couldn’t move around as smoothly as he could before. 

The match against Goldberg at Crown Jewel 2019 was a wake-up call for most of the WWE Universe and The Undertaker himself. The train-wreck of a performance, botched finishers, and a near-death experience on an incorrectly executed Jackhammer made him understand that things were not as they were. 

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We will miss ‘The Phenom’ at WrestleMania and in WWE in general, but his legacy still lives on as one of the greatest Superstars to walk between the ropes. 

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Luke Dias

1208 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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