Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Undertaker To Appear Out Of Character On Upcoming ESPN Ric Flair Special

ESPN’s upcoming “30 For 30” documentary about Ric Flair just got a little more intriguing. In Tuesday’s edition of Sports Illustrated media reporter Richard Deitsch’s column, he previewed the upcoming special, which will be one of two (along with an XFL documentary) where WWE is cooperating with the production. The big news in the piece has little to do with Flair himself, though, as Deitsch quotes director Rory Karpf as saying that “It was also awesome to get an interview with The Undertaker (real name: Mark Calaway) out of character.”

In the past, WWE refrained from showing The Undertaker out of character in their own documentaries or allowing third party documentaries from doing so, either. When “Wrestling with Shadows” and “Beyond The Mat” were shot backstage, for example, both productions were contractually prohibited from showing him. This impacted “Wrestling with Shadows” in particular, as director Paul Jay had caught Undertaker/Calaway furiously banging on Vince McMahon’s office door after the “Montreal screw job” in the Survivor Series ’97 main event.

The main exceptions to this policy came when The Undertaker had dropped the “Deadman” gimmick from 2000-2003 and focused on the “American Badass” persona. During that period, he also did an out of character interview (embedded at the top of this article) in a 2002 episode of TSN’s “Off the Record,” which regularly featured pro wrestlers going back to 1997.

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