Mark Calaway, aka The Undertaker, is widely regarded as one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. At the start of his career, it took a few years for the legendary performer to gain respect from some of the top pros in the wrestling business.
In 1991, The Undertaker was still a rookie when he beat Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. The match featured a famous moment where Hogan received a Tombstone Piledriver onto a steel chair.
In a 2020 interview with ESPN, Calaway recalled how Hogan claimed to have suffered a neck injury during the Tombstone Piledriver spot. Six days later, The Hulkster recaptured the WWE Championship in a rematch at This Tuesday in Texas.
“Hogan claims that I hurt him on the Tombstone during the pay-per-view,” Calaway said. “So I’m thinking to myself, like I didn’t find out until Tuesday, I knew there was gonna be another pay-per-view, but I didn’t know I was going to drop the belt back, or what was going on. That came up out of nowhere.” [0:24 – 0:48]
Calaway said Hogan laid on Vince McMahon’s office floor after Survivor Series and asked to speak to his family on the phone. At the time, he thought WWE’s decision-makers had lost faith in him:
“I kinda figured, ‘Oh, okay, maybe it [abrupt title loss] is because he’s telling everybody that I hurt him,'” Calaway continued. “Hulk was still the golden goose at the time, so I’m thinking, ‘Okay, they’re gonna take this off of me because they can’t trust me,’ or whatnot. It really wasn’t explained to me what the reasoning was behind it.” [0:49 – 1:12]
Calaway initially felt bad after believing he hurt Hogan’s neck. Several people, including Shane McMahon, then pointed out that the former WWE Champion’s head was nowhere close to hitting the mat during the Tombstone Piledriver.
The Undertaker’s opinion of Hulk Hogan after Survivor Series 1991
Calaway suspected that Hulk Hogan lied about his move causing the injury, especially as his opponent had complained about his neck earlier in the day. At This Tuesday in Texas, The Hulkster claimed backstage that the Tombstone made his injury worse because it was locked in too tight.
From that day on, Calaway knew he had to be wary of whether Hogan was telling the truth when they interacted behind the scenes:
“I was not overly friendly, but if he was in the building I always made sure to say hello, engage him in conversation. But from that Tuesday in Texas when I got that answer, I knew all I needed to know about him. Then my radar was always up any time that I had to interact with him, but I dealt in a professional manner with him.” [8:29 – 9:00]
Not the Undertaker winning the title, but Hulk Hogan trying to ruin the Undertakers career by saying "he's not safe in the ring" & telling him "YOU GOT ME BROTHER!!" That was the safest Tombstone ever. pic.twitter.com/mMdpZfiAMp
— E-Dub ???? (Never say Twitta with the hard ER) (@ErikMejias2) November 21, 2021
Performing as The Undertaker, Calaway also feuded with Hogan’s former rival The Ultimate Warrior at the beginning of his career. The WWE icon recently said that Warrior only liked two people on the roster in real life.
Do you think The Undertaker injured Hulk Hogan’s neck? Let us know in the comments section below.