Do you guys remember when The Undertaker had to wear a mask?
I actually have had people lately not believe that this actually happened.
But here you are, photographic proof of this early version of The Undertaker.
Now what the hell is the story behind this?
Kama Mustafa (aka Papa Shango) stole the Undertaker’s urn and melted it into a gold chain during The Undertaker’s year long feud with members of The Million Dollar Man’s stable of heels, between 1994 and 1995. This led into a feud with King Mabel. King Mabel, the 600 lb slob that he was, smashed The Undertaker’s face with a bunch of leg drops. They played up the kayfabe injury angle but brought him back with the mask.
In real life, the Undertaker actually injured his orbital bone and wore the mask to protect from further injury, because, at the time, an Undertaker hiatus would have been very detrimental to the company. He had just come back from one “family emergency” hiatus, and all of the top stars were negotiating deals with Ted Turner and WCW.
So the Undertaker came back, feuded with Mabel, finally defeated Mabel in The Undertaker’s gimmick match, a casket match, because heels were just fodder for faces in the WWE, and then made a run at the WWF heavyweight championship…
…but not before starting a pretty interesting feud with Diesel (Kevin Nash), before he departed for WCW. (This was a fun video to see after 15 years) This was probably the WWF’s best use of Nash in over 2 years.
Back to the Undertaker with a mask…
So he actually even signed autographs on headshots with the mask.
And they even have made wrestling figures out of this incarnation of the character:
(I want it! The tattoo on the throat makes me skeptical that this is an original release, but if you can find me info, I will probably buy the figure.)