The Undertaker: Fact and Fiction

Many stories about the wrestler are not true

World Wrestling Federation's Wrestler Undertaker Poses June 12, 2000 In Los Angeles, Ca.
Getty Images / Hulton Archive

Even those who aren't really familiar with the world of professional wrestling have likely heard of the Undertaker (born Mark William Calaway in 1965). The name has a certain ring to it that's not easily forgotten. Wrestling fans know that there are many Undertaker legends, and most know better than to believe them. Many of the famous stories about the wrestler are simply not true—they're myths and urban legends.

The Undertaker Was Introduced as Kane

Legend has it that the Undertaker was introduced as "Kane" in his WWE debut, but this is false. The wrestler was first introduced as "Kane the Undertaker" at the 1990 Survivor Series, a pay-per-view event promoted by the World Wrestling Federation. Urban legend also claims that he was called Kane for the first few weeks that he appeared on TV. That much is true. The name was later given to the Undertaker's fictional brother.

There Have Been Multiple Undertakers

The man playing the part of the Undertaker today is rumored to be a different person than the one who started out as the Undertaker, but this isn't true either. Mark Calaway has always portrayed the Undertaker, although at one point a story was introduced alleging that there was a fake Undertaker. The wrestler who portrayed the fake Undertaker in 1994 was Brian Lee (Calaway's cousin), but the scenario was just that: He portrayed a phony Undertaker.

The Undertaker Teamed Up With Sid Vicious

It's been said that prior to becoming the Undertaker, Mark Calaway was part of a dominant WCW tag team with Sid Vicious (the wrestler, not the leader of the Sex Pistols) called the Skyscrapers. This story is false. Mark Calaway actually replaced Sid in the Skyscrapers. The two were never on the team at the same time. Calaway wrestled as "Mean" Mark Callous at the time, and his Skyscraper teammate was Danny Spivey. When Spivey left WCW, he was replaced by a masked Skyscraper for one match. The masked Skyscraper was played by Mike Enos.

The Undertaker and Kane Are Brothers

Legend maintains that Kane and the Undertaker are brothers in real life. This is not true either. They've been portrayed as half-brothers in various wrestling storylines, but they're not related. 

The Undertaker's Wife Was Sara

This is one of the few legends that are true: Sara was the wife of the Undertaker. WWE fans were introduced to the character of Sara in 2001. They were informed that she was the wife of the Undertaker, and Sara Frank was indeed the wife of Mark Calaway in real life. The two divorced in 2007 and Calaway has been married to Michelle McCool since 2010.

The Undertaker Had Another Manager

Legend has it that the Undertaker was managed by someone else prior to Paul Bearer, and this is true. The original manager of the Undertaker was Brother Love, who was known for his controversial performances as a televangelist.

Paul Bearer Was a Mortician

Another legend claims that the Undertaker's former manager, Paul Bearer, was a mortician in real life. This is true. Bearer worked as a funeral director and embalmer before joining the wrestling industry.