The Undertaker calls it quits: 'It's time for me to walk away'

The Undertaker is 100 percent done in his mind (2:07)

The Undertaker tells Ariel Helwani that he has come to terms with his retirement from wrestling. (2:07)

WWE fans might be wondering what The Undertaker's "Final Farewell" celebration at Survivor Series on Sunday will look like, and if it might feature a match or a tease for next year's WrestleMania card. But in Mark Calaway's own words, anyone expecting either of those two possibilities from the man who portrayed The Undertaker for 30 years will be left disappointed.

"In my mind, I am 100% done," Calaway said of his WWE in-ring career, during an interview with Ariel Helwani on Wednesday. He then added a caveat. "But there's this guy that lives up in Stamford, Connecticut, who lives by the motto, 'never say never.'"

In alluding to Vince McMahon, Calaway left the door open a tiny crack. But everything else he told Helwani indicated that he won't be wrestling again.

"I've come to grips with it. I'm at peace with it," Calaway said. "I still have the passion to do this. I love it. And physically, if I could do it forever, I would. I just enjoy it that much. But you can't outrun Father Time. Physically I'm just not at a point where I can go out and be Undertaker -- the Undertaker people expect to see when they pay money to see me wrestle. I'm just not physically there anymore.

"I just don't want to be that guy that goes out there, limps out to the ring, and the young guys are having to work around me only to get chokeslammed, or dropped on their head," Calaway continued. "One, it's not fair to them. Two, it's not fair to the fans. I don't want to be the guy that uses the equity I've built up over all those years to go out and make a payday or two. It doesn't feel right to me.

"I've got everything out of the sponge that I can get. There's not a drop of water left in it, so it's time for me to walk away."

If this is truly the end of his career, Calaway will walk away having wrestled twice in 2020 -- a cinematically styled "Boneyard Match" filmed at a graveyard as part of Night 1 of WrestleMania 36, and a gauntlet match at WWE's Super ShowDown event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that he won.

Sunday's "Final Farewell" is the 30th anniversary of Calaway's debut as The Undertaker, at Survivor Series 1990. And while a major sendoff with bells and whistles seems fitting for a character like The Undertaker, Calaway's views on the proceedings are a little more complicated.


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"I'm humbled by all of the attention and everything that WWE has done for me," said Calaway. "But I always looked at it like Barry Sanders or Tim Duncan with the Spurs -- he just put it in a text and he was gone, he was done. And I think, to my personality, that's kind of the way I would do it. But then you have to look at the big picture of things.

"I've got a fan base that has pretty much stayed with me for 30 years," he said. "I kind of feel like I owe it to my fans to be able to go out and let them understand how important they were to me. How much they sustained me in times where either I had something personal or emotional going on, or physically going on. I just feel like I have to go out there and tell them what they meant to me, and how much it meant for me to be Undertaker for so long."