The Undertaker had a tough time getting booked in World Class Championship Wrestling at the beginning of his career.
The Undertaker came up in the Dallas area where WCCW was based, and found it difficult to break through in the busy territory. The Undertaker appeared on Busted Open Radio to promote WWE’s documentary series, “The Last Ride,” and talk about his wrestling career. He said he would hang around the Dallas Sportatorium when he first started just hoping someone from WCCW would notice him.
“I had no ins in the business,” The Undertaker said. “So the only thing that I knew was that they met every Wednesday at the Sportatorium. Guys would come in, get their checks, and then they had a booking meeting. I knew that that’s when whoever was booking the territory was going to be at the office.
“So I went every Wednesday for about eight months and sat in the lobby there at the Sportatorium just hoping that somebody would either notice me or speak to me. The only one that ever spoke to me for months and months was Bronko Lubich. Basically like, ‘Oh, you’re here again kid?’ I was like, ‘Yes sir, Mr. Lubich. Hopefully I might get the chance to talk to somebody today.’
He’d say, ‘Okay,’ then he would go into his office and guys would come. It was not a big, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the Sportatorium, but it wasn’t a big area. Guys would come in, walk right by me, not even acknowledge me. Sometimes I would stand up, they would just walk right by me, I was like, ‘Okay, this is the way it is.’ I did that, like I said, for about eight months.”
The Undertaker’s persistence eventually paid off, when one day he was spotted by Fritz Von Erich. The Undertaker said the patriarch of the legendary family helped him finally get booked with WCCW.
“Lucky enough, one day Fritz (Von Erich) came in, and Fritz started to walk by me as well and he just kind of glanced down at me and then went into Bronko’s office and said, ‘Who’s that kid out there?'” he said. “(Bronko) said, ‘He’s been coming here for months, he’s just trying to get a book in.’ Fritz goes ‘huh,’ I think Gary Hart was booking at the time, he goes, ‘Tell Gary to book him Friday night, he looks just like David (Von Erich),’ and at the time I did.”
The Undertaker had accomplished the first step of his wrestling career getting booked with WCCW. No wrestler would envy his debut match, though, as he was booked against the legendary brawler Bruiser Brody. Although he wrestled a legend, The Undertaker will instead remember his debut match for meeting his longtime friend and manager Bill Moody, better known as Paul Bearer.
“I was three quarters of the way to the ring before they decided that they were going to send somebody out to manage me, which would have been Percy Pringle,” he said. “So I’m crawling through the ring ropes for my entrance, and I look back and I can hear Percy, ‘Wait! Wait! Wait!’ So I had a manager that I didn’t know about.
He managed me about two or three times before I left the territory to go somewhere else. That’s how we started, then a few years down the line we hooked up and he was Paul Bearer. He had a degree in mortuary science, so he was a shoot mortician. It had to be destiny I guess.”
The Undertaker said Bearer failed to notice him while trying to get booked like the rest of WCCW and that the late manager started pulling ribs on the big man when they connected in WWE later on.
“I remember one time he pissed me off so bad,” he said. “I had that long hair, it was Brian Adams told Paul Bearer, but they called me Wendy, like from Wendy’s hamburgers.
He told Paul, but Paul, I don’t know if it was an appearance or something like that, when I was messing with Paul and he said something out loud right in front of this (crowd), and this is serious stuff don’t screw around Undertaker days, like it’s serious and I don’t crack smiles. He referred to me as Wendy, and I’m like, ‘Oooo!’ I was calm, but on the inside I was raging. I was like, ‘Okay, this is coming back on you.’
“I think my retaliation was we were driving through a town for work and he had to really go to the bathroom bad. I kept missing exits for him get out and go to the restroom. I knew once we got in there, I think it was Seattle or somewhere like that, I knew once we got into downtown there was nowhere to stop, just slam packed and crowed. He may or may not have soiled himself that day.”
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