Why did The Undertaker retire from WWE? The legendary Hall of Famer was still the most popular wrestler in the company, making millions of dollars per year and entertaining fans all across the world in various matches. He main evented Wrestlemania up until his eventual retirement and put on some unforgettable matches all the way until his final match of his career in 2020.
The Undertaker has recently revealed his thought process behind his decision to retire. It was not one he took lightly – in fact the process was filmed exclusively for the WWE Network as part of his “Last Ride” documentary series – and when the time came to finally hand up his hat and coat, he seemed at peace with his decision.
That’s not to say he won’t reverse his decision and step inside the ring one day. Legends have always come back for one more match, with Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair in recent years clawing back the hands of time and wrestling one more time in front of their baying audiences.
However, it seems like he is done. He seems at peace with his decision to step outside the ring for first time in nearly 40 years. He has since moved on to other projects, still connected to The Undertaker character but not involving wrestling at all. These include his one man speaking tour – Dead Man Talking – and even taking part in an interactive Netflix, alongside The New Day, named “Escape The Undertaker”
After 25 Wrestlemania matches, which included an incredible streak that lasted until 21-0, he is regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He has left a huge hole in the WWE universe that may never be filled, but he has no regrets about his decision to retire.
Why Did The Undertaker Retire?
In an interview with ET Online, The Undertaker spoke about why he retired from wrestling and whether or not he wants to step into the ring anymore. The Undertaker revealed the reason he retired from wrestling was not because he did not want to be in the ring anymore – in fact it’s one of his favourite things in the world – but that he could no longer compete at a high enough level.
He spoke about how while his mind is as sharp as ever, his aging body can no longer match it inside the ring. Being nearly 7 foot tall and nearly 60 years old, his body has more wear and tear than the majority of the world’s population. Numerous injuries caught up to The Undertaker and forced him to admit he could no longer be The Deadman in the ring, and chose to end his career because he tarnished the incredible legacy that he built up since his debut in 1990.
“Yeah, my days in the ring are done and it’s not because I don’t want to be in the ring. I mean, that is where I’ve spent most of my adult life – my whole life really, more than half of my life has been spent in the wrestling or sports entertainment ring. In my mind, I still can see everything and in my heart, I want to be out there but it’s just at a point where my body can’t deliver what my mind and my heart see, my body can’t deliver that and I just don’t want to cheapen the legacy of that character. I’d hate for people to pay money to see me work and be disappointed.”The Undertaker on why he had to retire from WWE
Note that he was not forced to retire due to injuries – his body did allow him to keep wrestling. He would have still been able to be trotted out by Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania once a year and at the odd Saudi show, but he valued his own personal satisfaction of his professional career over potentially millions of dollars he could have earned wrestling into his old age.
The Undertaker’s last match was the main event of the first night of Wrestlemania in 2020. It was during the COVID pandemic and was forced to be wrestled without any fans in attendance. To make up for this, he wrestled AJ Styles in a cinematic “Boneyard” match, in which he buried the former TNA and WWE Champion alive before riding off into the moonlight, never to wrestle another match again.
While it is customary for a WWE Superstar to “go out on their backs” and lose in their final match, it seemed fitting for The Undertaker to go out on a win. His gimmick was so legendary and him so dominant over the past 30 years that him losing a final match would put a sad end to his career, while the win helps his gimmick live on long into his well earned retirement.
No he has finished his career, The Undertaker now lives with his wife (former WWE Divas Champion Michelle McCool) and his children in their family home in Texas. He occasionally appears on WWE TV and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2022 as the headlining act. He was inducted by Vince McMahon in one of the greatest ceremonies of all time.
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