One of the most iconic looks in WWE is when The Undertaker wore a mask. Inspired by “Phantom of the Opera”, The Undertaker never looked as menacing than when he was lead by Paul Bearer with his face shrouded in mystery.
However, most people don’t know why The Undertaker wore his mask. Keep reading to find out the truth and discover what happened to the Deadman that almost forced him to lose an eye!
Why did The Undertaker wear a mask?
The Undertaker revealed that he wore a mask in 1995 because he broke his orbital socket from a botched leg drop in a match against Mabel. The mistake by Mabel was almost incredibly costly, as the Undertaker blew out “90% of his orbital floor” and almost caused The Undertaker to go blind.
Later X-Rays showed that the optic nerve was pressed against a fractured piece of bone, which was jagged and jutting out due to being broken by the botch.
The injury was turned from a negative into a positive by WWE, who managed to product an iconic mask for the Undertaker to wear whilst he recovered from his injury.
WWE designed a number of masks for The Undertaker to wear. Most of them were lost to time and thrown into the trash, but this below drawing shows one of the last surviving drawings of the potential Undertaker mask.
This mask shows eerie similarities to both Mankind and Kane’s masks, and WWE eventually decided to move away from these designs. They eventually settle on a mask that was more similar to the “Phantom of the Opera” mask that The Undertaker wore and became iconic in the mid 1990s.
The Undertaker reveals Mabel botch
During an episode of “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” on A&E, The Undertaker and Michelle McCool rummaged through their storage locker to see the what historical artefacts they had saved from The Deadman’s legendary career.
They found a number of items, such as The Undertaker’s iconic hat, his original black and purple coat from early in his career and many other classic items.
The most interesting was The Undertaker’s mask from 1995. He wore the mask during a brief period in wrestling, but the reason for the new face accessory was never explained on WWE TV, leaving fans to wonder “why did The Undertaker wear a mask?”
On the show, The Undertaker revealed just that, while showcasing the famous mask which has led to so much intrigue over the years.
“There was only one of them ever made” said The Undertaker, who explained that the injury came in a match in 1995 against former King of the Ring Mabel (also known as Big Daddy V or Viscera).
He then went on to say that “We were in the middle of the match and he ended up lunging, coming full speed. It basically was me running into his fist.”, before adding “(The doctor) said if you had been hit again it probably would have severed that and you’d have lost your eye,”
The Undertaker vs Mabel
The Undertaker also spoke about his match vs Mabel, where his orbital socket was broken and forced him to wear a mask, during his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.
He claimed that Mabel was “so gassed” that he didn’t know what spot his should be doing and instead barrelled straight into the Deadman, which caused the gruesome injury.
“I mean I’ve lost both eye sockets, but one was because the guy was completely out of shape. There’s a lot of similarities, one’s a sporting event and one’s sports entertainment, talking about MMA, but there’s conditioning I think is the key to everything. He was 6-foot-8, 500 pounds and I ran straight into what was supposed to be a clothesline, but he was so gassed and behind on his spot that instead of catching the meat of his forearm I ran dead into his fist with his momentum coming off of the ropes. Just blew my eye socket completely apart. Dumbass me, I didn’t know it for three days..”The Undertaker on his injury in match vs Mabel
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.