WWE legend The Undertaker has revealed that there was a time in his career when he thought of jumping ships to rival company WCW.
Undertaker, real name Mark Calaway, has been with the WWE since his debut in 1990, making him the longest-tenured superstar, but back in the 1990s, when the Monday Night Wars were at its peak with Raw and Monday Nitro doing head to head battle at the prime time TV slot, the Deadman explained the reasons that pushed him close to joining Ted Turner’s company.
“Yea, there was a time I was so frustrated with our creative direction. We had a bunch of really goofy characters. They (WCW) are down there doing real angles. It was common knowledge that they opened up the checkbook,” Undertaker said on Sam Roberts’ “Not Sam Wrestling” podcast.
“I was hearing guys talking about the money they are making. You would be able to get a good check and stay at home most of the time. Those thoughts were there. But, when it got down to it, I said I can’t. Obviously, I’m not the best businessman but something inside me said you can’t leave here.”
The Undertaker has been loyal to Vince McMahon and the WWE, even though his contemporaries were switching to WCW one by one. It began with WWE’s biggest superstar Hulk Hogan’s move in 1994, followed by Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and even Bret Hart moving to WWE. But Taker, despite being aware of the lucrative offer that awaited him at WCW, made up his mind to remain with the WWE, despite the company struggling with TV ratings.
In fact, WCW beat WWE in TV ratings for 84 weeks in a row. But once WWE broke its rival’s winning streak, WCW lagged behind and eventually ran out of business in 2001.
“One, when I was there, and although the management had changed at this point, I went in to renegotiate a contract. I had been there for 8 or 9 months. My deal was coming up. I was trying to get a little bump in the money. I was on the bare minimum deal. I wasn’t looking to break the house,” Undertaker revealed further.
“I went in and met with Jim Herd, Ole Anderson, and Jim Barnett. They looked at me straight in the eyes, and said you are a great athlete, but nobody will ever pay to see you wrestle. My loyalty to Vince was stronger than the short-term cash I could have made if I left.”