Ever since the fire, Kane had been awaiting to exact vengeance on his older half-brother. In defense, Undertaker responded that Kane, a pyromaniac, had been the one to set the fire and could not have possibly even survived.
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Also during the period, Bearer had unintentionally admitted to Undertaker's mother having an affair with him. As a result, it was revealed to The Undertaker that Kane was actually his half-brother. Until that point, Undertaker spent his life entirety of the father's life under the impression that Kane was fully related to him and his family.
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It was during this time that The Undertaker also made an appearance in Michinoku Pro Wrestling , defeating Hakushi in a singles match. Concurrent to the deep, dark secret storyline directed by Bearer, Undertaker began a new rivalry at SummerSlam when special guest referee Shawn Michaels accidentally hit The Undertaker with a steel chair shot meant for Bret Hart, costing Undertaker the WWF Championship.
During this match, The Undertaker's storyline half-brother Kane finally made his debut under the control of Paul Bearer, ripping off the door to the cell and giving The Undertaker a Tombstone Piledriver , Undertaker's trademark finisher, allowing Michaels to pin him. The Undertaker's final encounter with Michaels was in a casket match at the Royal Rumble. The week before on Raw , Kane had seemed to ally with his brother against Michaels' D-Generation X ; however, at the event, Kane trapped him in the coffin, padlocking the casket lid and setting it ablaze which again gave Michaels the victory.
The Undertaker, however, had disappeared when the casket lid was reopened. The Undertaker's feud with Mankind was concluded afterward and they faced each other in a Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring. During the match, The Undertaker threw Mankind off the roof of the 4. He later performed a chokeslam on Mankind through the roof of the cell into the ring which legitimately knocked Mankind unconscious. Mankind also used thumbtacks in the match and was hit by a back body drop and another chokeslam onto them before Undertaker won the match with the Tombstone Piledriver.
Shortly before SummerSlam, however, The Undertaker revealed that he and Kane were working together as brothers. Despite this revelation, The Undertaker told Kane that he did not want him to interfere in the match with Austin and even though The Undertaker lost the match, he handed Austin his championship belt back after the match in a show of respect.
The Undertaker and Kane pinned Austin simultaneously after a double chokeslam , so the title was vacated by McMahon. Near the end of the match, Paul Bearer seemed about to assist Kane by handing him a steel chair to hit The Undertaker with, but as Kane had his back turned, both Bearer and The Undertaker hit Kane with the chair. The Undertaker went for the pin, but Austin refused to count the fall, attacked The Undertaker and counted out both of them. As part of this new storyline, he admitted that he had indeed set the fire that killed his parents, for which he had previously blamed Kane.
After Survivor Series , The Undertaker returned his attention back to his previous feud with Austin for costing him the title at Judgment Day, hitting Austin in the head with a shovel during a title match with The Rock , returning the favor for what happened a month earlier. In the weeks leading up to Rock Bottom, The Undertaker attempted to embalm Austin alive, tried to have Kane committed to a mental asylum and had his druids chain Austin to his symbol, raising it high into the arena. After building up to his second villainous run in the latter part of , The Undertaker introduced an updated version of his Deadman identity by January — the dark priest who in the initial period of this persona reigned over a stable known as The Ministry of Darkness.
In this form, he took on a wicked, demonic presence, much more so than ever before. He often claimed to be invoking and taking orders from a "Higher Power". Moreover, he often appeared in a hooded black robe and sat on a throne that was specially designed into his character symbol. With the help of his minions, he often performed sacrifices on select WWF wrestlers, using various incantations and magic words with intent to extract out the dark side of the wrestlers in question so as to recruit them into his Ministry.
Calaway himself did not wrestle for a period having undergone a hip replacement.
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As part of the angle , Undertaker expressed a desire to take control of the World Wrestling Federation, displacing its owner, Vince McMahon. These ambitions culminated into a rivalry between The Ministry and The Corporation , ultimately resulting in a match between Undertaker and Corporation enforcer, Big Boss Man. The Undertaker attempted to marry Stephanie before sacrificing her in an eldritch ceremony conducted by Paul Bearer, but Austin was able to rescue her. After their victory at SummerSlam , The Undertaker suffered a groin tear and was seen limping in several matches.
He avoided competing in wrestling matches in the following weeks, instead tyrannically ordering Big Show to fight all his battles and oblige all his many wishes. He also began to transition away to the biker character he would play in Per an interview with Kevin Nash, this was a move to allow Calaway to enter World Championship Wrestling with a non-trademarked persona. Although negotiations were described as close, he ultimately re-signed with the World Wrestling Federation. To compensate for his lack of physical action, Undertaker became more vocal on the mic, often making smart-aleck remarks and performing commentary.
In September , on SmackDown! McMahon threatened that he would remove Undertaker from the Unforgiven main event if he refused to participate in a casket match against Triple H. Undertaker retorted that he did not care and maybe he would not be participating in anything, thus walking out of the WWF. He made his return to action on December 14, teaming with Viscera in a losing effort against Kane and The Godfather at a house show in Coamo, Puerto Rico. By his return in May , The Undertaker had taken on a drastically different identity from before, as he abandoned the somber mortician-themed attires, his funeral dirge ring music , allusions to the supernatural and the accompanying morbid theatrics.
In place of this, he took on a biker identity, riding to the ring on a motorcycle and wearing sunglasses and bandanas to the ring. His entrance music was replaced with popular rock songs of the time, like Limp Bizkit 's " Rollin' Air Raid Vehicle " and Kid Rock 's " American Bad Ass " from which the name of The Undertaker's new gimmick originated , though it was accompanied by the characteristic opening bell of The Undertaker's original theme. They defeated Edge and Christian , earning the right to face them the following week for the championship, which Edge and Christian retained.
Kane betrayed The Undertaker by hitting him with a chokeslam twice, with the second one putting The Undertaker through the ring, on the August 14 episode of Raw. The Undertaker promised to make someone famous and did so when he performed a chokeslam on Rikishi from the roof of the cell. They received a title shot at No Way Out , facing Edge and Christian and then-champions The Dudley Boyz in a tables match , but they were not successful. The Brothers of Destruction were granted an opportunity to face Triple H and Austin for their titles. Angle pinned The Undertaker due to interference by Austin.
The Undertaker's next storyline began at the Royal Rumble in January , when Maven eliminated him by hitting him with a dropkick from behind. Subsequently, The Undertaker eliminated Maven in return and brutally assaulted him backstage. Later that night, he helped Hulk Hogan win the title against then-champion Triple H. The Undertaker, however, lost the title at Vengeance to The Rock in a triple threat match that also involved Kurt Angle. Undertaker defeated Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle in a triple threat match to become the 1 contender for the renamed WWE Championship and challenged Brock Lesnar for the title at Unforgiven that ended in a double disqualification.
The Undertaker took a break after The Big Show threw him off the stage, sparking a feud. A-Train entered the storyline by attempting to attack The Undertaker after the match, but Nathan Jones came to his aid. The first, on the September 4 SmackDown! The Undertaker won and stopped Heyman from burying Bearer, but after claiming Bearer was merely a liability he had no use for, buried him himself. Along with Eddie Guerrero and Booker T, he challenged JBL to a championship rematch at Armageddon in a fatal four-way match, in which The Undertaker was unsuccessful, again due to Heidenreich's interference.
After the match, Hassan began to "pray" on the ramp, summoning five masked men, dressed in black shirts, ski-masks and camouflage pants. Armed with clubs and a piano wire , the masked men beat and choked The Undertaker and Hassan put The Undertaker in a camel clutch. Afterward, the masked men lifted Daivari above their heads and carried him away. Three days later, the London bombings took place.
It was removed from the Australian and European including in the United Kingdom broadcasts.
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In response to the criticism, UPN decided that it would monitor the storyline closely and that it did not want the Hassan character on its network that week. In the segment, Hassan reiterates that he is an Arab-American and that the American people automatically and unfairly assume that he is a terrorist. Despite being in character, he referred to the real-world media coverage of the storyline, singling out the New York Post's Don Kaplan by name and denouncing his description of the events on SmackDown!
On the July 14, , episode of SmackDown! After the match, The Undertaker delivered a Last Ride through an open stage ramp onto a concrete floor to Hassan. It was reported that Hassan sustained serious injuries and had to be rushed to a nearby medical facility, writing Hassan off of television. On the following episode of SmackDown! When the charred casket was opened, however, The Undertaker had once again vanished. He returned at the Survivor Series , emerging from a burning casket.
Undertaker cornered Angle after the match and told him he was not finished with him; however, during a rematch on SmackDown! The Undertaker defeated Henry to become 14—0 at WrestleMania. During a rematch on the next episode of SmackDown!
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The Undertaker was not heard from until the May 5 episode of SmackDown! The Undertaker won the match by striking Khali with the steel stairs, delivering several chair shots and finishing him with a chokeslam. Kennedy at No Mercy , but was disqualified in the match after he hit Kennedy with the championship belt.
The Undertaker won his first Royal Rumble match, on January 28, , in doing so becoming the first man to enter the Rumble at number 30 and win the match, after lastly eliminating Shawn Michaels.
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The match ended in a draw after neither man got to their feet by the referee's count of ten, meaning The Undertaker retained the championship. After the match, Mark Henry made his return and assaulted an already exhausted Undertaker, after which Edge ran to the ring and cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase, forcing Undertaker into a second title defense. Although he kicked out of two quick pin attempts, Undertaker was pinned by Edge after two spears and lost the title.
During his rehabilitation , Henry bragged about his assault on Undertaker, until vignettes began playing promoting The Undertaker's return. The Undertaker returned at Unforgiven on September 16, defeating Henry. Guerrero ordered that the title remain vacant, because titles cannot change hands in this way. As a result of the stipulation, Undertaker was forced to leave WWE. After the match, The Undertaker chokeslammed Edge from the top of a ladder and through the ring canvas.