A Column by ThunderStorm
November 21, 2009 at 01:09 pm
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Return feud with mankind 1994-1997
After WrestleMania X, Ted DiBiase introduced an Undertaker back to the WWF. This Undertaker, however, played by Brian Lee, was an impostor Undertaker (dubbed the "Underfaker" by fans) and led to the return of the real Undertaker at SummerSlam, appearing as a new version of his original Deadman persona, replacing grey with purple. The Undertaker defeated the impostor after three Tombstone Piledrivers. At Survivor Series, Undertaker defeated Yokozuna in a rematch, another casket match. Throughout most of 1995, The Undertaker feuded with members of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation. At WrestleMania XI, while Undertaker was facing King Kong Bundy, Kama stole The Undertaker's urn, and antagonized him by melting it into a large gold necklace and attacking the Undertaker. Later, The Undertaker defeated Kama in a casket match at SummerSlam. Several weeks later, The Undertaker injured his orbital bone near his eye, forcing a period of absence for surgery, until his return at Survivor Series.
The Undertaker returned at the 1995 Survivor Series, wearing a Phantom-like, grey upper mask. At the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker was unmasked in a WWF Championship match against Bret Hart, when Diesel interfered in the match to cost the Undertaker the championship. One month later, at In Your House: Rage in the Cage, while Diesel was facing Hart in a steel cage match, Undertaker came bursting through the ring apron from under the ring, dragging Diesel underneath, allowing Hart to get the victory. This feud culminated in a match between Diesel and the Undertaker at WrestleMania XII, in which the Undertaker was victorious.
His next feud commenced the very next night, when Mankind made his debut, interfering in the Undertaker's match with Justin Hawk Bradshaw. For the next few months, Mankind ambushed and cost the Undertaker several matches. The feud intensified, and they began taking their battles into crowds, backstage areas, and in the boiler rooms of different arenas. As a result, the first ever Boiler Room Brawl was booked between the two at SummerSlam. During the match, when Undertaker reached for Paul Bearer's urn, Bearer hit him with it, betraying the Undertaker and allowing Mankind to "incapacitate" The Undertaker with the Mandible claw, giving him the win. After Bearer's betrayal, the Undertaker took his rivalry with Mankind to a new level, resulting in a Buried Alive match at In Your House: Buried Alive. Undertaker won the match after a chokeslam into the open grave, but after interference from The Executioner, as well as the help of several other superstars, The Undertaker was ultimately "Buried Alive". After being buried alive, the Undertaker returned at the Survivor Series again pitting him against Mankind, but with a unique stipulation; hanging 20 ft above the ring was Paul Bearer, enclosed in a steel cage. If Undertaker won the match, he would be able to get his hands on Bearer. Even though the Undertaker won the match, interference from The Executioner enabled Bearer to escape the Undertaker's clutches. The Undertaker then briefly turned his attention to The Executioner, who had become a thorn in his side since his arrival. At In Your House: It's Time, the Undertaker defeated The Executioner in an Armageddon rules match. By the end of 1996, the Undertaker began a feud with Vader, culminating in a loss to Vader at the Royal Rumble after Bearer interfered on behalf of his new protégé. After this loss, the Undertaker began to focus his attention on the WWF Championship.
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