A Column by ThunderStorm
November 23, 2009 at 07:09 pm
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hell in the cell brothers of destruction 1997-1998
At WrestleMania 13, The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid for the WWF Championship, marking his second time as WWF Champion. After the event, Paul Bearer attempted to rejoin with the Undertaker, using the threat of revealing Undertaker's "biggest secret". In the storyline, Bearer announced that Undertaker was a murderer, who as a child had burned down the family funeral home business (where Bearer worked), killing his parents and his younger half-brother. Undertaker claimed there was no way for Bearer to have that information, but Paul announced that he was told this by Undertaker's half-brother Kane, who was still alive but horribly burned and scarred. Bearer raised Kane after the fire, having him institutionalized. Now, Kane was waiting for revenge after all these years. In defense, Undertaker responded that Kane, a pyromaniac, had been the one to set the fire and could not have possibly survived.
The Undertaker with Lord of Darkness attireHis next major storyline began at SummerSlam in 1997 when referee Shawn Michaels accidentally hit Undertaker with a steel chair shot meant for Bret Hart, costing the Undertaker his WWF Championship. The feud culminated at In Your House: Badd Blood, where the Undertaker challenged Michaels to the first ever Hell in a Cell match. During this match, Undertaker's storyline half-brother Kane made his debut, ripping off the door to the cell and giving Undertaker a Tombstone Piledriver, Undertaker's trademark finisher, allowing Michaels to pin him. The match would get a 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer. As the storyline progressed, Kane, with Paul Bearer, challenged the Undertaker to fights, but the Undertaker consistently refused to fight his brother. The Undertaker and Kane then formed a brief partnership when Kane saved Undertaker from an attack by D-Generation X. The Undertaker's final encounter with Michaels was in the return of the casket match at the Royal Rumble, where Kane betrayed Undertaker and cost him the win by trapping him in the coffin, padlocking the casket lid, and setting it ablaze. The Undertaker, however, had disappeared when the casket lid was reopened. After a two month hiatus, Undertaker returned and defeated Kane at WrestleMania XIV. The two had a rematch, the first ever Inferno match, one month later at Unforgiven: In Your House, where The Undertaker won by setting Kane's right arm on fire.
Undertaker's feud with Mankind was renewed afterward, and they faced each other in a Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring. During the match, Undertaker threw Mankind off the roof of the 16 foot cell onto the Spanish announce table below, in what was a preplanned move. He later chokeslammed Mankind through the roof of the cell into the ring which legitimately knocked Mankind unconscious and finished the match by Tombstone Piledriving Mankind.
The Undertaker has both feuded and teamed up with his half-brother Kane numerous times.At Fully Loaded, Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Kane and Mankind to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Undertaker and Austin's reign as tag champions lasted for only two weeks, as Kane and Mankind regained the titles on an episode of Raw is War. Undertaker then became the number one contender for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam, now held by Austin. Shortly before SummerSlam, however, Undertaker revealed that he and Kane were working together as brothers. Despite this revelation, Undertaker told Kane that he did not want him to interfere in the match with Austin, and even though Undertaker lost the match, he handed Austin his belt back after the match in a show of respect. In September, the storyline continued, and Undertaker began to show some villainous characteristics when he and Kane revealed the fact that they were in cahoots to rid Austin of his title for Vince McMahon. At Breakdown: In Your House, Undertaker and Kane were booked in a Triple Threat match with Austin for his WWF Championship; McMahon stated that the brothers were not allowed to pin each other. Undertaker and Kane pinned Austin simultaneously after a double chokeslam, so the title was vacated by McMahon. This event led to a match at Judgment Day: In Your House between the two brothers for the title, with Austin as the Special Guest Referee. Near the end of the match, Paul Bearer seemed about to assist Kane by handing him a steel chair to hit Undertaker with, but as Kane had his back turned, both Bearer and Undertaker hit Kane with the chair. Undertaker went for the pin, but Austin refused to count the fall, attacked the Undertaker, and counted out both brothers. Finally, Undertaker became a villain the next night on Raw is War for the first time in over six years, reconciling with Bearer and claiming that he and Bearer would unleash their Ministry of Darkness on the World Wrestling Federation. 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, Undertaker returned his attention back to his previous feud with Austin for costing him the title at Judgment Day, viciously hitting Austin in the head with a shovel during a title match with The Rock, returning the favor for what happened a month earlier. With this twist in the storyline, McMahon scheduled a Buried Alive match between Undertaker and Austin at Rock Bottom: In Your House. 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 and raising it high into the arena. Undertaker, however, lost the match after Kane interfered
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