INDUCTION: Face to Face with The Undertaker – Curl Up with a Scary Book This Halloween Night!

25 Submitted by on Thu, 31 October 2019, 20:00

WWF, 1994

Induction night this year falls on Halloween?  Awesome!  I mean, sure, it’s had to have happened more than once with a site that’s been around for nearly twenty years, but still, that’s kinda dope.  What better way to celebrate the holiday than to go in depth, face to face if you will, with the most ghoulish grappler to ever grace a pro wrestling ring: The Undertaker.

Even if the book we’re using as our source material has a background that looks like it was designed for Hello Kitty.  Seriously, what is up with that?

Published back in 1994, this biography…

…and make no mistake about it, it is a biography (would the fine folks at Bradlees #588 lie to you) promises to take you behind the scenes with the Dead Man.  I can only imagine the in-depth, never before told secrets we are about to learn as we go…

…yes, Face to Face with Undertaker.

If the first photo in the book is any indication, we’re about to learn a ton – such as the fact he apparently likes to use rusty hammers in all his construction work!  Also, he seems to like to make fine art projects in his spare time.  Check out that white…whatever it is…in the background of the photo.  I’d like to think in 2019 he and Vince Russo (who now has taken up PAINTING!) would sit around drinking Earl Grey together discussing their creative outlets of choice.

I’d also like to mention that is one cute little dog the publisher has chosen as a mascot.  He looks like he’s just spotted a squirrel and wants to make sure his owner is aware.

Maybe Russo could paint him next.  Hopefully playing poker.

The table of contents goes into tantalizing detail on what will be covered.  While it looks to be Undertaker cover to cover, I’m thinking the urn getting eight whole pages will be riveting stuff.

You know, I remember when I was working on the first WrestleCrap book, I also had to put together a table of contents.  All I can say is ECW Press would have no way no how approved that.  Maybe I should reach out to Top Dog concerning that long awaited Death of TNA book.  

I really should write that before I die.

SPEAKING OF DEATH…the book opens and tells that on the night of November 19, 1990 a “clammy wind swept through the World Wrestling Federation.”  That sounds kinda gross.  Not sure I’ve ever experienced air that was “clammy” unless it was at a Long John Silver’s.

Also, one of Undertaker’s nicknames is “Pale Destroyer.”  Here I thought I’d learn nothing in this book, but since I am pretty sure that is something I’ve never heard even once, I stand corrected.  

Full color, full page photos are the name of the game in this tome.  Here  Taker Pale Destroyer attempts to smother a young John Cena as he is perfecting his “You Can’t See Me” taunt.

Something else the book knocks out of the park – the actual physical text, which looks to be fading into the mists in an ancient library.  While the scoffers amongst you would say that’s a scanner error (and you’d be right), I would instead point out the text reading “The Mystery of the Undertaker”.

I mean, it’s in bright magenta text, but still.

Work with me here, would ya?

Fun fact: according to the book, the Undertaker Pale Destroyer may be announced as being from Death Valley, but he in fact lives BENEATH Death Valley…IN A CAVE.

THAT IS AWESOME.

When is home video footage of that showing up in the Hidden Gems section of WWE Network?

(Note to self: try to use the term “bowels of the grave” this week in casual conversation, RD.  People will think it’s due to Halloween, but you will know better.)

Hey look at this amazing shot of Giant Gonzalez.  What’s even more incredible is that this was a featured match at WrestleMania.  Yes, WRESTLEMANIA.  That legendary streak?  This barn burner was a part of it!  I’ve covered that match countless times, so let’s just see what the book says about it.

Yep, “Fate Worse Than Death?”

I mean, no question that match was absolutely atrocious, but that’s probably a bit extreme even for me.

Now if you REALLY want a fate worse than death, head over to page 23.  Undertaker Pale Destroyer has done a lot of dastardly things in his day, but exposing kids in the Troll Book Club to Jimmy Snuka’s naked hindquarters has gotta be near the top.

As if that weren’t horrifying enough, the very next page has him shoving the Ultimate Warrior into a casket!  I mean, I know that happened on WWF television, but can you imagine a parent who didn’t know any better opening up this neon pink book and seeing THAT?

And just think of the soccer mom who saw a freaking funeral urn floating near Jake Roberts’ crotch, just above tights featuring a woman who only has a snake covering her naked naughty bits!

Again, this in a book targeted at grade schoolers!

Twenty five years ago, no one batted an eye.  But can you imagine if that happened today?  

It would be all the Twitter rage for a good…I dunno…2-3 hours!

As for me, I’m more outraged that Giant Gonzalez gets more than one section.  Honestly, one sentence would have been enough.  It’s taken me years to black out the memories of that feud.

But the book ends with yet more discussion of the man with the fur covered genitals.  Woof.

Still, I cut the author a bit of slack as he throws in a killer left hook on the last page, as he states, and I quote, “Not all the Federation referees are blind.”  

Somewhere Earl Hebner is shaking with rage.

And failing an eye exam.

Before we wrap up, we get this.  Yes, apparently even back in 1994 Vince and Co. felt the need to beat their audience over the head with just how fantastically awesome they are.  I’m sure the fourth grader who read this while drinking his carton of milk was absolutely enthralled to learn the “Federation Network reaches more than 95 percent of US households.”

Just when I was about to call it quits, I discover one more page…and this one is the absolute best as it promotes other books in the series.

Undertaker I get.  He was a big star.  

Randy Savage?  Given.

Bret Hart?  Of course.

But strap yourself down for this…we also get Tatanka (BUFFALO!)…Adam Bomb…DOINK THE CLOWN???!

Time to hit eBay…I GOTTA have a complete set of this series on my bookshelf!


Happy Halloween from all of us here at WrestleCrap. Hopefully this induction was more of a treat than a razor-filled apple trick. We ask that you not be an idiot (in cars), and give us a small treat as well in the form of a small Patreon donation?  As Roddy Piper would say, please and thank ya!

 

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25 Responses to "INDUCTION: Face to Face with The Undertaker – Curl Up with a Scary Book This Halloween Night!"
  1. John D Proulx says:

    While I don’t blame you for not wanting to read any more of this than necessary, how could you miss this gem leading off the “Man from Beyond” section:

    “The Undertaker is a man that goes by names.”

    Well, I should hope so. I mean, yeah, Prince was using that symbol back then, but Undertaker wouldn’t have one of those for a few years yet, so what else was he going to do?

  2. The Doctor of Style says:

    Bradlees!

  3. Brownie_the_3rd says:

    Back in the day I had a WWF magazine that was basically the same as this book, it had career highlights, kayfabe and a big poster that hung on my wall for years. I want to say that it would have been early 1995 I got it and now I’ll have to go digging through my old stuff to see if I still have it.

    • Chris V says:

      Yes, I remember that magazine.
      It was a WWF Magazine Spotlight special, I think.
      WWF Magazine used to release a special Spotlight issue every so often that focused on a WWF star. They did a bunch in the 1980s, and then started to phase them out as the ’90s progressed.
      I’m pretty sure that the Undertaker special was under the Spotlight banner and one of the last of that imprint of WWF magazine.

      I remember buying that magazine too. I was an Undertaker fan, so definitely wanted to own it. Yeah, I think 1995 might have been about the right time.

      It recapped the Undertaker’s career up until the point of publication.

  4. Richard Phillips says:

    In the crowd on the second Gonzalez picture, is that Stu Hart wondering what the hell is going on?

  5. Christopher Haydu says:

    Don’t keep us in suspense! Did the Urn receive eight pages of coverage?

    I’ve thought ever since it happened that Undertaker’s final appearance should’ve been WrestleMania 33 when he lost to Roman Reigns. His entrance that night was incredible and the stuff afterward with leaving the coat and hat in the ring really made the match mean something. I was pissed when he showed up on Raw 25 and even more so for Greatest Royal Rumble and that pathetic Cena match.

    That said, if Undertaker was brought back for one final angle, I would have it revolve around the Urn. During the first few years of his tenure, the commentators would speculate on who or what was inside the Urn. I think it would be neat if this hypothetical final angle somehow incorporated thirty years of different storylines. Everything from Kane and Paul Bearer to the death of their parents in the funeral home. Before they did that segment around 2004 where Brother Love interviewed biker Undertaker on SmackDown, I thought it would’ve been cool if the Urn had the ashes of Brother Love inside of it, with the implication being that ‘Taker and Paul Bearer killed him after Paul was debuted on the Brother Love show. Then Brother Love could occasionally be incorporated into Undertaker angles as some kind of dead supernatural character, too.

    Regardless, though, the Urn made the Undertaker even more fun to watch. They should’ve done more with it.

  6. DP says:

    “pinch the urn” has got to be added to Urban Dictionary in some form or fashion.

  7. James says:

    “Also, one of Undertaker’s nicknames is “Pale Destroyer.” Here I thought I’d learn nothing in this book, but since I am pretty sure that is something I’ve never heard even once, I stand corrected.”

    This was a Sean Mooney-ism, as he’d use it all the time on the Event Center. Kind of like how Earthquake to him was always “the walking natural disaster.”

  8. Enhancement Talent 3 Mark II says:

    Awesome stuff RD!! Please post inductions for the other books in the series if/when you get them.
    For a moment I figured that book was written by Vince Russo himself. But I think I’ve heard Russo say in an interview that he legit did report to Ed Ricciuti when he started with WWF. So I assume Ed Riccuiti is a real person – who takes pot shots at refs!

  9. Al Boondy says:

    “It was the beginning of a confrontation that would eventually send the Warrior into obscurity.”

    I like that, even in a kids’ book, they still had to bury the Warrior for leaving the company … heh.

  10. CF says:

    “Someone Earl Hebner[…]”?

  11. RobVanDamIsABallerina says:

    Let’s not forget that he also goes by Booger Red.

  12. Christopher Haydu says:

    When looking at the photo of Undertaker pinning Jake the Snake Roberts at WrestleMania VIII, does anybody see Elvis when they look at the right side of the urn?

  13. John C says:

    I’m hoping the Razor Ramon edition was a VHS tape of the edited for tv version of Scarface.

  14. Novikoff99 says:

    Oh, my… Russo’s attempts to troll Rollins, “Three Stooges”, Meltzer and smarks are so… Pathetic, bro.

  15. Disco4life says:

    That Adam Bomb face to face must be a priceless treasure!

  16. Ray says:

    Please read and review the Doink book. I don’t see how that can possibly miss being worthy of induction.

  17. Wrestlemeelmo says:

    Wow this is almost as bad as that time Eric B destroyed RD at Starcast, if only RD could rise from the dead to induct that one sided smashing.

    Please induct, thanks!

    • RD Reynolds says:

      You mean the one where we were laughing together afterwards about how he had never read the book and thought it was written by someone else? Where I was nice enough not to call him out about that on stage? Is that the one you are talking about?

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