INDUCTION: The Undertaker-IRS Feud – Three Things In Life Are Certain: Death, Taxes, and That This Feud Sucked

49 Submitted by on Thu, 09 April 2015, 20:00

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WWF, 1995

During the lovefest that was our15th anniversary celebration last week, I meant to discuss some of the fun we’ve had over the years with readers or onlookers who’ve gotten very upset with some of the inductions we’ve posted.   While most everyone agrees stuff like the Gobbledy Gooker or The Ding Dongs were WrestleCrap, other characters were not so clearly defined.  It still happens to this day (and if you don’t believe me, I urge you to check out the comments on the Bret Hart-Vince McMahon Wrestlemania fiasco), but nowhere near the level of ferocity as in the first few years of the site.

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Seriously, my inbox had what may be best classified as death threats for the temerity I showed in thinking the Double J gimmick was crap of the wrestle variety. I guess a heel who planned to use pro wrestling to propel a fledgling country music career in Las Vegas (???!!!!) struck a chord with some folk.

Perhaps the same people who thought my “chord” joke in the prior sentence was high comedy.

I digress.

But good ol’ Double J (ha ha ha) was just one such character that garnered a baffling level of defense.  There were plenty of others.  Take, for example, Mike Rotundo’s vile tax collector, Irwin R. Shcyster. Or as Howard Finkel would say, “Irwin R. Shcyster, otherwise known as IRS!”  You know, typing that and hearing it in Finktone, I am almost reconsidering my stance on its WrestleCrappitude.

Nah. That gimmick was idiotic.

Still, it seemed the guy was around forever and feuded with everyone, claiming they were all tax cheats. Which, if true, meant the baby face WWF roster in the mid 90s was pretty unscrupulous.   Anyhoo, Irwin implored that everyone needed to pay their taxes.

Even if they were dead!

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Really.  Irwin headed out to the graveyard one Sunday and explained to us that…you know, 10,000 of my words won’t do it justice, so just give it a listen by clicking here.

Upon learning that being six feet under is, in fact, not a tax shelter, was it any shock that we got the feud no on earth possibly could have wanted: IRS vs. The Undertaker?

Really, this feud really happened.  Because, well, I guess Taker wasn’t paying his taxes on the urn he and Paul Bearer carried around.  Should also note that IRS felt he had the upper hand in the feud, as he had bought off the DRUIDS.

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Again, take a listen.

Yep…somehow >>>>I<<<<< was the idiot for inducting the tax man.

But hey, don’t fret.  Undertaker would soon announce that he was going to defend the recently departed, in this case Mr. JOHN DOE.  While some may view this as a commentary on Taker defending those unable to pay for funerals, I’d prefer to think it was his uncle, good ol’ Uncle John.

Which could make the wrestler’s full name Undertaker Doe.

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I watch this stuff then I write that stuff and all the more I feel as though I am getting stupider with each passing sentence I write about a tax man, a dead man, and the deceased Mr. Doe.

I again present the audio so you don’t assume I am making any of this up.

Whatever.  It all led to a featured match at the 1995 Royal Rumble.

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Yes, The Undertaker battled IRWIN R. SCHYSTER on the second biggest WWF show of the year.  Looking back, I can’t even fathom how folks questioned WCW not standing a chance with Nitro.  The more I go back and revisit mid 90’s WWF, the more I wonder how this company ever survived until the Stone Cold cavalry came charging over the hill to save the day.

(I’m also very glad the 2015 creative crew wasn’t around twenty years ago, as they probably would have told Austin to call his fans the “Stone Cold Cavalry.”)

So the match starts and Vince and Jerry Lawler go back and forth about how Undertaker is indeed fighting for JOHN DOE as Irwin hits Taker in the back of the head with a pretty nice looking drop kick…

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…which is promptly no sold.  This causes IRS to roll to the outside and wander around ringside for a good two minutes.  You’d think that Undertaker would just roll out and catch him, but the early portion of the match is a demonstration of how much faster Irwin is than the dead man.  Won’t lie, it’s been a long time since I watched any early Undertaker matches, and I’d forgotten just how slow they were.  Made sense, I get it, he was the undead zombie.  But jeez louise did that make for some hideous matches.  Kinda like this one.

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Eventually Taker does catch the tax man, though, and begins pummeling away.  This includes an old school rope walk…which is not called as such because, well, it was still kinda fresh at the time of this match.  With Irwin taking a massive beating, Ted does the only thing he can…

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…he summons the druids!

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This pays dividends very quickly as Taker once more goes for old new school, and the druids shake the ropes causing him to fall to the mat.  This causes Lawler and Vince to ponder who the men under the hoods may be.  Druids with rope shaking action?  I think we all know who it would be, right?

warrior batista

That’s kinda hypnotic.

Also, far more entertaining than this match.

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This match that features IRS attempting to beat The Undertaker via an ABDOMINAL STRETCH.

As you might suspect, that doesn’t work.  After another couple of minutes of equally scintillating action…

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….Taker writes off poor Irwin with a choke slam.

See what I did there?

Eh, best I could do with the material given to me.  Sometimes even puns aren’t funny.  Sorry.

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Following the match, no less than King Kong Bundy showed up to distract Taker while Irwin took off with the urn.  Which led to another phenomenal angle in which members of the Million Dollar Corporation took turns stealing the urn for the next six months, eventually with Kama melting it down into a necklace.

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I’d go further into this, but honestly, I have my own taxes to do this week…and that sounds somehow more entertaining than continuing down this craptastic path.

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
49 Responses to "INDUCTION: The Undertaker-IRS Feud – Three Things In Life Are Certain: Death, Taxes, and That This Feud Sucked"
  1. The Million Cent Man says:

    Man, does that match ever look like it sucked.

    And I have no recollection of that casket match whatsoever.

    But I’m sure Undertaker lost because no one outsmarts Oxford Kama!

  2. Scrooge McSuck says:

    What a terrible feud. I was 9 at the time, and was wondering why they put Undertaker in a feud with IRS of all people. They just seemed so wrong for each other, from the look to the wrestling skills, and then, of course, they delivered a turkey. This is ignoring the whole “repossessing caskets and headstones” thing. Was Repo Man in cahoots?

  3. Art0Donnell says:

    And Undertaker never feuded with a Rotunda again…

  4. Sean Bateman says:

    This match WWE can not write off to pay for their stupidity taxes.

  5. Alexandru says:

    Yeah this match pretty much showed how thin the roster was when there was a feud between a top/main event guy and a lower card guy like IRS. I’ve seen some of Taker’s early matches and they weren’t exactly pretty.

  6. James S says:

    Did the Taker-Kama casket match ever get inducted? If not, I feel like that should be next or soon.

    • The Bad Ry says:

      Pretty much everything between Tuesday in Texas (or maybe Mania 8) and Mankind showing up to feud with Taker was was just constant crap being churned out for Taker feuds.

    • Scrooge McSuck says:

      It wasn’t that bad. It was actually a decent effort, just way too long. Taker/IRS was a pure DUD with even worse build.

  7. Jeremy says:

    And 20 years later, IRS would have his revenge when his own son beat a 50-year old Undertaker at WrestleMania….oh right.

  8. Jim says:

    Did they ever make IRS “Not a Tax Shelter” shirts?

    IRS was memorable but still crappy.

  9. Alfonzo Tyson says:

    Wasn’t it around this time that Undertaker had some goth dude and chick that were called his “Creatures of the Night” that were always around ringside?

  10. I'm Not Using My Real Name says:

    You could basically induct the entire year of 1995 for the Undertaker. He spent the whole year chasing that urn. IRS stole it, who gave it to Bundy, then Kama, and then it finished in December with King Mabel. Plus he wrestled with that mask for a couple months.

  11. Mighty Vastardikai says:

    I picture Mr Rotunda getting told about his gimmick and immediately thinking “What the hell am I supposed to do with THIS? Screw it, I’m just going to be an obnoxious, condescending jerk and talk about taxes.”

    I think people are quick to defend IRS because he jumped into the role with such gusto that it somehow worked. Michael Wallstreet was a jerk, no doubt. But he took it to a whole different level when he put the glasses on. I want to say he went more nasally with his voice, more dastardly with his actions in the ring. I didn’t understand what the Internal Revenue Service was at the time, outside of the fact that once a year, my mom would go to H&R Block. But I knew that I hated that Jerk with the tie.

    I think that’s the biggest achievement of IRS is that it lasted longer than most of the other moonlighting wrestlers. The gimmick was crap, but he had a successful run in spite of it.

    Maybe they’re not defending IRS. Maybe they’re defending Mike Rotunda.

    • The Adamantium Elbow says:

      IRS is a lot like Undertaker to me. Anybody else doing either gimmick most likely would have been wrestlecrap, but for whatever reason these two wrestlers were able to take these gimmicks and make them work. Even creative sticking both of them in cheesy storylines like this feud , IRS stealing Tatanka’s headdress, and the whole missing Undertaker thing wasn’t enough to derail them.

  12. The Doctor of Style says:

    “Nah. That gimmick was idiotic.”

    Wow, you’re askin’ for trouble again so soon after Hart/McMahaon? 😉

    I think the gimmick fit its era, and IRS & DiBiase wound up as one of the great heel tag teams of the 90s. Like Honky Tonk Man, they were sneaky cowards (cowardly sneaks?) who held the gold for well over a year combined.

    Personally, I liked the novelty of a guy wrestling in tie and suspenders, too! That necktie was a handy weapon at times…

    • Griffin says:

      IRS was OK, at least he had personality and was a half-decent wrestler even in that outfit. However, it was during a time where WWF just had ‘wrestling (insert profession that has nothing to do with wrestling)’ gimmicks all over the place. Wrestling plumbers, wrestling garbage men, wrestling hockey players, wrestling baseball players…it was hard to stand out. It’s a shame actually that Paul Burchill had his pirate gimmick killed dead in its tracks because at least a pirate is a really cool thing to be, so even though he had no chance of being taken seriously it was a lot more fun than if he’d been, say, a DJ who ‘pirated’ music. If you’re going to have silly gimmicks, make them actually silly rather than just mundane. That’s why Boogeyman, while stupid and definitely Wrestlecrap, was fun (and tragic, as the story was actually that he was an actor who went insane and thought he really was a character he used to play – then WWE just thought “screw it” and made him genuinely mystical out of nowhere). That’s why Hornswoggle was, until he started being shoehorned into everything and getting way too much screen and match time, kind of a fun campy novelty. They’re stupid, but they’re sometimes enjoyably stupid. IRS was probably the only decent guy in the “guy has a job other than wrestling” mould but it was still technically crap.

  13. Geoff says:

    Good job. Looks (and sounds) like this induction won’t fill your mail box with death threats or crap of the like magnitude.

  14. Joseph says:

    This is going to wind up being a trilogy. Once Kama is taken care of, off to Mabel!

  15. jonthejoker says:

    Watching old Taker matches makes a man miss lates 90s-00s Satan/Biker Undertaker. If you think about it, it’s a miracle that the Undertaker gimmick lasted this long.

    • King Of Kings says:

      Granted on paper the Undertaker gimmick probably shouldn’t have never worked. However Vince was smart enough to trust Mark Callaway to do the gimmick however he wanted and Mark made it work. Adding Paul Bearer was also a very smart move to help compliment his character. This just shows just what kind of a mind for the business Mark had. Could you see anyone else pulling this gimmick off and making it last as long as he did? Also to taker’s credit, he tried his hardest to get a good match out of everyone he worked with but some were just doomed right out of the box. Still give Mark credit for taking a potentially wrestlecrappy gimmick and making it memorable if not legendary.

      • Griffin says:

        And also credit to Calloway for improving as a wrestler himself. It’s amazing that as a beat-up 50-year old man he’s still capable of having better matches than he did at the start of the gimmick, and a few years ago he was genuinely one of the best around until age finally caught up with him. Even WWE bringing the streak to an anti-climactic conclusion wasn’t enough to end his popularity and presence as his match with Wyatt showed.

  16. Down With OPC says:

    IRS should have came back during the Attitude Era, once Kama became Godfather, to feud over the hos getting taxed for their trick money.

  17. John C says:

    Irwin must have followed the buzzards to find John Doe’s resting place.

  18. Anonymous says:

    One of my favorite inductions in months. Nice job!

    This will always be THE era I think of when I think of “wrestlecrap”.

    One thing though: Have you considered inducting more mid 90s WCW? The post-Flair/pre-nWo era of WCW might have been the biggest concentration of crap in wrestling history.

  19. Chris says:

    To be fair, ‘Taker’s matches with Kama that year were far, faarrr worse than the IRS bout. That I recall, they had two casket matches, one as a ‘Coliseum Home Video Exclusive’ at the end of an In Your House event and the second at Summerslam. Both were beyond terrible.

  20. Rob Hill says:

    You know, that Kama angle has always stuck in my head, as has the King Kong Bundy Mania match. But I’d completely forgotten how it all started. And, having read this, I now believe that I’d deliberately and forcibly erased the memory of this feud from my mind – until you put it back in there.

    Thanks, RD. Thanks a lot!

  21. Andy PG says:

    Deal, just a quick heads-up. It’s “Cavalry”, not “Calvary”. Calvary is the Anglicized name for the place in Israel where Jesus was executed.

    • RD Reynolds says:

      Thanks, fixed. Had been teaching a lot about that at Sunday school the last few weeks, likely stuck in my mind. 🙂

  22. Brother Thaddeus says:

    CAVALRY.

  23. Rob says:

    Not defending this, because it was silly, but at least the writers tried to do something with the midcard as opposed to today.

    • Griffin says:

      Well, it’s a hotch-potch in today’s midcard. They’re clearly trying to make it interesting again by having Cena and Bryan hold the secondary singles titles, but ultimately it has to lead to others having their levels raised. If the pay-off is, say, Ambrose cleanly winning the IC title (since he needs to win on PPV soon) and Reigns cleanly winning the US title (since a title win over Cena would both rebuild him after the Mania loss AND keep him out of the world title scene until he’s truly ready to take the reins – pun intended) then it’ll be pretty good. Still, the build to the IC match at Mania was pretty poor. They clearly just wanted to get more people onto the card in any way they could, and give Bryan fans something to cheer.

  24. Boffo97 says:

    They had to feud at least once though… given the famous quote, and the opportunity to feud Death VS. Taxes, it was inevitable.

  25. Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

    I genuinely cracked up at that “stiff” gag in the first audio clip.

  26. Black Swagger says:

    Forget eventually inducting Undertaker vs Kama! They need to induct Summerslam ’95. That was the first wrestling show I had ever attended. It was cool as a kid, but a true crapfest in hindsight! I witnessed Diesel vs Mabel as a main event…..excuse me KING Mabel.

  27. Saint Stryfe says:

    Judging by the purple stirrups, this was post-Underfaker right?

    So he feuded with the Million Dollar Corp for overall well over 18 months?

  28. Gouki says:

    So, fun fact here….

    When RD mentioned the zombie aspect of Taker, and how slow his matches were, you have to thank Scott Hall for changing all that into what Taker would become later on. Vince had a rule that you couldn’t put holds on Taker because a zombie wouldn’t sell it. Well, apparently Hall (as Razor Ramon) slapped a chin lock on him just because… and the crowd didn’t crap all over it. Ever since then, people were allowed to put holds on Taker. Shortly after, he began feuding with more technical guys like Bret Hart, and later on Shawn Michaels. Taker’s style started changing more once he got into that gothic attire and so on.

    Thank Scott Hall for not having 20+ years of Zombie Taker.

  29. J says:

    I always like the IRS in fact Money Inc is one of my favorite tag teams

  30. Kid From Iowa says:

    The more I think about it the entire year of 1995 should be inducted.

  31. rey says:

    IRS made total sense at the time. in the mid 90s, everyone in the wwf had a second job. wrestling plumber, wrestling hockey player, wrestling race car driver, wrestling tax collector etc.

    i doubt all of them were paying the appropriate taxes for both of their incomes.

  32. MXR says:

    I don’t know how the hell they never got the idea to form an IRS/Taker tag team called “Death and Taxes”. It seems only natural that 90s WWF would form a tag team just for the pun alone.

  33. John Evans says:

    Here’s a fun fact: In a college Media Studies class, the professor showed a match between Money Inc. vs. Big Boss Man and someone I forget…He argued that this storyline was built around a class conflict, Boss Man representing the dependable, salt-of-the-earth blue collar types, while Ted and IRS were evil rich people, and so it made it easy for the audience to get into it.

    It made sense, even though I’m not sure that same logic applies to any OTHER feud…(but then my knowledge is hardly encyclopedic)

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