When Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) purchased World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 2001, most of the major players and top level talent had contracts large enough that instead of buying them out and putting them on TV, they were allowed to expire while sitting on the sidelines.
There were a couple big stars from WCW to sign a fresh deal with the WWF, however, and Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) was one of them. When he put pen to paper, he came up with an idea to come into the company by challenging The Rock. Here was his original idea:
"I figured out how I'm gonna go show up in the WWF when I finally go there. (WWF is) gonna turn off all the lights and everybody's gonna think it's gonna be Jericho. But it's gonna go 10 seconds, 20 seconds, still no lights. JR goes, ‘hold on we got a problem here, just hang with us.' Then you hear my voice for the first time in a WWF arena, [saying] ‘whose the real people's champion?' The spotlight hits me and I go, ‘You're looking at him.' The place pops, yells, boos, cheers, whatever. I do the diamond cutter sign, boom! Big explosion. I go to the ring and I start busting The Rock's chops. He can be hurt, maybe he's doing a movie or something. The Rock wasn't in a movie spot at that point, but that's where my head was going. I was literally seeing my destiny. If I would have stayed the course. When I got there to do the stalker thing, Vince (McMahon) and Shane (McMahon) really wanted me to do that. I didn't want to do that, but I agreed to that."
The "stalker thing" he was referencing was the actual angle they used to introduce him. On an episode of Monday Night Raw one night in 2001, Jim Ross made mention of a letter he received saying they would meet Undertaker's wife at the time, Sara, that night when he wasn't even scheduled to be there. Later on in the evening, a video aired that showed Sara in her bathroom brushing her hair while a distorted voice creepily said he wanted to see a lot more of her.
In the weeks to come, more videos would air while Undertaker went on a crusade to find out just who the hell it was that was stalking his old lady. He went from Ross, to Vince McMahon, to Shane McMahon, to Kurt Angle, and everywhere in between before the stalker finally revealed himself on this date in WWF history (June 18, 2001).
He came out to Undertaker's music, riding a motorcycle while wearing all black with a black helmet on his head. He climbed into the ring and stood there, building anticipation for the big reveal. The lights went up and after a short pause, he took the mask off to reveal that it was DDP all along.
He would go on to cut a promo saying he wanted to make an impact in the WWF and the way you do that is by going after the biggest dog in the yard. And the best way to attack the biggest dog in the yard is to find its biggest weakness.
The storyline was a tad creepy but the big reveal got a nice pop. The ensuing feud was nothing to write home about, as Undertaker, of course, went over big on DDP at every turn. Even Sara pinned the former WCW heavyweight champion. Really, the less said about it the better.
Here's his debut: