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Just Undertaker, enjoying some BBQ & mentoring the next generation

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After decades of being one of the fiercest defenders of kayfabe, the transition from Undertaker, undead mortician/bad ass biker/MMA practictioner, to Mark Callaway, wrestling legend, outdoorsman and church-going husband & father has been jarring for some.

Maybe it would have been easier for everyone to take if we’d gotten more things like the above mini-documentary. The video, from a series of “Stories” from fitness company Onnit, follows independent wrestlers Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks as they travel the circuit in Texas & Mexico. Starks first introduced himself to Callaway at Onnit Gym in Austin, and his relationship with the Phenom is now such that Ricky & his tag partner (and Bayley’s fiance) Solow meet him at Schmidt Barbeque in the Texas Hill Country to eat some brisket and talk shop.

Like his longer interview with Pastor Ed Young from last year, Taker’s telling some stories and trying to get across the message that storytelling > spots. But he also listens to the “Extra Talented” duo and offers encouragement about how all the seemingly little bookings they’re taking now are preparing them for what’s next, praising Starks for realizing at a young age it doesn’t matter if his character wins or loses, and offering a tale of perservance when asked if he ever thought about quitting:

“You know, at the tail-end now, I really have to put everything in perspective, and what damage I’m doing at this point, to myself, and to my life after wrestling. But when I was going full-time, um - no. Cause even when the business took a real nose-dive, you know, you’re thinking, ‘OK, how are we gonna get out of this? What are we gonna do? We gonna work harder.’

It was the one thing I was really, really good at - in my mind, anyway. If anybody else feels that is another story, but in my mind, I felt like it was always where I belonged, and what I should be doing. Obviously there were times where money was… but instead of thinking, ‘Aw, man. I need to get me a job at the Jiffy Lube and figure out something else later on…’, it was, ‘What can we do to make this product where people want to come and see it again?”

It’s worth a watch, and not just for the Dead Man, either. The entire 25 minute production is well put together, features interviews with indie promoters & stars like Thunder Rosa & ACH, and really dives into the performance high many wrestlers get hooked on in their careers - whether they make it the bigger feds or not.

And, yeah. Taker chowing down on a two meat plate and swapping tales of the road with some young guns is a little easier to take than posting to the ‘gram from the slopes.

But either way. Live your life, Mr. Callaway. You’ve earned it.

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