Earlier today, I touched on Undertaker’s interview on The Joe Rogan Experience, where the Dead Man criticized the WWE product for being too soft. He said there is “too much pretty and not enough substance,” before adding that too many wrestlers pay attention to what the internet is saying about them, instead of following advice from the previous generation.
It seemed to me like a situation where Undertaker raised some interesting points, but ultimately was assigning a little too much blame in the direction of the wrestlers.
What I did not mention in that earlier post is that Undertaker also talked about how the locker room culture has changed over the years. While discussing the infamous moment when David Schultz slapped a rude reporter in 1984, Undertaker talked about how he preferred that era when the locker room was full of men who were men:
“...that era of guys too, those were men. You go into a dressing room nowadays, it’s a lot different. I remember walking into my first real dressing room, and all I saw were some crusty fucking men. Right? Half of ‘em had guns and knives in their bags. Shit got handled back then, you know? Now you walk in, there’s guys playing video games and fucking making sure they look pretty.”
“It’s evolution, I guess. I don’t know what it is, but I just prefer...when men were men.”
It makes sense that Undertaker prefers the kind of locker room atmosphere that he witnessed when he was brought up in the wrestling business in the 1980’s. That’s what he’s most familiar and most comfortable with.
But it’s also worth pointing out that the locker room culture of that era helped contribute to a dark time in pro wrestling that shortened too many careers and ruined too many lives.
Xavier Woods put out the following tweet, which doesn’t cite the Undertaker by name, but definitely reads like a response to Undertaker’s opinion:
I wouldn’t be the person that I am without the guidance and lessons of a few key people from the previous generation of wrestling. They taught me about the business, to save my money, & that having video games in the locker room is healthier than having [redacted]. Thank you guys— Austin #Creed4G4 - Future King of The Ring (@AustinCreedWins) January 21, 2021
Woods finds a clever way to thank the previous generation for their help while noting that the locker room culture is in a much better place now. That today’s wrestlers have changed the locker room culture to one that is healthier, safer, and more welcoming is one of the best changes that the pro wrestling business could have ever made.