Mark Calaway, better known as The Undertaker, will headline the 2022 class of the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The ceremony will occur following that night’s go-home edition of SmackDown.
There’s been a lot of talk about how WWE should present this year’s Hall of Fame. Independent film director and screenwriter Guthrie Roy Hartford of the Jobber Knocker Podcast had a great idea. He suggested Undertaker should be the sole inductee this year, with multiple inductors telling stories about “The Deadman.”
It’s one hell of an idea, and I’m here to tell you why.
Besides, maybe The Rock, Undertaker is the last legendary name of retired wrestlers to be inducted in the Hall. Calaway’s iconic character transcended the industry, putting him in a league of his own. It’s only fitting he gets a ceremony all to himself.
The only wrestler to get a solo induction is the Hall of Fame’s inaugural inductee, Andre the Giant. Sure, there was no ceremony, still, no one would argue over Andre receiving such a distinguished honor. Many consider Undertaker the Andre the Giant of their generation.
Looking at genuinely worthy candidates, there aren’t many remaining. Putting anyone else in this year dilutes the occasion. Once Undertaker was announced, any other induction became moot. It’s not a slight on any wrestler but it speaks to the significance of the Undertaker’s body of work.
In 2009, the Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Jerry Sloan, John Stockton, C. Vivian Stringer, and David Robinson. However, the only player anyone remembers from this class is Michael Jordan. It’s known as the “MJ Class” not because the other players aren’t worthy, but their induction loomed in the considerable shadow of the greatest of all time.
Many consider Undertaker wrestling’s G.O.A.T. WWE should use this year’s ceremony as a nice bookend and take a break from the Hall of Fame for a few years. More worthy candidates will emerge while it will feel more earned for those who haven’t been inducted yet.
Remember Undertaker’s 30th-anniversary celebration at Survivor Series? You know, the one in an empty arena where introductions for the large assortment of wrestlers took longer than his retirement speech? It was a good idea on paper but horrible in execution.
As the sole inductee, the ceremony would provide a unique experience for fans. Bring in Undertaker’s past WrestleMania opponents to reminisce about various stages of the streak, from humble beginnings to featured attraction at the show of shows.
Finally, no mandated 5-minute speech. Give the man as much time as he wants to talk about his illustrious career. He’s more than earned it. Any other inductee’s speech will fall on deaf ears due to the enormity of the moment.
The rarity of seeing a human Undertaker in such a setting is something we may never see again. That’s the draw here; everything else, no matter how deserved, would pale in comparison.
Longevity, innovation, reinvention, and transcendence are the foundation of the Undertaker’s legacy. Staunch dedication to the craft, both in and out of the ring left an indelible impression on the industry.
“The Phenom” entertained millions for over 30 years. Now, it’s time to hear from the man behind the myth. When it comes time for the acceptance speech, hopefully, the veil of kayfabe can be lifted for one night, and we hear from Mark Calaway instead of the Undertaker.