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Look back on Undertaker bouts in the Philippines

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After 30 years of taking souls and digging holes, The Undertaker, whose real name is Mark Calaway, has decided to hang up his boots, saying “this time the cowboy really rides away”. 

Save for a few times off due to injury, The Undertaker hardly turned down any assignment given to him — including competing in overseas “house shows” during the first two decades of his career.

And some of those assignments led the wrestler, who hails from Death Valley, to the Philippines.

The first time the Deadman touched down in the country was back in 1994. He had back-to-back live events at the Cuneta Astrodome on July 14, and the Araneta Coliseum a year later for WWF Manila Mania.

During that time, The Undertaker, who was managed by late great Paul Bearer, was in the midst of a hot feud with Yokozuna, an off-screen close buddy of Calaway. The two shows drew the same result as Taker defeated Yokozuna via disqualification.

Coming off the success of Manila Mania, the WWF returned a year later for Mayhem in Manila — a four-night, two-city show that had three straight shows held at Araneta from May 21 to 23, before flying to the Cebu Coliseum for the culminating show.

Undertaker-retirement-Manila Look back on Undertaker bouts in the Philippines News Pro Wrestling WWE  - philippine sports news

Though not filled to the rafters like their previous show due to the absence of then-WWF Champion Bret Hart and stormy weather, The Undertaker stepped up, main eventing all four shows. Undertaker faced off against underrated big man Bam Bam Bigelow, winning all four matches with his patented Tombstone finisher.

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It would then take 11 years before The Undertaker returned to Manila.

WWE-Survivor-Series-tour-Undertaker-2 Look back on Undertaker bouts in the Philippines News Pro Wrestling WWE  - philippine sports news

During 2006, the WWF had become the WWE and had split into two brands — Raw and Smackdown!. Smackdown became the home of The Undertaker.

Just weeks before Survivor Series, the WWE held a Southeast Asian tour to promote the event, including back-to-back events at Araneta from October 21-22.

During the first night, The Undertaker defeated then-rising star Mr. Kennedy via the Tombstone. Then on the second night, he, Fil-Am star Batista, and Bobby Lashley triumphed over Kennedy, Fit Finlay, and World Heavyweight Champion King Booker.

It was the last time the seven-time world champion wrestled in Manila.

Clearly, Calaway had an affinity for the Philippines and its athletes, becoming close friends with Batista and forming part of Manny Pacquiao’s entourage during his bout against Hector Velasquez back in 2005.

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