25 Years of the Undertaker: 1998

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1998

The Attitude Era was upon us in full swing in 1998 and the Undertaker was a part of much success that accompanied this era in the WWE.

To begin the year, Undertaker resumed his feud with Shawn Michaels. Michaels was a part of D-Generation X at this point and during this time, Kane would actually function as an ally to the Undertaker in combatting DX. At the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker would square off against WWE Champion Shawn Michaels in a Casket Match. Kane would turn his back on the Undertaker and aid Shawn Michaels in retaining his title. Kane and Paul Bearer would set fire to the casket with the Undertaker inside. When the lid was lifted, the body of the Undertaker was gone.

A few months later, the Undertaker would return and state he would in fact fight his brother after all that Kane had done under the guidance of Paul Bearer. They would first square off at Wrestlemania. This would prove to be the Undertaker’s toughest challenge to date at a Wrestlemania but Undertaker would pick up the victory after 3 Tombstones. After this match, the Undertaker would be challenged to an Inferno Match in which your opponent would have to be set on fire to be the victor. The Undertaker and Kane would battle until Kane’s arm was set on fire. The battle wounds and emotional scars were in place but a familiar rival would soon show up to challenge the Undertaker–Mankind.

Mankind and the Undertaker would resume their historic rivalry but this time clashing in perhaps the most famous Hell in A Cell match. The Undertaker would toss Mankind off the roof of the Cell and then chokeslam Mankind through the roof. The brutality continued throughout the match without any glimpse of sympathy from the Undertaker.

The Undertaker would take this dark and sadistic attitude forward as Summerslam approached as he was named the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. Undertaker and Austin would win the tag titles but later lose to Kane and Mankind. Once again we would find out that Kane and the Undertaker were working together as the Brothers of Destruction.  The Undertaker and Austin would meet at Summerslam for the title where Austin would pick up the victory. The Undertaker, Kane and Austin would continue their feud. In order to make their conquest for the title a bit easier, they aligned with the man who controlled the entire company–Mr. McMahon. Undertaker and Kane faced Austin in a Triple Threat but could not pin each other. This ended in a double pin which led to the title being vacated. This set up a title match between the brothers in which Austin would be the special referee. This match also ended in a No Contest, but what was notable was that Paul Bearer would turn his back on Kane and reconcile with the Undertaker.

The reasoning given was that the Undertaker and Paul Bearer would unleash their wrath on the WWE . The Undertaker was more villainous in his approach and would fight by any means necessary. He resumed his feud with “Stone Cold” with attempts to embalm Austin and crucify him to Taker’s emblem. This led to a Buried Alive Match between the two but Kane would interfere and allow Austin to pick up the win.

The Undertaker at this point was indeed a disturbing character with cruel intentions and would prove to be more dangerous as we bore witness to the actions of his promised Ministry of Darkness.

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