Immediately following the Survivor Series PPV, WWE premiered its latest original content ‘Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions’, a sit-down interview show, presented in a shoot-interview style, hosted by Stone Cold himself. His first guest? Mark ‘The Undertaker’ Callaway.
This isn’t the first time WWE has had Austin interview Superstars from the current roster. Dean Ambrose and Vince McMahon were among the big names that appeared on the original Stone Cold Podcast, however, this new show has a different feel altogether – one that is much more relaxed and far less forced than before. That being said, prior to watching we couldn’t help but wonder whether we’d get a glimpse of the man behind The Undertaker character, or if he’d play things close to his chest, as has been the norm whenever he’s been interviewed in the past.
Fortunately for everyone watching, this was a side of the Dead Man we have never seen before. The focus here was Mark Callaway the man, and not Mark Callaway the wrestler. Sure, this was a rundown of his 30 plus years in the business, but we were treated to a side of Undertaker that only those closest to him will ever have seen before – and for the entire 90 plus minutes we were hooked.
Undertaker discussed everything from his botched training under Buzz Sawyer to joining World Championship Wrestling, before moving onto his illustrious career with the WWF, now WWE. At one point, he tells a hilarious story about how he convinced himself that Vince would hire him to be the man appearing from the infamous Survivor Series egg back in 1990 and his fear of becoming The Egg Man. Of course, we all know that it would, in fact, be the Gobbeldy Gooker who emerged on that fateful night – and we all know who went on to have the better carer.
The interview remained fairly lighthearted until Austin began to quiz Undertaker about the night his famous WrestleMania Streak came to an end at the hands of Brock Lesnar. To watch a man, who had enchanted audiences for 3 decades as an undead zombie wizard, almost moved to tears as he explained about receiving a concussion early in the match and having no recollection of any of it, even to this day, made for some truly fascinating television.
WWE has come to be known for its high-quality original content on the Network, and this was no exception. If only the in-ring storytelling could be this good then the ratings each week wouldn’t be anywhere near so poor as they are right now. This was a chance for two legends of the ring to sit down, share some Jack Daniels and open up like never before. Hopefully the show won’t peak with Undertaker but instead, continue to be as entertaining as the premiere, because as long-standing fans of WWE this is the kind of thing we pay our subscription fees to see.