Undertaker’s Last Rite

Sports

Undertaker’s Last Rite

Illustration: Mandar Mhaskar

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very day of his life, for the past 28 years Mark Callaway, has been playing the lead role in a story that unfolds in real time.

A lifelong fan knows that wrestling has always been a medium for storytellers. The heart of pro-wrestling exists somewhere between the visceral thrill of watching an athletic contest and the emotional catharsis that accompanies a motion picture. An observer becomes a fan, or “mark”, when there is a “moment of pop”; when they find nuance in a reversed suplex or a long, painful submission hold. When the story reaches its climax, the 1-2-3 count in the centre of the ring, is when the moment of pop occurs. That the outcome was predetermined is irrelevant – the fans are reacting to how the story made them feel.

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