In professional wrestling, everyone has an expiration date, even The Undertaker, a performer literally meant to embody a “living dead man.”

Debuting in WWE under the moniker “Kane the Undertaker” in 1990, Taker spent 30 years in the trenches for Vince McMahon and company and proved such a valuable member of the roster that he became a locker room leader and the man who kept things non-violent after the “Montreal Screwjob.”

Discussing his career in the lead-up to Money in the Bank with Metro UK, Taker talked about his final match in WWE, the Boneyard match, and why it served as his final farewell to the WWE Universe.

“In my heart, I wasn’t ready to do it, but in my mind, I knew I had to,” The Undertaker said. “It’s been a difficult transition because if I physically could, I would still be going. But I can’t put on a match the way people expect to see The Undertaker wrestle. There’s no sense in tarnishing the legacy, or cashing in on the equity that I built up.”

Noting the exact moment when he knew his career was done, Taker mentioned his physical discomfort while filming the Boneyard match with AJ Styles and the Good Brothers, noting that the session served as a moment of clarity regarding his career's expiration date.

“My back is completely locked up, I’ve got pain shooting down my legs,” Taker said. “That’s when I knew I was done. It was physical, we did some really big stunts, but I shouldn’t have felt the way that I did. It was just that moment of clarity.”

Would it have been cool to see The Undertaker pull off a few more Boneyard matches in the years since 2020? Most definitely, but do you know what? Would a sequel have lived up to the original? Or would fans be talking about Boneyard IV, like Halloween 4 or A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master? In the end, Taker got to ride off into the sunset like a true “American Bada**,” and in the end, what more could Mark Calloway ask for?

Mick Foley reveals the origins of his Hell in a Cell spot with The Undertaker.

Discussing his signature match, which, fittingly enough, also featured The Undertaker, on his podcast, Mick Foley explained the original idea for the finish of the original Hell in a Cell match in 1998 and how things almost looked very different.

“The big bump was supposed to be the chokeslam. I had not talked about being thrown off the top of it. The visual I was looking for, now you see that when Undertaker choke-slammed me, I’ll remember this sound, and the next thing I know, I’m waking up, I realize I’ve got a couple of teeth missing, and there’s a pair of shoes in the ring, and I had no idea how they got there…. So the idea was, this was the big visual I was looking for, Undertaker’s gonna chokeslam me, and a corner of that cell, of that panel is going to give way, and he’s eventually gonna stuff me down head-first, so the visual I thought is, I’m gonna be upside down, flailing my arms around, and eventually he’ll let go of my knees, where he’d be kind of holding me, and I would just have to take my own bump into the ring, just doing a semi-turn, and it’d be a big height, but I thought I could do that,” Undertaker said via Fightful.

“It was only during the course of the day that I said, ‘Hey, how about you throw me off the top of that thing?' Going back to what Terry Funk said. I just said it so casually to Taker and Vince that I tried to downplay it as being a big deal. Vince was like, ‘I don’t know if I like that, Mick.’ I said, ‘If I told you I was gonna drop an elbow, and Taker was going to move, you’d let me do that, right?’ So I’m going with a positive, I don’t know if positive reinforcement’s the right term for it, but I’m laying it out as if it’s not a big deal when it clearly was. He was like, ‘I guess so.’ I said it’d be the same bump, which it absolutely was not. So I kind of threw that into the mix, at least, this is my recollection of it, the day of. Up until then, the visual I was looking for was that tearing of the panel of the cell.”

Would it have been cool to see Taker and Foley take out the cage at Hell in a Cell? Most definitely, but come on, Mankind falling off of the top of the cage while Jim Ross earnestly declared, “As god is my witness, he is broken in half!” will go down forever as one of the best moments in not just WWE history but professional wrestling, period.