Fans of professional wrestling are abuzz this week with the news that Tuesday’s episode of WWE Smackdown LIVE will feature the return of The Undertaker, who will now be portrayed by Baron Corbin.
Although the role has been adequately played for more than two decades by Mark Calaway, WWE brass reportedly feel it is time to “refresh” the character with a portrayal by a younger performer.
Corbin was chosen for the role thanks to his resemblance to a 1990s-era Undertaker: large stature, long (albeit thinning) hair, a hodgepodge of tattoos, and cadaver-like absence of human personality.
A number of other sports-entertainers were reportedly considered for the role, including Brian Lee (who portrayed “Fake Undertaker” in 1994), Luke Harper (who has been looking for an excuse to shave), and Adam Rose (who unsuccessfully pitched a “Fundertaker” gimmick).
For his debut match as The Undertaker, Corbin is expected to square off at WrestleMania against the most fearsome competitor in the sport today, James Ellsworth.