wrestling / News

Conrad Thompson Disappointed That Undertaker Pulling Out Of Starrcast Was Included In The Last Ride

July 6, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Undertaker: The Last Ride, WWE Network

In an interview with Wrestling Inc, podcast host Conrad Thompson expressed his disappointment that the Undertaker pulling out of his Starrcast convention was included as part of the Last Ride documentary. Undertaker had originally been set to appear at the show for a stage event called ‘Dead Man Talking’, but WWE offered him a new deal and as a result he was removed from the lineup. Here are highlights:

On if he was surprised Undertaker did the Last Ride documentary: “No. I mean it’s past due and it just took the realization that, ‘Hey, we’re going to tell a story of how this all came to be and put a bow on it.’ By doing it in the way they did, everybody sort of got to understand and appreciate the man behind the character and what that sacrifice looks like. Guys like you and I have always thought that’s really the most fascinating piece of wrestling – not necessarily what was presented on screen, but what we get to see behind the scenes. And how that person put that character together and told those stories and the sacrifices that were required to get it across the goal line. I don’t think anybody’s ever going to be able to recreate the success and the career that Mark Calaway’s had.”

On the story of Undertaker backing out of Starrcast being included in The Last Ride: “Well, it’s unfortunate. I mean, I wish it wasn’t even a part of the documentary. He’s done so much and had so many great moments throughout his history and I wish there was none of that in there. I’m not saying that I’m disappointed that they did it. I’m just saying if that was even remotely a controversial topic or a dark spot or whatever – I don’t know what the circumstances were. We’ve always heard that that he got a long term, essentially lifetime deal with WWE as a result of that and I’m happy for him if that’s the case. But I mean, he was going to get that either way. You know, I think that may have just been sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back or maybe it was what brought attention to it. I mean, once upon a time we heard that the WWE accidentally forgot to renew The Rock’s contract once he was in Hollywood. You just assume that that company can be so big at different times that maybe the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing. Once, unfortunately, Starrcast made a big splash with the announcement that we had the Undertaker, maybe that brought it to Vincent’s attention. ‘Oh, I’ve let this slip through. Let’s remedy that.’ He deserves it. If there’s an elder statesman of WWE who deserves to be deferential with that level of respect, it’s the Undertaker.”

On if he ever talked with Undertaker about a podcast: “No, we talked about doing a stage show and the original idea was we would have Bruce host it because obviously Bruce is comfortable with Mark. Those two on stage telling old stories, I thought, would have just been tremendous because Bruce is a fantastic storyteller and obviously has a lot of history with Mark and they’re great friends for decades now. So, it just felt like that would be a home run and that’s what led me to go out and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to call this Dead Man Talking and let’s trademark it.’ And then of course everybody assumed, ‘Oh, that must have been Conrad’s doing a podcast with Undertaker and he’s going to AEW.’ No, none of that was ever even remotely discussed.”

On how WWE’s podcast network is doing: “You know, I don’t know. I was asked that the other day. I mean, I hope they’re doing well. I do think it is probably the worst time ever to do it because there was so much uncertainty once COVID hit that a lot of the advertising opportunities were sort of put on pause because nobody knew like, ‘Hey, what’s happening and what should we expect?’ I would tend to think that maybe it hasn’t been gangbusters because it feels like if it was WWE would have just loaded it up with more. We all loved the pair of cinematic matches we got at WrestleMania and in very much the ‘WWE way’. Now we have a ton of cinematic matches and it just feels like it’s the WWE way that, ‘Oh, they like two? Let’s give them 12!’ But some of that could just be because of the world has changed. But I think Corey Graves is doing a phenomenal job. I really enjoy his stuff and it’s presented well and it sounds great and it has great graphics and great guests. Obviously, the New Day pod is a horse of a different color, so to speak, but it is tremendous. I like that there’s variety between the shows. It’s not the same thing which sometimes it feels like my shows can be. So, I like they have two totally different formats and it’s been a fun listen for me. I’ve enjoyed those.”