Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2, finds the Deadman in search of redemption.
The second chapter of the WWE Network docuseries, fittingly titled ‘The Redemption,’ sees an uneasy Undertaker.
Unable to shake his own disappointment with his WrestleMania 33 bout against Roman Reigns (in what was supposed to be his retirement), Taker sets out to train harder than he ever has before.
Undertaker: The Last Ride continues to show the Undertaker in a light fans have never seen before. Not only as the real man, Mark Calaway.
But as a man unable to let his perceived failure alone.
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2 begins with Taker watching his WrestleMania 33 performance eight months after the match.
And he’s watching it with utter disdain.
“It’s like watching bloated Elvis,” he says.
His wife, Michelle McCool, assures Taker he’s being too hard on himself. But Undertaker isn’t one to let sleeping dogs lie. As revealing as Taker’s regret within the confines of his own home is, what Undertaker: The Last Ride gives us next is what wrestling fans have waited for.
A real-time glimpse of the locker room leader. Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2 shows us the man backstage. The moral compass of the WWE locker room.
Roman Reigns had the moment of his life. The Undertaker laid his shoulders down for the Big Dog at WrestleMania. Reigns was, for all he knew, the last man to ever set foot in a ring against the Phenom. And Undertaker apologized to Reigns for a poor performance.
Deadmen And Windmills
There’s a melancholy to the Undertaker in Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2. There’s a sadness to the Undertaker.
But it isn’t a sadness marked by, “I guess this is it.” Rather, it’s more along the lines of, “Oh, isn’t that sad?”
We follow Undertaker to get a hip replacement and to embark on a training regimen designed to get him in shape. But in shape for what?
Ultimately, Undertaker: The Last Ride looks to be the Undertaker’s search for a final match fitting of his legendary status. And Taker is completely upfront and eloquent in explaining who he is and how he feels.
But it’s the words not spoken that make Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2 heartbreaking. Nobody has the heart to tell him, “Mark, you’re chasing windmills.” Undertaker: The Last Ride is the Deadman dreaming the impossible dream of Don Quixote.
The Deadman And The Boss Man
Other projects have talked about Vince’s relationship with this wrestler or that. It’s rare to see the curtain peeled back like this.
Undertaker describes Vince as a father, a brother, and everything in between. When Vince is asked to tell the camera what Undertaker has meant to him, the chairman can’t talk. He can’t answer, because he’s too overcome with emotion to even address it.
I have, in my life as a wrestling man, seen Vince McMahon break down only once. The other was an HBO doc when he expressed regret that he didn’t mend fences with Andre the Giant before the latter’s death.
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2 could have ended then and there. And it would’ve been the greatest wrestling documentary ever produced.
It’s easy for us to look at the Undertaker’s “match” (if you can call it that) at WrestleMania 34 against John Cena is a quick-and-dirty booking.
As revealed in Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2, it was a test balloon.
It always seemed like a waste of a marketable match – Taker vs. Cena. But the docuseries shows us that it was a short match, a squash basically, so that Undertaker could figure out what he could and couldn’t do.
Unfortunately, even in retrospect, it doesn’t make the match any better. It sucked.
But knowing the “why” behind it and the “how” behind its execution reveals mountains. Shows like this are what the WWE Network should be for.
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2 delves deeper into the Undertaker’s mind. And into his soul.
The second installment of the series validates and makes up for the shortcomings of Chapter 1. And while it’s a definite positive that we have a clear direction – Undertaker’s search for the perfect finale.
It might be the only thing that’s a drawback to the whole thing. Hindsight is 20/20, and right now it’s a handicap to this story. Because we know that perfect finale hasn’t happened yet. And we know that, with the coronavirus pandemic, it won’t happen any time soon.
Putting that aside, Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 2 tells a clear story and paves the way for what could be the greatest behind-the-scenes production WWE has ever put together.
New installments of Undertaker: The Last Ride stream Sundays on WWE Network.
All images courtesy of WWE.
'Undertaker: The Last Ride - Chapter 2, The Redemption
- This is the best documentary-style program WWE has ever produced
- A behind-the-scenes glimpse of not only how but WHY Taker vs. Cena happened
- The realest Vince McMahon you will EVER see
- Undertaker's "quest" is finally made clear
- We know the ending. Or at least, we know Taker isn't gonna get what he wants.
- Nobody seems willing to tell Taker he wants the impossible.