Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 bounces us back and forth through time.
The story of the Undertaker over the last 11 years is intertwined with two men: Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
Both were Taker’s opponents during the Attitude Era. And both were opponents in four WrestleMania matches that represented the absolute peak of the Deadman’s late career.
In Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3, Taker (Mark Calaway) sees these two legends as the solution to his existential crisis. Who is the opponent to carry him off into the sunset?
It started promising enough. But it spiraled out of control quickly and hasn’t stopped spinning to this day.
The Four Years War
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3, titled ‘End Of An Era,’ begins, again, with the Undertaker dealing with disappointment. His WrestleMania 34 match against John Cena brought him a measure of redemption. But he didn’t take advantage of the training and conditioning he put himself through following his initial disappointment against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33.
And in a strange twist of fate, Undertaker turns to a pair of old adversaries. Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
After his match with Rusev at The Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia proves, to the Undertaker anyway, that his performance at WrestleMania 34 wasn’t a fluke, Taker looks to capture lightning in a bottle. Again.
We get a look back at the battles with Shawn Michaels at WrestleManias 25 and 26, followed by his bouts against Triple H at 27 and 28.
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 looks back at what makes that four-year story so special. But it’s the Shawn Michaels retirement match at WrestleMania 26 that sets the table for everything to follow. Including Taker’s malaise – Michaels retired the right way. He got the hero’s send-off that Undertaker is seeking.
The matches with HBK and Triple H, culminating with the End Of An Era Hell In A Cell match at WrestleMania 28 is something Taker is desperate to recapture.
The Stormy Present
At Super Showdown 2018 in Melbourne, Australia, Undertaker faced Triple H in what WWE promoted as the “Last Time Ever.”
It was another match that gave Undertaker a false sense of security. Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 shows us an Undertaker satisfied with the match but willing to go a little further. Triple H picked up the win with help from Michaels, but after the match, Undertaker and Kane destroyed HBK and Triple H.
All to build to another Saudi match: Undertaker and Kane Vs. Triple H and Shawn Michaels at Crown Jewel in November 2018.
And it was an absolute disaster. Miscue after miscue, and legends made laughable.
The match is shattering to Undertaker’s psyche, not only because of the mistakes made in the match. But because he saw in Michaels’s failures the dangers of staying too long at the party.
Michaels retired for a reason. It was time.
And we delve again into the Undertaker’s own knowledge that his time has come. Again, though, Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 teaches us that Taker can’t leave well enough alone.
We’ve Been Here Before
We’re starting to move backward with Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3. It’s a route that we have to take, given where the docuseries has to go next.
But as mentioned in the review of the first chapter (available here in our pro wrestling archives), a lot of this material has been covered elsewhere.
Triple H’s personal history with Undertaker has been covered in numerous documentaries on the WWE Network. The history between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker is the stuff of insider-wrestling-fan legend.
And the Undertaker’s perspectives on both men was covered very recently in the Broken Skull Sessions with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 expounds enough on these subjects to be just new enough and just interesting enough.
The cameras catching in real-time how important and how painful this is for the Undertaker is what makes it special. But it’s a tough sell for Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 to hype itself as a real “behind-the-scenes” piece.
Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 is very much a filler episode. If only because its subject is the lesser-known of Undertaker’s great disappointments over the last few years.
As painful as it’s been to watch a legend like the Undertaker deal with disappointment and regret to this point? It’s only going to get harder.
That’s what has made Undertaker: The Last Ride such a special series. It’s doing something that no WWE production has managed to do in nearly a decade.
It’s displaying real, raw emotion. And it evokes a feeling form the audience.
Even with a filler episode, Undertaker: The Last Ride – Chapter 3 tells a beautiful story.
The next chapter of Undertaker: The Last Ride will stream on the WWE Network Sunday, June 14, immediately after the WWE Backlash event.
All images courtesy of WWE.
'Undertaker: The Last Ride - Chapter 3,' End Of An Era
- Undertaker's inner anguish becomes more real every week
- Chapter 3 does a solid job of giving the backstory of Taker, Triple H, and HBK
- Cliche or not, this series is an emotional roller coaster
- You feel every setback for the Undertaker
- Chapter 3 is light on new information
- It all ties together, but it seems like too-little-too-late