• Matty Paddock

Undertaker slammed by WWE star and fans for calling current product "soft"

WWE legend The Undertaker has faced a backlash from fans after calling today’s wrestling product “soft.”

Mark Calaway, who played the iconic character in for the last 30 years prior to his retirement at the end of 2020, also hit out at what he perceives as the modern-day culture in the industry, insisting he “liked it when men were men.”

The comments not only led to widespread criticism from fans but also current WWE stars, with Xavier Woods taking to social media to speak out in response.

Calaway, 55, is the man behind arguably one of wrestling’s greatest ever creation - having finally hanging up his black hat and coat at Survivor Series this past November, he has set about revealing more of the man behind the mystique.

He made the comments in question in one of his latest interviews with the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

In it, he revealed he finds the 2021 version of WWE’s sports entertainment hard to stomach, saying: “I try, [to watch]; it’s tough right now for me.

“The product has changed so much and it’s kind of soft. I’ll probably p** lot of people off but they need to hear it. It is what it is.

“To the young guys [who will say] ‘he’s a bitter old guy,’ I’m not bitter. I did my time, I’m good.

“I walked away when I wanted to walk away. I just think the product is a little soft.

“There’s guys here and there that have an edge to them but there’s too much pretty and not enough substance I think right now.”

The Phenom would also say: “In [the past] era of guys too, men were men.

“You go into a dressing room today and it's a lot different. I remember walking into my first real dressing room - half of them had knives and guns in their bags.

“Now you walk in and there's guys playing video games and f****** making sure they look pretty.

“It's evolution, I guess. I don't know what it is, but I just like those eras, man. I liked when men were men.”

Fans reacted angrily on social media, one accusing the legend of “Toxic masculinity.”

Another said: “ He’s wording it like taking drugs and using knives and guns is something a man does but playing videogames isn’t. he’s a man from another time I guess.”

The remarks drew the ire of Woods, who wrestles in WWE as part of The New Day.

The popular performer said: “I wouldn’t be the person that I am without the guidance and lessons of a few key people from the previous generation of wrestling.

“They taught me about the business, to save my money, & that having video games in the locker room is healthier than having [redacted]. Thank you guys.”

Image - WWE