Speaking to Sports Illustrated to promote A&E’s new series WWE Most Wanted Treasures, The Undertaker reflected on being away from WrestleMania this year, his first one post-retirement.
Taker told Justin Barrasso that he was fine during the day…until the first Mania fireworks hit. He said that fortunately, he was at home and not in Tampa for the show which made it a little bit easier for him to digest not being involved.
“But going through the show and watching, I kept thinking to myself, ‘You should be there,'” Taker said.
But the former WWE champion said that he usually starts training in October for WrestleMania and he didn’t do much this time, building that “safety net” on purpose not to get the itch, adding that he was at peace.
“It’s a little difficult once WrestleMania starts. I started second-guessing myself. So much of my history revolves around WrestleMania,” he recalled. “There was a bit of an emotional tug of the heartstrings watching this year, but it’s time for me to step aside and let this next generation have the reins and go where they’re going to go.”
During the interview, The Undertaker also said that he realized it was time to hang up his wrestling boots halfway through the filming with AJ Styles for the Boneyard match last year.
“It became really obvious throughout the course of that night that I could no longer physically do things the way I want to do them, and I refuse to ever shortcut our fans.”