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The Undertaker Recalls Wrestling In A Federal Prison

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Since his pro-wrestling debut in 1987, Mark Calaway aka The Undertaker has become a wrestling legend. But his path to success wasn’t always straightforward.

In those early days, aspiring wrestlers had to take unconventional routes to gain experience. For The Last Outlaw, that meant stepping into the ring within the confines of a federal prison.

A Ring Behind Bars

In a recent video on his Patreon page, The Deadman reviewed this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW and answered fan questions. One intriguing query focused on whether he had ever wrestled in prison. The wrestling veteran reminisced about an unusual opportunity provided by one of his early trainers:

“Oh, yeah. It was a federal prison. Kind of like a pre-release prison. It was pretty interesting. You know, back then, anytime anybody had a ring going up somewhere and you could get on a card, you got on it. That was just how it was because there was nothing more valuable than ring experience.

So I remember the guy that invited me to go. He actually trained me a little bit too. His name was Rick Davidson. Him and his brother were a tag team in the ’70s.”

The Russian Grave Digger

Ironically, during this stint, The Undertaker portrayed a character named Boris Dragu, the Russian grave digger. The setting was far from glamorous—a prison show where heckling was the norm. The audience behind bars didn’t hold back, saying whatever they pleased. The long walk through the prison corridors to reach the makeshift wrestling arena added to the surreal experience.

“How about that for irony? And you haven’t been heckled till you’ve been to a prison show. They don’t give any kind of dams about what they say or what they do.

It was always that long walk in through the prison to get to where we had the wrestling event…But that’s funny. I haven’t thought about that in years, but yeah, I’ve worked there. I worked there several times.”

The Davidson Brothers

Rick and John Davidson, born in Texas in the early ’50s, left their mark on wrestling. They grappled in promotions like NWA Hollywood and MSW Mid-South Wrestling. Their influence extended even to the confines of a federal prison, where The Undertaker honed his craft in the most unexpected of venues.

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