During an interview on the Behind the Curtain podcast, former WWE Superstar Elijah Burke (aka Da Pope) revealed that The Undertaker was originally set to face former MMA fighter Sylvester Terkay at WrestleMania 23:
"It’s crazy because [at] that WrestleMania , the whole plan was for Sylvester Terkay and The Undertaker…and Da Pope was supposed to ride the coattails of Sylvester Terkay. I obviously had no problem with it [laughs].”
They brought Terkay in [from OVW to WWE] specifically because Undertaker was, and still is, a huge MMA guy.
And so, Undertaker loved the physicalness and the legitness of MMA. He wanted to create that type of magic inside the wrestling ring.
Had it been Terkay vs. Undertaker, I wouldn’t have mind taking a Big Boot off the apron or a Chokeslam. What I remember the most about the event is 80,000 fans. Legit.
I had the privilege, within two years on the roster, to be in front of a sea of human beings. Looking back, I just took it all in and enjoyed. People who’ve worked 20 years in the business have never experienced that."
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