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Undertaker vs Undertaker in 1994 was the feud that was meant to reignite the fortunes of the WWF. As the company touted the "new generation" and while Vince McMahon was involved in the steroid trial, things headed into Summerslam 1994 were focussed largely on one match. No, not the Bret Hart vs Owen Hart cage match that would go onto to be a match of the year contender, but a main event that pitted the real Undertaker vs Taker's good friend and wrestler Brian Lee, dressed up to look like the real Undertaker.
When the dust finally settles on Undertaker's career, as it likely is about to do, 1994 isn't going to be a year that will be looked back on fondly. His legacy securing Wrestlemania streak doesn't even involve a match at Wrestlemania X, he was absent due to either injury or the birth of his child (perhaps both). It was an absence that would also cause him to miss King of the Ring, meaning the sub-total of his pay-per-view appearances in 1994 would be two casket matches against Yokozuna at the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, and the main event of Summerslam.
The build for the big match started in the beginning of May. Vignettes on Raw aired interviewing ordinary people claiming they had spotted the Undertaker doing ordinary, mundane tasks like buying cheese. Quite how this played into the eventual story I'm not even sure, if Ted DiBiase was creating a fake version of the Undertaker, surely you'd want to keep him out of situations like this... this feud isn't one in which logic is easily applied.
The story debuted in ring a few weeks later, as the fake Undertaker came out and won a squash match. Dressed like his name sake, acting like it too, the act was designed to replicate The Undertaker as closely as possible. Fortunately, wild mannerisms and great wrestling weren't parts of the real Taker's arsenal that were especially prevalent in 1994, so the copycat act wasn't especially tough. Taker and Brian Lee were friends in real life, and Taker was helping him out with getting the act down so it wouldn't be accurate to say this was a feud done against the real one's wishes.
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Ted DiBiase managed the fake Undertaker, who to all intents and purposes was presented as the real Undertaker. That is, of course, until the company had to start advertising the main event of Summerslam. Just a week earlier, Paul Bearer was out to the ring trying to convince the fake Taker to come back, so clearly he thought it was the real one. But the following week they announced the main event of the PPV - The Undertaker vs The Undertaker - there were two of them. The fact that we hadn't reached that part in the story didn't especially seem to matter.
But the true turd in the waterpipe would come on the pay per view itself. Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy had been drafted in as "super sleuths" to try and solve the case, a series of vignette's that would be leading up to a pun at the end of the show. "Look, George, it's case closed" as Nielsen pointed to a shut briefcase.
That ended the show, though, the underscore to the main event of Undertaker vs Undertaker. The entrance of the real Taker was spectacular, the crowd erupted when he appeared and Paul Bearer was on top form using a double-sized urn with a torch inside to light-up the arena. The entrance was great, the match anything but.
Perhaps, in the defence of the real Taker and Brian Lee, you can point to the reports that the Bret and Owen match that preceeded it overran. As great as their match was, for me it certainly felt like it went too long at 32 minutes - there's only so many times you can try and escape a cage. The pacing also suffered from the fact the cage wasn't lowered from the rafters like in more modern times, it had to be constructed and then destructed - and idea that makes it even more perplexing why it didn't main event the show. We were instead subjected to more segments with Kennedy and Nielsen.
But while all that is true, it cannot be overlooked that the match was awful. It was probably a good job it only went nine minutes, rather than the more it was probably allocated. The action ploddy, the story barely believeable and a crowd stunned into silence (or "in awe" as Vince McMahon described it on commentary). Mercifully, the real Undertaker hit back to back tombstones for the victory.
Plans for any continution of the fake Taker were buried, thankfully. There was talk of the pair even teaming as a tag team after the initial match. Who knows what might've become of the legendary character had it have taken a different path in 1994.