WWE’s The Undertaker says the bigger guys felt the most pressure to be big and jacked.
The Undertaker, who was born as Mark William Calaway, finally admitted doing what everyone always suspected – that he regularly used anabolic steroids during his professional wrestling career with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Professional wrestling during the 1980s and 1990s was characterized by a greater muscularity than what was seen in previous periods. The Undertake described the incredible pressure to fit into this hypermuscular ideal during a recent appearance of The Joe Rogan Experience.
“There was a time where everyone had to be… You had to be big, jacked, right,” The Undertaker told Rogan. “Especially the guys the 6 foot 8, the big guys – there was a stigma, you’ve gotta be 300 pounds. ‘It’s in our head – nobody gives a shit. They’re interested in the characters and what you do on TV. But in our heads, ‘fuck, I’ve gotta be 330 pounds.’”
Steroid use among professional wrestlers was commonplace.
The Undertaker’s admission that he used steroids was no real shock to anyone. Several popular wrestlers that were contemporaries were also known steroid users.
The Ultimate Warrior, Superstar Billy Graham, Hulk Hogan, Rick Rude, Lex Lugar, and Eddie Guerrero are a few of the big WWE stars that have either admitted using steroids or were otherwise linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The Undertaker noted that he performed during a much different period. He claimed that the modern-day culture of professional wrestling has changed considerably. For instance, muscular size is no longer a prerequisite to succeed in the WWE; performance matters more than appearance — at least according to him.
Furthermore, The Undertaker suggested that the WWE’s wellness policy prohibiting the non-medical use of steroids has made a big difference. Whether or not that is true is debatable.
Yet at the same time, The Undertaker wondered how some current WWE talent could achieve such muscularity. He noted that some pro wrestlers are still inexplicably muscular. The Undertaker acknowledged that he could never have achieved such muscularity even when he was on steroids.