The Undertaker & Vince McMahon Argued Over Early-90s Creative Decision

Thirty years ago, WWE was preparing to showcase its latest Survivor Series event. At the time, WarGames was still a WCW gimmick match, and the gimmick that hooked fans for the show was traditional Survivor Series elimination matches. In 1993, the most anticipated multi-man match on the card saw Lex Luger leading his All-Americans against Yokozuna’s Foreign Fanatics. The foreigners were comprised of Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga, Crush, and Quebecer Jacques. On Luger’s side, he had The Steiner Brothers and an ominous and relatively new presence, The Undertaker.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, The Undertaker reflected on how he became involved in the match. At the time, The Undertaker was still a man of few words, and Paul Bearer talked for him. So, to show his allegiance to Luger without uttering a word, he revealed an American flag sewn into the lining of his iconic black jacket.

“I wasn’t thrilled about that,” he noted. “That was all Vince.”

“At the time, in 1993, adding the flag was not Undertaker-esque,” he continued. “I remember me and Vince going back and forth. It was one of those first things we really butted heads over. I still remember Vince trying to sell me, saying, ‘Well, it’s the Betsy Ross flag.’ I was thinking, ‘Well, OK? Is that supposed to change everything?’”

McMahon was very invested in making his case about the flag lining in his jacket and pointed to the roots of the Betsy Ross-style flag representing the original thirteen colonies. In McMahon’s mind, that gave it ties to the old west, where he envisioned the character originating. The Undertaker clarified that he did not feel his character was ready to embrace his real-life love of America, which later bled through with his American Badass presentation. In 1993, unfortunately, he thought he didn’t have “the juice” to stand up to McMahon’s decision even though he disagreed.