The Undertaker is one of the most unique personas in sports history.
It's in large part due to the fact that he's a wrestler. There are only so many sports that would allow for a legendary figure whose whole entire gig relies on "dying" and coming back to life, perishing in flames and returning months later, getting buried under thousands of pounds of dirt and then signaling his presence a year down the road through eerie videos.
It's not just that, though. He's the perfect blend of creepy and charismatic, confident and conflicted, vigilant and malicious, and every other blend of extremes on the many spectrums that go into creating compelling characters. The Tombstone Piledriver, the Chokeslam from Hell, the Last Ride, Old School, the Big Boot... these are all among the most memorable maneuvers of any athlete no matter the sport. The rivalries with Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, the Big Show, Kane, and countless others made for the must-see action wrestling fans looked for every night. The breathtaking darkness that swallowed the entire arena, followed by the chilling toll of the bell meant just one thing.
The Dead Man was here.
But after 30 years as an integral member of the WWE and its many story lines, Mark "The Undertaker" Calaway may officially be calling it quits.
In the finale of "The Last Ride," a WWE documentary that focuses on the monumental legacy and list of achievements of The Dead Man, Calaway strongly hinted at a retirement that would be more than just a faux-death that built upon his resume or further extended one of his many long-lasting rivalries within the business.
"Never say never, but at this point in my life and in my career I have no desire to get back in the ring," Calaway said after calling his most recent match the "perfect ending" to a career (h/t Mike Chiara of Bleacher Report). In the classic style of the 'Taker, he didn't completely eliminate the possibility for an unexpected bell toll to overtake another arena. But at 55 years old, we can't necessarily blame him if that isn't the case.
AJ Styles, who may hold the honor of being the Undertaker's final opponent should Calaway stay true to his word, took part in the first-ever "Boneyard Match" against the Undertaker and paid homage to the thrilling contest between the two. The Undertaker defeated Styles in an epic clash.
More wrestlers and fans on social media expressed similar thoughts and posted messages in support and recognition of the Dead Man's career and legacy.
Andrew Feldman of ESPN compiled some fantastic memoirs from some of the sport's greatest figures ever, available to read in the tweet below.
So, for now, we'll say goodbye to the Undertaker. But it wouldn't surprise me -- and I'm assuming the millions of fans -- one little bit if he made one of his world-famous returns at some point in the near future.