The Ministry of Darkness. What happens when the man from the dark side finds his even darker side? Back in 1998, WWF fans found out what happened and much more when The Undertaker unleashed his Ministry of Darkness.
After months of frustration with unsuccessfully defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Title, The Undertaker went back to his roots.
He aligned himself with his former manager Paul Bearer and attacked his brother Kane. The next night on Monday Night Raw, Undertaker warned the WWF that he would “unleash a plague” on the World Wrestling Federation.
The Undertaker also admitted that he set fire to his parent’s funeral home and not Kane to put fuel on the fire. The Undertaker wasted no time in choosing his first victim, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Ministry of Darkness – Dark Days are Upon Us
During Austin’s rematch for the WWF Championship with The Rock, Undertaker leveled Stone Cold across the face with a metal shovel. This shovel shot gave Austin a concussion. The Rattlesnake was temporarily admitted to the hospital.
As Stone Cold was receiving treatment, The Undertaker and Paul Bearer attacked Austin using a chloroform rag to subdue the toughest SOB in WWF.
The Undertaker and Paul Bearer proceeded to take Austin’s carcass to a local cemetery and bury him alive. However, as Undertaker was shoveling dirt on Austin’s body, he got a more twisted idea. They took Stone Cold to a funeral home.
The Undertaker was preparing to embalm Stone Cold Steve Austin alive. Just as it seemed like Stone Cold was headed for a trip to the other side, Kane broke down the door and attacked Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Stone Cold escaped the Undertaker’s wrath, but the Highway to Hell was just beginning.
It was announced that at the next pay-per-view Rock Bottom, a match between the Undertaker and Stone Cold Austin would be a buried alive match. The next week on Monday Night Raw, Undertaker took things to a new sadistic level.
Stone Cold was showing signs of not being over the concussion, and Undertaker knew it. When Austin passed out during a match, the man from the dark side grabbed Austin and strapped him to his symbol. The Undertaker then proceeded to raise the symbol with Austin still strapped to it. The Undertaker was sacrificing Stone Cold. As Raw went off the air, fans could tell the dark days were upon us.
Birth of the Ministry of Darkness
At Rock Bottom, The Undertaker was buried alive by Stone Cold Steve Austin, thanks to his brother Kane. However, this only made the Undertaker eviler. Around this time, a tag team called the Acolytes were destroying their competition.
Farooq and Bradshaw were monsters in the ring and out. On an episode of Raw is War, the Acolytes attacked Dennis Knight, aka Phineas. The two powerhouses beat Knight senselessly.
A few minutes later, Dennis Knight was shown tied up, hanging from a rope as the Acolytes tortured him. When they were done, they untied Knight and threw him in a locked room with a man only known as “Him.”
Later on, we found out that “he” was the Lord of Darkness himself, The Undertaker. Undertaker had come back from the dead with a new sorcerer-like look. In front of a live crowd on Raw, Undertaker performed a ritual that transformed Dennis Knight into Mideon. Undertaker was now adding to his ministry.
At the Royal Rumble, the Acolytes and Mideon attacked Mabel. The Undertaker also transformed Mabel into Viscera. Undertakers’ creatures of the night were growing week by week. After that, Undertaker added The Brood to his unholy army. The Ministry was getting stronger. Darkness was eclipsing over the WWF.
Ministry Of Darkness vs. McMahon
Undertaker claimed that his Ministry existed for one reason….to take control of the WWF. The Undertaker specifically blamed Vince McMahon and began to play mind games with the WWF’s creator. Vince McMahon stated that he thought “Mark Calloway” was crazy and truly believed he was The Undertaker. It was almost as if the character of The Undertaker possessed Mark Calloway.
Mark Calloway is the Undertaker’s real name, and WWF was all about blending fiction with reality in the ’90s. After Undertaker defeated Kane in an Inferno Match, the Ministry leader lit a teddy bear on fire. This act brought Vince McMahon to tears. He was willing to give the Undertaker anything he wanted.
Fans later found out that the teddy bear belonged to Vince’s daughter, the billion-dollar princess Stephanie McMahon. The Undertaker’s game with the McMahons was just getting started.
The Undertaker and his Ministry surrounded the McMahon home waiting for Stephanie. The Ministry stalked the McMahon’s before finally leaving a burning symbol in the front yard.
The Undertaker knew what he was doing; he wanted to torture Vince McMahon mentally. Vince McMahon became so desperate he interrupted Kane during a match and begged for his help against the Ministry. However, it was not Kane in the mask. It was The Undertaker. Undertaker grabbed Vince McMahon by the throat.
Out Go The Lights
All of a sudden, the lights went off and came back on. The Undertaker vanished like a ghost. The Big Boss Man was Vince McMahon’s Corporate enforcer. He found himself face to-face with The Undertaker in a Hell in A Cell Match at Wrestlemania. Bossman is as tough as they come, but he could not defeat the darkness.
After the match, the Brood rappelled from the ceiling and helped the Undertaker hang the Big Boss Man by his neck above the cell. As the Bossman gasped for air, The Undertaker rolled his eyes in the back of his head as if he was possessed. Throughout all this, Undertaker kept talking about a higher power. It was as though Undertaker was not the one in control of the ministry.
The Ministry of Darkness
The Black Wedding
After the Big Boss Man failed in his attempt to get rid of the Undertaker, Vince McMahon sent the World’s Most Dangerous Man Ken Shamrock to fight for his family’s honor. A match was scheduled between the Lord of Darkness and Shamrock at Backlash. After a hard-fought match, Undertaker tombstoned Shamrock.
To add insult to injury, Bradshaw injured Shamrock with a baseball bat. Feeling that the only way Vince McMahon could protect his daughter from the Undertaker, he brought Stephanie with him to the pay-per-view. She was given strict orders to stay in the limo no matter what. As the show came to an end, Stephanie’s limo started driving away.
Just then, the privacy window in the limo rolled down. Stephanie’s worst nightmare had come true. It was the Undertaker. Just like in a horror movie Stephanie was face to face with the personification of evil. The Undertaker believed that if he kidnapped Stephanie, Vince McMahon would have no choice but to give the WWF to the Ministry.
The night after Backlash on Raw, The Ministry brought Stephanie McMahon to the ring strapped to Undertaker’s symbol. The Undertaker was threatening to marry Stephanie at a black wedding.
The Ministry of Darkness
Pro Wrestling’s Horror Movie Come To Life
As Stephanie screamed, “Help me” from the symbol, the Ministry looked on. Backstage, Shane McMahon was telling his corporation don’t save Stephanie until it’s necessary. This was questionable, especially since Shane is Stephanie’s brother. Just as Undertaker was about to force Stephanie McMahon into Unholy Matrimony, glass shattered as Stone Cold Steve Austin returned.
Austin chased off the Undertaker and his Ministry. Stone Cold Steve Austin, the mortal enemy of Vince Mcmahon, saved Stephanie McMahon from The Undertaker. Something wasn’t right about that situation. Undertaker gave up Stephanie too easily. Why didn’t Shane McMahon save his sister? All questions were about to be answered.
Shane McMahon revealed that he was the mastermind behind the abduction of Stephanie. Shane claimed that he used Stephanie to get to Vince. He also claimed that he is not the higher power, but he is coming.
Shane McMahon united the Ministry and the Corporation into one. The Corporate Ministry was now in control, and Vince McMahon was helpless. The Corporate Ministry turned their attention to the WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin.
A match was scheduled for Over the Edge 99. The Undertaker challenged Stone Cold for the WWF title. As a bonus, both Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon would be special guest referees.
Earlier in the night, the Ministry attacked Vince McMahon. Pat Patterson was chosen to be the referee. However, Patterson was choke slammed by The Undertaker, leaving Shane McMahon as the referee. The two superstars beat the hell out of each other. Then Vince McMahon returned.
Visibly limping, McMahon entered the ring, ready to referee. Austin hit Undertaker with the Stunner; Vince McMahon went to count to three but was pulled away by Shane. Vince got up and shoved Shane to the ground. As Austin was distracted, Undertaker rolled him up, and Shane got a fast count. The Undertaker is the new WWF Champion.
The Ministry of Darkness
It Was Me, Austin. It Was Me All Along
Now that the Corporate Ministry was in control of the WWF, the higher power could be revealed. For weeks The Undertaker spoke of a higher power eviler than himself. Finally, on Monday Night Raw, the night after Over the Edge, the higher power arrived. A mysterious figure in a black robe walked to the ring.
With the entire Corporate Ministry looking on, the higher power took off his hood …..It was Vince McMahon. McMahon yelled, “It was me, Austin…It was me all along!”. Mr. McMahon used his family to get the WWF Championship away from Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Undertaker was right; the greater power is eviler than the Ministry.
Shortly after that, Undertaker lost the WWF Championship back to Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Corporate Ministry disbanded. The Undertaker went on to team with the Big Show in the Unholy Alliance and became tag team champions ending The Ministry of Darkness. The Acolytes went on to be the Acolyte Protection Agency or the APA.
The Ministry of Darkness was The Undertaker at his best. He was maniacal, vicious, and calculating. If you’re looking for a time period in wrestling to send chills up your spine, this is it. Attitude Era fans look at this time period as being the most unpredictable time in wrestling.
The Ministry of Darkness made wrestling fans afraid to sleep at night. Now creatures of the night, Rest in Peace …… If you can.