One blow to the head after the Undertaker’s match with Mabel in 1995 could have cost him use of one eye, doctors told the wrestler.
During an episode of “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” on A&E, The Undertaker and Michelle McCool took host A.J. Francis through a rummage of their storage locker. The trio turned up several artifacts from The Undertaker’s career, including one of his earlier hats, which he tried on at Francis’ request.
They also found his iconic black and purple coat, which he wore after his face-turn before his betrayal by Paul Bearer. And in a black drawstring bag, A.J. Francis found the Phantom of the Opera mask which The Undertaker briefly wore between 1995 and 1996.
There was only one of them ever made, said The Undertaker. He then told the story of his 1995 injury to his eye socket from the hands of Mabel.
“We were in the middle of the match and he ended up lunging, coming full speed. It basically was me running into his fist.”
He said the impact blew out about 90 percent of his orbital floor. X-rays showed his optic nerve pressed against a piece of jagged bone.
“(The doctor) said if you had been hit again it probably would have severed that and you’d have lost your eye,” said The Undertaker.
In order to protect his eye, WWE designers came up with a few mask concepts, one of which shows a strong similarity to an early design of Mankind’s mask.
WWE officials settled on the Phantom of the Opera mask, putting in a bit of padding to protect The Undertaker’s eye in case of an accidental blow to that area.
The mask, coat and several other Undertaker artifacts all found their own final resting place in the WWE Archives.