'Undertaker Dead' Hoax Worries Internet But Came From Satire Site

Image: 'Undertaker Dead' Hoax Worries Internet But Came From Satire Site

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 01:31 PM

By Michael Mullins

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An "Undertaker is dead" hoax circulated the Internet over the weekend after a purposely false report surfaced claiming the 49-year-old WWE wrestler had died in his sleep Friday night.

The fake news story was published by site EmpireSports.co.

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In the article, Empire Sports' Robert Winland wrote that the Undertaker, whose real name is Mark Calaway, died from a "severe concussion" he suffered earlier in the week during a WrestleMania match with Brock Lesnar.

The false news report led to a flurry of tweets and Facebook posts from wrestling fans asking whether the news was real.

While the 300-pound, 6-foot-10 Undertaker did wrestle Brock Lesnar during Wrestlemania XXX, losing the match, he did not die and is alive and well in his native Texas, the Epoch Times reported.

According to a disclaimer on its site, Empire Sports points out that its online content is satirical, much like that of The Onion and The Daily Currant, and not intended to be actual news.

"Empire Sports is a satirical and entertainment website," the disclaimer reads. "Empire Sports uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental."

Some of the prominent headlines on the site might have been tell-tale signs to most casual observers that the articles being reported by Empire Sports was not actual news, such as these three: "David Ortiz Stabbed Outside Taco Bell During Arugment Over Burrito," "Michael Vick Hospitalized In Pit Bull Attack," and "Notre Dame Kidnaps Midget; Forces Him To Dress Like A Leprechaun."

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The fake news of the Undertaker's death came just one week after the WWE lost wrestling legend James Hellwig, better known as the Ultimate Warrior, who was pronounced dead last Tuesday after he collapsed outside an Arizona hotel. He was 54.

Last March, the Undertaker also lost his former ghastly manager William Moody, aka the Paul Bearer. The details around Moody's death were not reported. He was 58.

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