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Ministry of Darkness

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The Ministry of Darkness was a professional wrestling stable in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1999. Led by The Undertaker, this Ministry was a controversial group with storylines with a Satanic theme that included fictional scenarios where they appeared to perform evil rituals and human sacrifice.

The Ministry of Darkness saw The Undertaker as a messianic figure and were portrayed as a malevolent doomsday-style cult devoted to darkness and evil in a similar manner to fictional portrayals of Satanists.


In October 1998 at the Judgment Day: In Your House pay-per-view event, Paul Bearer turned his back on his son Kane and rejoined the side of Kane's brother, the Undertaker. They began prophesying that the Ministry of Darkness and a "plague of evil" would be unleashed on the WWF towards the end of the year, thus making Undertaker a villain. The Undertaker continued to feud with Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin, which involved several controversial segments in which the Undertaker hit Austin in the head with a shovel giving him a concussion (storyline), and the following week the Undertaker and Paul Bearer attacked, sedated Austin with ether and abducted Austin out of his hospital room, put Austin in a hearse, took Austin to a cemetery of some sort, attempted to have Austin buried alive, then Undertaker changed his mind and he and Paul Bearer took Austin to a funeral home and tried to have Austin embalmed alive. Undertaker also attempted to have Kane committed to a mental asylum, and tied Austin down on his symbol and crucified Austin, among other deeds. Undertaker's evil and satanic plans were delayed when Kane cost him a Buried Alive match to Austin at Rock Bottom: In Your House, and he wasn't seen until the following month.

Meanwhile Justin Hawk Bradshaw and Faarooq formed Hell's Henchmen, a dark and brooding tag team briefly managed by The Jackyl. Shortly after their debut, the Jackyl would mention on color commentary that his acolytes would usher in "an age of tribulation" in the WWF and that the Jackyl would be the "puppet master" controlling everything from the shadows; however, the Jackyl left WWF and the team changed their name to The Acolytes. The characters Bradshaw and Faarooq ended up as the henchmen of a then-unknown new leader. As one of their first orders of business, they abducted Dennis Knight on the January 11 episode of Raw Is War and took him to "He". Weeks later, "He" turned out to be a renewed, druid-like Undertaker, who proceeded to initiate Knight as his servant via a ritual, rechristening him as Mideon.

At the Royal Rumble 1999 show, the group of Undertaker, Mideon, and The Acolytes abducted the 485-pound Mabel, who was renamed Viscera the following night on Raw Is War, and turned him to the Undertaker's side. Another faction, the Brood (Edge, Christian and Gangrel), was recruited to the Undertaker's service as well. Then, the Undertaker made it clear that he wanted to own the World Wrestling Federation and oust Vince McMahon.

First strike

Vince McMahon turned face during this time, claiming that Mark Calaway (Undertaker) was taking his gimmick too far, and that Calaway actually believed that he in fact was the Undertaker and that he was the second coming of the Lord of Darkness. This statement could be received as breaking the fourth wall of kayfabe, due to the use of Calaway's real name and the reference to gimmicks. McMahon, shook up, put Undertaker in the second-ever Inferno match, a rematch of the first as Undertaker faced off against his "brother" Kane (who had joined Vince's Corporation to avoid being committed to the aforementioned asylum). Undertaker defeated Kane again, and reduced the WWF owner to tears at the sight of a burning teddy bear. The bear was said to have once belonged to Stephanie McMahon (as a child).

For weeks, Undertaker revealed that his Ministry actually took orders from a "greater power", and kept talking about a higher power who apparently owned the key to McMahon's heart and soul. Undertaker and the Ministry trespassed on McMahon's property, leaving a burning symbol resembling a crucifix in McMahon's front yard, the Corporate leader ordered his enforcer, the Big Bossman, to face Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania XV. Undertaker claimed victory without much difficulty. After the match, the Brood lowered themselves from the ceiling onto the top of the cell and then lowered a noose to the Undertaker. He sent McMahon another, symbolic message by hanging Big Bossman from the cell.

After WrestleMania, the mysterious woman in the storyline was revealed to be McMahon's own daughter, Stephanie. The Ministry took Stephanie captive that night, and Corporation member Ken Shamrock found Stephanie, crying in the boiler room and with the Undertaker's symbol on her forehead. As revenge on Shamrock for ruining his plans, Undertaker ordered The Ministry to abduct Ken's "sister", Ryan, and "sacrifice" her on one of his symbols. The next week, Shamrock found his sister crying in the boiler room. In addition, since Shamrock had attained the information as to Stephanie's whereabouts by forcing it out of Christian, Undertaker punished Christian by flogging him. The next week, he tried to sacrifice Shamrock and then ordered Christian's fellow Brood members Edge and Gangrel to sacrifice him as well, but they refused and turned against Undertaker instead. This defection of the Brood was the only voluntary defection from the Ministry during its entire tenure.



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