The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported some backstage details on what has been going on with the Undertaker and WWE recently in light of all the non-WWE appearances Undertaker has done and agreed to do recently, with the main one being Starrcast during AEW Double or Nothing weekend.
The report states that Undertaker thought his wrestling career was over following his match against Triple H at the WWE Super Showdown show in Australia in October of last year. After that show, ‘Taker started booking autograph sessions, talk shows, and other appearances for himself since he was getting up to $25,000 per hour in the United States for such appearances and his existing WWE deal at the time allowed him to do so.
When the Starrcast deal was announced, WWE didn’t want him appearing there and Vince McMahon was upset. WWE assumed Undertaker wouldn’t do appearances with people they didn’t want him working with (i.e. Starrcast) but didn’t appreciate how much money he was being offered for appearances. There was tremendous demand for Undertaker appearances during WrestleMania weekend, including from WrestleCon. Ultimately things calmed down between both sides and WWE brought him in and offered him a new deal that was, financially, something he couldn’t refuse, and would no longer allow him to make Starrcast-type appearances. Since he already signed to appear at Starrcast though, he remains committed to it. The contract with Starrcast is apparently strong enough that WWE can’t get him out of it.
The Europe Inside the Ropes appearances that Undertaker had agreed to had to be changed in light of Undertaker’s new deal, with him no longer doing the talk show but still appearing for signings (after he pushed to still do it), and Mick Foley now doing the talk show. Inside the Ropes didn’t have the legal resources to fight WWE on Undertaker appearing on the talk show.