WWE legend Mick Foley opens up on disappointment with brutal Undertaker match
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WWE legend Mick Foley has opened up on one of the most notable matches of his career – and admits harbouring some significant disappointments.
Foley, 55, is one of the wrestling world’s most notable figures, as a former WWE Champion and a star of the iconic Attitude Era.
The daredevil, who uniquely wrestled under the guise of three different characters during his tenure with the company, is renowned for the incredible punishment he was willing to take in his matches.
In 1998 he was thrown the better part of 20 feet from the top of a steel cell, crashing through a commentary table in an unforgettable clash with The Undertaker – before falling through the cage and onto the ring below.
Ahead of WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay per view event this weekend where the stars of the present day prepare to shine, the Hall of Fame star concedes he’s still feeling the aches and pains of that brutal bout some 22 years later.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online ahead of the event – which features the likes of WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defending against Randy Orton – we touched on another of Foley’s classics against The Undertaker, another of WWE’s most iconic names and one of his greatest on-screen rivals.
Two years prior to their ’98 war came their unique match at Summerslam in 1996, the Boiler Room Brawl, which mostly played out in the dank and dark recesses of the arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
It was a match that struggled to translate to television despite WWE’s best efforts – and from a production standpoint was understandably a world away from the cinematic-style matches that headlined WrestleMania earlier this year, one ironically involving The Undertaker.
Foley revealed some disappointments with the marquee match that ended with The Undertaker’s legendary manager, Paul Bearer, turning on him and aligning with Foley, then wrestling as Mankind.
"It's an interesting point," he admits, on the idea of how the match might have been presented today. "I think it could have been a very memorable cinematic match.
"It was actually a disappointment to me in the sense that I thought the lack of commentary hurt it.
"I understand that it was considered a compliment to not do commentary over a 17-minute match, but I thought it did hurt the match.
"It injured both me and The Undertaker!
"It resulted in me hurting my back pretty badly and The Undertaker developing a really nasty staph infection.
"So I was always disappointed with the way the match came across, but I thought the last few minutes, where we were out in front of the live crowd, was really wild.
"The turn, when Paul Bearer turned on The Undertaker, it really helped cement Mankind as a character that WWE fans should be taking seriously for a long time to come."
While it was as Mankind that Foley most notably threw caution to the wind in WWE, he also enjoyed success and notoriety and success as Dude Love and, later, Cactus Jack.
The later pair were adaptations of creation’s from Foley’s own mind, yet each one left a marked impression on wrestling fans around the world.
For fun, then, who would Foley put his money on if all three were to clash inside Hell in a Cell?
The man himself was amused by the hypothetical mega-match and weighed in, adding: "I don't think the Dude ever accepts a Hell in a Cell match – he was a lover, not a fighter, which doesn't make for a very good Cell match!
"Mankind and Cactus Jack, and fantasy booking? Well, they both lost epic contests in the Cell, Cactus to Triple H and Mankind against The Undertaker.
"It's hard for me to say who would come out on top… but Cactus would've pulled it out – he would have found a way!"
Catch all the action from WWE Hell in a Cell, live on Sunday at 1am on BT Sport.
- Triple H
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