More ear, less ear, Mick Foley is one of the most compelling names in WWE history. Best known for his thunderous drops, for his chilling scenes in matches played under extreme rules and for his various alter-egos, he was also a decorated wrestler, who in the main company of the branch won three world titles and eight tag team titles, in addition to being the first to win the hardcore title.
After having passed through WCW and ECW, he debuted in the so-called WWF on April 1, 1996, on the Monday Night Raw episode the day after WrestleMania XII, as Mankind. He later also showed the Cactus Jack and Dude Love facets. At a time when Mick Foley is already retired from the ring (since 2012) and is making only a few sporadic appearances, it is worth remembering the ten best matches of the hardcore legend in WWE.
In Your House 10: Mind Games 1996
WWF World Heavyweight Championship :
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Mankind
1996 was a big year for Shawn Michaels. He first won the Royal Rumble (for the second year in a row) and the right to fight for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XII, having won the belt by beating Bret Hart in overtime in a 60-minute Iron Man match.
On the other hand, Mick Foley was gaining prominence in the WWF with his alter-ego Mankind. After making his debut with the company the day after WrestleMania XII, he became involved in a feud with The Undertaker . After several victories for each, Mankind came out on top of the feud by beating Deadman to SummerSlam – an event in which Shawn Michaels defeated Vader – with the help of Paul Bearer, who betrayed his protege, thus becoming the main contender for the title.
Raw Is War (September 22, 1997)
Street Fight: Cactus Jack vs. Hunter Heartst Helmsley
At King of the Ring, Hunter Hearst Helmsley ( Triple H ) defeated Mankind in the tournament finals and continued to attack his opponent after the match. The following day, Mankind asked for a rematch, which was scheduled for In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede. However, that duel ended in a double countout , as the two engaged in a brutal brawl that spread to the stands and into the parking lot, both of whom stopped fighting when Helmsley was bloodied.
At SummerSlam , Mankind and Helmsley faced each other again, this time in a Steel Cage match, with Mankind winning after breaking out of the cage. With a win each and a draw in three matches, it took one more match to break the tie, and a Street Fight was scheduled for September 22nd, in which Mick Foley made his WWF alter-ego Cactus Jack debut.
Unforgiven: In Your House (1998)
WWF Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. Dude Love
During the weeks leading up to WrestleMania XIV, Vince McMahon revealed in an interview that it would be a PR nightmare if Steve Austin won the WWF Championship , which he did. After the event, tension between McMahon and Austin escalated, with several teasing from both sides. On the April 13 episode of Raw is War , Austin gave the WWF President two choices: either they would fight in a match or McMahon would be attacked backstage . McMahon agreed to fight in the ring, but when he got to the ring he remembered that Austin had promised he could defeat him with one hand tied behind his back. Before the match began, Mick Foley appeared with his alter-ego Dude Love, attacked McMahon and applied a Mandible Claw to Austin.
Meanwhile, a match between Dude Love and Austin was scheduled for Unforgiven. A week before the event, McMahon promised to be in the vicinity of the ring during the match and promised that something catastrophic would happen. Austin commented on these statements and said that McMahon had only sat ringside once and that was at Survivor Series 1997, scored by the Montreal Screwjob. However, on the last Raw is War before the PPV , Dude Love was declared the winner of a match against Steve Blackman when the bell rang while he was applying a submission, in yet another allusion to the Montreal Screwjob.
Raw Is War (May 4, 1998)
No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere match:
Mick Foley vs. Terry Funk
Mick Foley and Terry Funk were two long-time acquaintances who worked closely together at ECW and IWA in Japan in the early 1990s. Funk was not only a friend, but Foley’s great mentor.
In December 1997, Funk joined the WWF as the masked Chainsaw Charlie and soon began teaming up with Foley’s alter-ego Cactus Jack, both of whom won the WWF Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania XIV, although they lost their belts one year. day after.
However, the team broke up. A week after losing to Steve Austin at Unforgiven 1998, Mick Foley appeared in the ring on Raw is War as Mick Foley and not as Dude Love, as would be expected, denoting that he was going through an identity crisis. Foley also announced that the WWF had set him a No Holds Barred match against Terry Funk for that night, admitting he believed Vince McMahon had scheduled the match so he wouldn’t have to deal with the two of them in the company anymore, not least because he and Funk were better. friends.
Over the Edge: In Your House (1998)
Falls Count Anywhere for the WWF Championship :
Steve Austin (c) vs. Dude Love (Vince McMahon as guest referee)
At Unforgiven: In Your House, Austin attacked Vince McMahon with a chair and Stunnered Dude Love. With the referee KO, Austin counted the settlement himself, but Gerald Brisco disqualified him for attacking the WWF President. However, Austin retained the WWF Championship. After defeating Terry Funk on the May 4 episode of Raw is War , Dude Love formed an alliance with McMahon, which the following week marked another match between Austin and Love for the title, but this time with Vince McMahon himself as referee, Gerald Brisco as referee. timekeeper and Pat Patterson as ring announcer.
On the May 18 episode of Raw is War , Love defeated Dustin Runnels, formerly of Goldust, in a match to determine the main contender for the WWF Championship.
King of the Ring 1998
Hell in a Cell: Mankind vs. The Undertaker
In the previous pay-per-view , Steve Austin defeated Mick Foley’s alter ego, Dude Love, after interference from The Undertaker , in a difficult match refereed by Vince McMahon and in which the WWF Championship was at stake. The next day on Raw is War , Kane beat The Undertaker to become the new main contender, and a week later, Kane, Mankind (another Foley alter ego), and The Undertaker attacked Austin and placed him inside a coffin.
On the June 15 episode of Raw is War , Mankind and Kane teamed up against Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker in the second Hell in a Cell match in history. The feud ended in a no-contest , after the Deadman allied Paul Bearer (then an ally of Mankind and Kane) inside the cell, while Austin attacked Kane at the top of the structure.
All this led to the marking of the third Hell in a Cell in history, 13 days later, at the King of the Ring pay-per-view , with Mankind and The Undertaker as interveners.
Raw Is War (February 15, 1999)
Ladder match for the WWF Championship :
Mankind (c) vs. The Rock
A year after the Montreal Screwjob, at Survivor Series 1998, The Rock became the WWF champion for the first time by defeating Mankind in a somewhat dubious way, as he trapped the opponent in a Sharpshooter and Vince McMahon ordered the bell to be rung without Mankind to give up.
The following month at Rock Bottom: In Your House, Mankind won a title match by knocking The Rock unconscious via a Mandible Claw , but once again Vince McMahon stopped him from claiming the title, claiming that The Rock technically , had not given up.
However, Mankind became the first-ever WWF Champion by beating The Rock in the January 4, 1999 Raw Main Event , thanks to the interference of Stone Cold Steve Austin, in an episode that marked the turning point in the war. of ratings between the WWF and WCW, with Raw finally dethroning Nitro.
However, The Rock regained the title at the Royal Rumble 1999, winning an “I Quit” match, achieving this victory in a dirty way, since while putting the microphone in Mankind’s face, Shane McMahon played an audio in that Mankind would say “I Quit” without the referee noticing.
However, a few days later Mankind was crowned champion again by beating The Rock in an Empty Arena match during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII.
As the WWF Championship was successively passing from The Rock to Mankind and vice versa, at a time when WrestleMania XV was already on the horizon, a Last Man Standing match between the two was scheduled for St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House. However, that match ended in a draw, as neither responded to the count of ten after a double chair kick. Faced with so much uncertainty, he was scheduled for Raw the day after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre a new duel between Mankind and The Rock, this time a Ladder match .
Royal Rumble 2000
Street Fight for the WWF Championship :
Triple H (c) vs. Cactus Jack
In late 1999, the McMahon-Helmsley faction began, with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon taking control of the WWF and doing with power as they pleased, making several controversial decisions. Mick Foley opposed this and ended up being targeted by the faction, who attacked him multiple times before firing him.
On the January 3 edition of Raw is War , Triple H won the WWF Championship by defeating Big Show and made fun of Foley. A week later, The Rock took all of the company’s superstars into the ring and demanded Foley’s reinstatement, threatening to have the entire roster fired en bloc if he didn’t. Foley was eventually reinstated and demanded a Street Fight for the WWF Championship at the Royal Rumble .
However, the night he returned to the company, Foley was defeated in a four- man tag team match after taking the bell and suffering two Pedigrees from Triple H , but after the feud he took off his mask and attacked The Game .
72 hours later, on the January 13 edition of SmackDown! , Foley returned to his crazier and more violent Cactus Jack character, stripping the Mankind persona ‘s clothes to reveal Cactus Jack.
No Way Out 2000
Hell in a Cell; Title vs. Career : WWF Championship :
Triple H (c) vs. Cactus Jack
At the Royal Rumble, Triple H and Cactus Jack clashed in a Street Fight and the champion came out on top. However, on the following night’s episode of Raw , The Game gave Cactus Jack a new title shot at No Way Out and even gave him the choice of stipulation. Cactus Jack chose a Hell in a Cell match and agreed to withdraw in case of defeat.
Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship :
Randy Orton (c) vs. Cactus jack
It all started nearly a year earlier, when Mick Foley was honored on the June 23, 2003, Monday Night Raw . After the ceremony, Randy Orton and Ric Flair attacked him backstage and threw him down the stairs. Six months later, on the December 15 episode of Raw , Foley returned to television to replace Steve Austin as co – general manager and gave himself a shot at the intercontinental title held by Orton . However, Foley abandoned the match and did not face the Legend Killer after he spat in his face. The following month, Foley entered the Royal Rumble match and eliminated Orton before eliminating himself.
The feud between the two continued, and on the March 1 episode of Raw , The Rock teamed up with Mick Foley to rejoin the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection and challenge Orton and two other Evolution members, Batista and Ric Flair, to a handicap match at WrestleMania XX. In the biggest event of the year, Evolution won after Orton landed an RKO and subsequent settlement on Foley. However, two weeks later Foley challenged Orton to a Hardcore Intercontinental Title match at Backlash and brought back his more violent alter-ego, Cactus Jack.