WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley recently reflected on the 25th anniversary of his iconic Hell in a Cell Match against The Undertaker at WWE King of the Ring 1998.
Competing as Mankind at the time, he described the moment as an attempt to create a visual of the cell panel tearing and him being stuffed down head-first. He said,
“The big bump was supposed to be the chokeslam. I had not talked about being thrown off the top of it (the first bump when Foley was thrown off the Cell onto the announce table). The visual I was looking for, now you see that when Undertaker chokeslammed me, I’ll remember this sound, and the next thing I know, I’m waking up, I realize I’ve got a couple of teeth missing, and there’s a pair of shoes in the ring, and I had no idea how they got there.
I didn’t realize that, in an attempt to buy me time, because that was one of the great ironies, to me, of wrestling, was everyone picks on it, not everyone, but the non-fans, for being phony and show business and fake. But it’s like, hey man, does to it sport continue when one of the participants is no longer conscious? Because mine does. At least it did in ‘98. Luckily that’s not the case now because we’ve learned a lot.
So the idea was, this was the big visual I was looking for, Undertaker’s gonna chokeslam me, and a corner of that cell, of that panel is going to give way, and he’s eventually gonna stuff me down head-first, so the visual I thought is, I’m gonna be upside down, flailing my arms around, and eventually he’ll let go of my knees, where he’d be kind of holding me, and I would just have to take my own bump into the ring, just doing a semi-turn, and it’d be a big height, but I thought I could do that.”
Foley then admitted that he had never taken a fall from such a height before and highlighted the difference between jumping off a turnbuckle and falling from the top of the cell. Foley didn’t know when to turn in the air during the fall and emphasized that he couldn’t have done it better a second time. The impact could have gone poorly in various ways, but Foley appreciated the surreal moment lying amidst the wreckage of the table. He also acknowledged Jim Ross for his legendary call during the match.
He further revealed that he casually pitched the idea of the fall to The Undertaker and Vince McMahon on the day of the match. Despite Vince’s initial hesitation, Foley convinced him by comparing it to a missed elbow drop. He said,
“It was only during the course of the day that I said, hey, how about you throw me off the top of that thing? Going back to what Terry Funk said. I just said it so casually to Taker and Vince that I tried to downplay it as being a big deal. Vince was like, ‘I don’t know if I like that, Mick.’ I said, ‘If I told you I was gonna drop an elbow and Taker was going to move, you’d let me do that, right?’
So, I’m going with a positive, I don’t know if positive reinforcement’s the right term for it, but I’m laying it out as if it’s not a big deal when it clearly was. He was like, ‘I guess so.’ I said it’d be the same bump, which it absolutely was not. So, I kind of threw that into the mix, at least, this is my recollection of it, the day of. Up until then, the visual I was looking for was that tearing of the panel of the cell.”