Undertaker vs Mankind - KotR 1998

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Post by DemonicTruthSpeaker on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 4:54 pm

(apologies for making this a new thread, but it was mentioned on the good Dr.'s best match ever thread, and I didn't want to derail an entire thread to another topic)

Yes, that match. You know the one, where Foley went off and then through the Cell, then onto Drawing Pins, dislocated shoulders, kidney damage, teeth coming out, 'Taker breaking his foot...

This match should never be anywhere near a 'Greatest Match Ever!' thread. For me, it's dull as hell after the first 5 minutes, mostly due to the damage both had sustained. I like a decent stunt match as much as the next man, but I've always thought that the biggest stunt should be reserved for the end - Edge vs Foley at WM22 is an excellent example of this.

From a psychology point of view, the stunts meant nothing. Apparently, Foley can survive huge falls twice... but one Tombstone is enough to beat him? That took away from the realism entirely, and although I've always rated Foley a better technical wrestler than he's given credit for, this match pretty much made everything he'd done before it totally redundant.

It's a 3 spot match, in essence. Off the cell, through the cell, Tombstone. And bearing in mind it took another 15 minutes to get from Spot 2 to the Tombstone... just mind-numbingly dull.


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Post by Mr H on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 5:01 pm

I take it you didnt like it then Demonic?!

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Post by DemonicTruthSpeaker on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 5:06 pm

Mr H wrote:I take it you didnt like it then Demonic?!

Nah, I loved.

I say I loved it, I tolerated it.

I say I tolerated it...

Actually, I'd rather smear myself in babyoil and be invited to a Michael Barrymore pool party than watch it again.

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Post by Mr H on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 5:13 pm

DemonicTruthSpeaker wrote:
Mr H wrote:I take it you didnt like it then Demonic?!

Nah, I loved.

I say I loved it, I tolerated it.

I say I tolerated it...

Actually, I'd rather smear myself in babyoil and be invited to a Michael Barrymore pool party than watch it again.

Demonic v Barrymore in a Hell in a Pool match. Michael, unleash the Mandible Claw, otherwise known as - Fisting.

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Post by DemonicTruthSpeaker on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 5:15 pm

Well, seeing as Barrymore is undefeated in such matches, I feel duty bound to break and break the Streak.


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Post by Kay Fabe on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 9:05 pm

The reason its listed is because almost every Wrestling fan knows about it and has seen it, Jannetty/Michaels in May 93 was far superior but i'd wager good money that nowhere near as many people saw it, that match was a JFK moment, when that happens in Pro Wrestling you know something monumental has took place

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Post by longrangeeffort on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 8:43 am

This match will always be in my top 5. It all stems from Foley trying to "out-do" Taker-Michaels so he started the match on the top of the cage and got chucked off..that was planned (well i say planned...Foley had planned it lol). The chokeslam through the cage wasnt. Mick even said in his book he's glad he didnt go high for the chokeslam (one foot is still on the cage) becuse if he did he would have landed on his head when the cage gave way rather than on his back with a chair in the face.

The rest was brilliant wrestling ad-libbing. Taker wanted to end the match early but Foley wanted to use his thumb tacks as he planned. So while Foley was still out of it, Taker spoon fed him until he got his marbles back. Terry Funk taking a chokeslam too. It all added a helluva lot to both wrestlers rep tbh.

First time i saw the match i loved it...mainly for the "wtf are they gonna do next?!?" factor...but i think i really started loving it after reading Foleys first book and his account of it all. The story definitely adds to it. What bits were mistakes, what they did to get through, the aftermath and Foley starting up top without telling Taker...and then hoping Taker would climb up to meet him with a broken foot. Otherwise it would have been them going "you come here!" "No! You come here!" and the Foley probably having to climb down again...lol.

As a match though, the Street Fight with Trips beats it for me. Not seen all of the Edge match though so i need to check that out. I think 2 or 3 of my top 5 matches would be Foley ones...I'm a big Foley fan Very Happy

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Post by crippledtart on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 10:19 am

I don't want to sound cruel or judgmental (though I am), but I think it says a lot that the person who has praised the match so far has repeatedly used the phrase "lol".

The two bumps (which were both planned without a doubt) were absolutely spectacular and compelling to watch, but in my opinion Mick Foley doesn't deserve praise for being so utterly selfish and masochistic. Sadly, the fact that anyone would find his actions "cool", considering he is a husband and father, reinforces the stereotype of wrestling fans being socially-retarded nerds. The match was really dull outside of those two spots, and there was no psychology whatsoever.

I don't really considering the match to be "wrestling". I see it more along the lines a stunt show; it appeals to the darker side of our human nature, the part that almost wants the stuntman to crash just so we can see what it would look like. It was Foley's choice to do what he did, and he's paying a heavy price now. And there is no doubt it was a spectacle and a very memorable one. But to call it a great wrestling match is like referring to a funny youtube video as a great movie.

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Post by Mr H on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 10:52 am

To be fair though you could say the same about the TLC matches at Wrestlemania. They will probably be in most peoples Top 10 Wrestlemania matches, although essentially it wasnt an actual 'wrestling match'. You could even say the same about Shawn Michaels v Razor Ramon in the Ladder Match.

You have to remember its World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT. The aim is to entertain the audience, and a 60 minute Iron Man WRESTLING match certainly doesnt entertain as much as a gimmick match.

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Post by crippledtart on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 11:22 am

Good point H, TLC/MITB matches have definitely strayed into that territory.

I'm not against a match being a spotfest if it tells a story and it isn't just wildly dangerous. Michaels vs Ramon was very, very tame looking back, they used the ladder in a way where it wasn't just a game of "Can you top this?".

Even the stunts in TLC usually looked more devastating than they were, although I think the wrestlers involved probably took too many risks.

The difference with KOTR 98 was that Foley just went out there and wilfully hurt himself for others' entertainment. Wrestling is supposed to look like it hurts; the art is in making it look far more painful than it is. Anyone can jump from a stupid height and smash their body to pieces. On the first bump, he was able to land better than the average person would, but he still caused himself serious injury. As for the second bump, it's just pure luck that he didn't paralyse himself. The reason it was so compelling to most of us is that it looks so unnatural, so inhuman, to do that to oneself. But I think to describe it as a brave or impressive feat is a bit sad.

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Post by Mr H on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 11:37 am

It was definately brave of Foley crips. To put his body, perhaps even his life on the line for that 'wow moment' and the shock factor of it all was a very brave thing to do. Yes it was stupid, but it was also very brave.

I take it you didnt like ECW then crips? All that blood and all them bumps? Wink

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Post by crippledtart on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 11:59 am

Mr H wrote:It was definately brave of Foley crips. To put his body, perhaps even his life on the line for that 'wow moment' and the shock factor of it all was a very brave thing to do. Yes it was stupid, but it was also very brave.

I take it you didnt like ECW then crips? All that blood and all them bumps? Wink

I liked some aspects and didn't like others!

I thought the pros and cons changed as it developed. 1995 saw great wrestling matches from the likes of Benoit, Eddie, Rey, Malenko etc and phenomenal promos especially from Foley and Austin. The next couple of years it was about great characters, writing and promos, eg Raven, Sandman, Dreamer, Taz but a lot of dull, repetitive garbage wrestling, and the last couple of years were about good writing but lack of star quality.

The main theme I didn't like through its entire existence was the mysogyny. Looking back, I think a lot of the garbage wrestling hasn't dated well.

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Post by Kay Fabe on Mon 11 Jul 2011, 6:17 pm

The second bump wasn't planned was it?

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Post by Lord_X on Mon 11 Jul 2011, 8:41 pm

This is a strange one. I think I have only ever watched this match about three times and I'm still not sure whether I enjoy it or not. I am however, constantly amazed at how Foley can take those two bumps and still get up and finish the match!

However, as stated by a previous poster the whole point in professional wrestling is to not actually hurt yourself, but make it look like you are hurt. That and telling a story. You are supposed to bring the audience into the match by the storytelling, not by some crazy, potentially life threatening stunt (twice!) After reading Foley's first book I can almost accept the reasons behind them (he was nervous that he could not live up to the magic of the first cell match), but I still do not believe it warrented such a stupid idea of falling 16ft onto a flimsy announce table that would barely break your fall, onto solid concrete!

Incidently one of the times I watched this match was with an ex girlfriend. I was trying to convince her that wrestling wasn't something that only 'geeks' watch (as 99% of non-wrestling fans seem to believe). I showed her Bret v Bulldog SS 92 first which she had the cheek to say was boring! So I figured I'd put this match on only for the crazy bumps and she enjoyed it. Go figure...

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Post by JoshSansom on Mon 11 Jul 2011, 9:29 pm

Based on the reaction to the Taker v Mankind HIAC match was the cage break backdrop between Cactus and HHH planned?

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Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 1:33 am

Yeah that spot was planned and just before he took the bump the crew under the ring adjusted that part of the ring so he had a soft landing with the added belief that he destroyed the ring

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Post by longrangeeffort on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 9:04 am

Gah i had a big reply written but hit the back button by mistake so apologies if this reply is now a bit all over the place...

After the first bump of the cage, all Foley had was a disolcated shoulder (I think it was dislocated, it was definitely damaged). That bump was planned. However, the 2nd through the cage wasn't. He planned to be chokeslammed on top of the cage but he wasn't expecting it to give way! It also wasnt the fall that did the majority of the damage, it was the chair smashing into his face as well..hence the tooth appearing in his nose somehow.

Despite that botch/mistake, Taker (and others) managed to make the match last longer than 5 mins. How i really dont know. Foley was barely conscious and it took him awhile to get his marbles back. Taker also wanted to end the match early, pretty much right after the bump through the cage, but Foley was insistent on using the thumb tacks as he had planned.

For me, it helped cement the HIAC as the most extreme, violent match the WWE has, Foleys rep as being just plains nuts and willing to put his body on the line to win and Takers "evilness". Foley's style has always been to put his body on the line, he realised early on he could take bumps that no one else could and take them well thanks to his (and i am trying to remember this from his book but failing the exact words..) larger behind. Hence his upside-down-cactus-jack-cracker-smash or whatever he called that move in WCW...or his flying elbow from the apron to the person on the floor as a finisher. The match was always going to be stunt filled and have blood. It was always going to be more extreme than the first as 1) its Foleys style anyway and 2) as Foley said, he cant do the same things in a cage that Michaels can. The HIAC had an aura about it and they met and exceeded that. Vince thanked Foley afterwards but also told him to never do that again..and it dont think it was because it was too much, it was more to do with his own well-being...much the same with JR's commentary during the match. That is just chilling at times.

I'm not saying its a wrestling dream of a match...there's very little wrestling in it! But there's a lot more to it. Like I said, i think reading the book helped understand exactly how the match happened and why it went down the way it did. I love the match as it always has me going "how the hell are they still going?!" and there arent many matches that have me watching in utter disbelief at what is going on in front of me and it will always have a soft spot in my heart.

Tbh its all a matter of opinion though...and look at that..not a single lol used!

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Post by DemonicTruthSpeaker on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 9:19 am

the-gaffer wrote:The second bump wasn't planned was it?

This is another part that's always up for debate, I think both were planned spots. What wasn't planned for the fall through the cell was the chair leathering him across the chops, which KO-ed him nicely.

I think it was planned as he doesn't go up for the chokeslam properly at all - in fact, he barely leaves his feet. I also cannot see them planning to do such a spot on the top of the cell, without checking that it'll hold his weight and the impact of the fall first...

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Post by crippledtart on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 10:40 am

longrangeffort, all you've done is told the story that Foley tells in his book. I'm sure most of us have read the book and are familiar with that account.

It is my opinion that Foley lied about the second bump being planned, in order to protect both the company and himself. As I've said before, there are two strong indicators that this is the case:
- The bump was right in the centre of the cell/ring. If it was unplanned, this is extremely lucky. However...
- The cell panel Foley went through was clearly either gimmicked or much weaker than the other panels. Earlier in the match, it almost gave way just from being stood on. Surely if Foley was not supposed to fall through the cell, the one place they would avoid the chokeslam on the roof would be the weakest cell panel?!

The whole story Foley tells is one man's viewpoint. Yes, that man is the one who was at the centre of everything, but he is also the man with the most motive to recount the story to his benefit, or the benefit of those whose approval he seeks.

I like Foley, I think he seems like a really genuinely nice bloke, and I think some of his work was incredible. He was also a better wrestler than he is given credit for. But he is a man of certain weaknesses, those being that he was too willing, almost eager, to risk personal injury in order to further his career (seemingly at the expense of his personal comfort and happiness), and, that like many before him, he desperately craved the approval of Vince McMahon, and indeed still does. Foley goes out of his way in the book to establish that the first bump was kept a secret from Vince, and the second bump was an accident, but I find it very hard to believe.

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Post by ncfc_Tooze on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 10:49 am

Foley said in a show on the biography channel a few years back that when they went up on the they were expecting the roof to hold there weight but kept buckling under them and eventually gave way all together

(this may have even been on the foley DVD i forget which)

EDIT
here it is
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbcveFKT-to&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn6G01K5tWo&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q4CTEpg534&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSgtnuXBJbg&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJXY-tiJw5g&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Talk of the cell match is in parts 4 and 5
good talk of it from vinnie mac,taker,lawler,foleys brother and friend

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Post by longrangeeffort on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 11:20 am

Yeah I know i did as part of my point was that the story behind it all added to the match for me. I liked it to start off with and liked it even more once i had read the book.

I have no reason to believe Foley lied about the 2nd bump being unplanned. He's pretty honest about things in the book, and his others, so it seems strange to lie about the 2nd after it had been done and when most of the damage he sustained from it was from the chair landing on his face, which was also not planned. After everything he has done in his career I dont see why lying about going through the cell would benefit him or get him approval now...

All wrestlers want Vince approval...why wouldnt they, he is their boss! Foley, as do all wrestlers, want to put on a show as best they can using all the talents at their disposal..taking mad bumps is one of Foleys. And thats whether people like it or not.

The chokeslam was planned...it was meant to look devasting (i know a foot didnt leave the cage roof..but the commentators would have sold it, well JR anyway..) A chokeslam on the roof of the cell!! Never been done before so why would you do it on the edge? Do it in the middle!! Looks better on TV and in pictures. Makes sense to me.

Also at this point, it was only the 2nd ever HIAC. I cant remember much of the first one but i know it didnt start up in the roof...and I'm pretty sure there wasnt much fighting up on the roof if Michaels and Taker did end up on there. The entire roof of the cell wasn't designed (at that point) to have people running around on top of it and doing moves on each other but i'm guessing Foley thought it would be strong enough to do something up there. As Foley said, its the one time he didnt go high for the chokeslam (one foot is still in contact with the cell as you said in the post above) and its probably because hewasnt 100% confident in the cell roof! Good job he didnt or else he would have ended up on his neck...

Professional wrestling is all about taking risks. In the heat of it all they probably didnt think "oh rudey poo that part of the cell has just come away a bit" it was probably more "lets make this look good". Its all about the show. Thas why you get the mad bumps and the ladders and the tables and the god knows what else. The center was always going to be weaker, its not attached to any of the supporting sides, only to other panels.

Lets say then that going through the cage was planned. You admit that the chair smashing him in the face and damn near knocking him out cold wasnt planned. That was the reason for him seeing stars and needing to be bottled-fed until he remembered where he was and why the match kinda died a bit at that point. But, like i said before, this was where the match was impressive for me. They managed to ad-lib something which gave Foley time to get it together again while the commentary sold it all very well (with JR expressing personal concern as well). People take bumps from the height of the cage to the ring all the time so i doubt that would have dizzied him on its own even with the bad shoulder. If the chair had been chucked somewhere else it might have been an epic stunt match AND had some decent wrestling AND told a story AND thumb tacks..as it was it was expert display on how to look after someone in the ring after an accident and still get a reasonable match out of it all. Takes the stunts out and its a bit of a slow match..however takes the stunts out and Foley wouldnt have ended up in the state he did in the first place. A wrestling paradox!

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Post by crippledtart on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 11:41 am

Longrangeffort, on the surface that's a really good argument, very well-worded and persuasive. But I think a number of the things you said are so wide of the mark as to be almost comical.

I've said all I can really say on the subject, and work is busy! So we'll have to agree to disagree...

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Post by longrangeeffort on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 12:02 pm

What points exactly are so wide of the mark that they are comical?

Tbh I could have just written my last paragraph as it sums up my point pretty well as to why I like the match so much..as well as the stunts involved in it.

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Post by DemonicTruthSpeaker on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 12:28 pm

The conspiracy theory I've read is that Foley was paid to take both bumps, Vince allegedly gave him a wad of cash to do it. If true, that would explain why he's lied in his book - Foley doesn't like to let on how much he's actually worth.

As for the roof, Undertaker and Foley are over 500 lbs, between the two of them. I cannot believe WWE did not do any testing on the roof of the cell to make sure it held before the two of them went up there!

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Post by XR on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 12:44 pm

GOOD GOD AWMIIGHTEE, HE'S BROKEN IN HAFF!

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Post by longrangeeffort on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 12:45 pm

I've not heard that one before...

If the WWE didnt know they were going up there and wrestlers hadnt been up there before to actually wrestle, then why would they? Maybe if Foley hadn't kept stuff a secret then it would have been reinforced to make sure it didnt give way.

Although having said that Vince probably would have tried to stop Foley if he had known what he had planned (ignoring that conspiracy theory for a mo) so that was the risk he took I guess and it ended with him missing another tooth and a chair to the face from whatever height that cage is.

On a different point how high is that thing? They always say its 20/25 feet high but is it really? Its hard to work it out sometimes...

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Post by longrangeeffort on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 12:46 pm

gcBlues wrote:GOOD GOD AWMIIGHTEE, HE'S BROKEN IN HAFF!

I was wondering when the first JR quote would come in! Very Happy

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Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 4:48 pm

Some excellent debating there longrange, as for the size of the Cage, it was 20 feet high when it debuted in 97 but in recent years they have made it higher which is ironic because they've been so watered down it's barely worth watching

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Post by Enforcer on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 5:30 pm

Gaffer, is that 20 feet from the floor or the canvas?

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Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 5:52 pm

I take it it was from the floor mate because it would start on the floor unlike the cage its 25 feet at least now

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Post by longrangeeffort on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 8:20 am

the-gaffer wrote:Some excellent debating there longrange, as for the size of the Cage, it was 20 feet high when it debuted in 97 but in recent years they have made it higher which is ironic because they've been so watered down it's barely worth watching

Cheers! Also thanks for the cage height. you never really know with WWE heights. I'm sure i have heard them say some ladders are 10ft high on the commentary but are only about 2 feet taller than the wrestlers...which would imply that there are 8ft wrestlers out there Erm I'm surprised they raised it though. Maybe to make it look more imposing with the whole PG thing going on?

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Post by XR on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 12:22 pm

longrangeeffort wrote:
gcBlues wrote:GOOD GOD AWMIIGHTEE, HE'S BROKEN IN HAFF!

I was wondering when the first JR quote would come in! Very Happy

haha! I live to please!

The best is the King: "He's dead". rofl

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