Is there a more memorable match than Mick Foley versus The Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell? As far as iconic visuals and sound bites go, it’s hard to think of any that can top it. Twenty years to the day, WWE filmed Foley discussing his night in hell in Pittsburgh, and just like he did at King of the Ring 1998, he takes you on an emotional roller coaster.
Comedy has always played a part in Mick Foley’s career, whether it’s in his writing or wrestling work, it’s something he does better than most wrestlers. I’m sure you all remember his days as commissioner where he made Christian wear a chicken suit, classic stuff. So it’s no surprise that he has been able to have a successful career in stand up. Storytelling with a dose of humour, it’s a Mick Foley speciality. People tend to forget another very important element of ‘The Hardcore Legend’s’ career, and that’s his ability to create drama. That’s what his legendary cell match is, drama. Having attended his live show a few years ago, I thought his shows lacked a little bit of seriousness. That was until I watched this network special.
Instead of simply going over the events of the match, Foley creates a narrative of how he defied the odds by even having his clash with The Undertaker in 1998. He starts off by detailing his struggles to be accepted by major wrestling promotions, and how Vince McMahon was dead set against bringing him into the company.
Stories such as Vince hiring him to break Jim Ross’s heart were quite eye-opening, and fans who have not read the autobiography of the man who called the hell in a cell match, might not have known this story. He also shares how little Vince thought of him because instead of being called Mick, the chairman used to refer to him as “Mike.”
As fun and interesting as those stories are, people will watch this to learn intimate details about the legendary hell in a cell match and the Hall of Famer does not disappoint. Foley explains how he convinced Undertaker that starting the match on top of the cell will help them compete with the first cell match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. There was even a joke about how he called him ‘Mean Mark’ before the pay-per-view. He also points out events during the match that have gone unnoticed. He explains how weak the top of the structure was that night, and when he attempts a suplex while they are on top, Foley said Undertaker “shoots that sh*t down in a hurry.”
The jokes are a constant throughout the sixty-minute plus show. However, as it nears the end, ‘Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy’ brings back the theme of defying the odds in heart-warming fashion. He reminds us all that the match was not about the moves, it was about how both men should not have been able to get to the finish line, and through sheer will and determination, they made it. They finished the match, even after he suffered two terrible falls, even though The Undertaker had a broken foot. They accomplished the unthinkable.
The network special repeats a lot of stories from other DVD’s and podcasts. Also, if you have seen Mick Foley perform live, then you will be familiar with a lot of his act. But a great performer can play the same song over and over again, and still entertain you. Mick Foley is just that, a great performer. I always thought John Cena’s catchphrase was “never give up,” but every time you finish listening to WWE’s original bestselling author, you can’t help but feel inspired. You remember that anything is possible, and that’s the most beautiful thing about 20 Years of Hell.