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In 1998 Mick Foley fell from the top of Hell In A Cell and ascended into wrestling immortality. His match against the Undertaker has taken on a life of its own with countless tributes, gifs, parodies, and remembrances. To commemorate the match, Mick Foley is hitting the road with his one-man show “20 Years Of Hell” to talk about his career, that match, and tell a few jokes as well. Foley’s tour hits 16 more US cities, two in Canada, and will be visiting Australia in the summer. Tickets and info here.
Ringside had the chance to sit down and talk to the Hardcore Legend in the green room of the DC Improv on April 12 before his sold-out show. The conversation was wide-ranging. In Part 1, we talked about everything from the infamous incident atop and within the cell to Mick’s early career to what he thought about Ronda Rousey’s WWE debut.
Planning the match out with Terry Funk
Mick acknowledges the great influence Terry had on his career and in the set-up of the HIAC match.
“When we watched the Shawn Michaels Undertaker match (the first HIAC match at Badd Blood in 1997) and realized it is going to be awfully difficult to even approach what they had done… Terry jokingly suggested that I should start the match on the cell. And we just keep joking around proposing more and more ridiculous scenarios and then at a certain point I said “I think I can do that”….sometimes that’s how brainstorming sessions get done and without his influence, I would not have been on top of the cell and Therefore not doing a 20th-anniversary tour”
On JR’s equally infamous call of the match.
“The calls that were made added so much to the mystique and legacy of the match. It’s tough to say whether that match would have reached that critical tipping point where it becomes part of pop-culture without those calls…I joke to JR that we are joined at the hip because of it.”
And believe it or not, the match was not an overnight viral success. He discusses it in detail in his show:
“You can go back and see that it wasn’t even brought up in the cold open of the Raw the next night”
Foley actually credits this for adding to the mythical status of the match. When we discussed the reaction, Mick notes that in today’s social media world it would be trending for three days and then forgotten. But since it had to grow organically, the match was able to achieve a life of its own.
Mick and I also discussed the cities he would hit on his tour and how some held a special place in his heart. He beamed with pride at country music stars and his old TNA boss Dixie Carter attending the show on April 17th in Nashville (tickets here). And if you’re going to the show in Pasadena, California on May 3rd (tickets here) you’re in for a-rockin’ treat. Nita Strauss, the female guitarist who riffed and shredded Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring at WrestleMania, will do the same for Mick, though for a slightly smaller crowd.
Speaking of monumental moments in WWE history, Mick also wanted to remark on Ronda Rousey’s WWE debut and how special it was.
“I realized that it was something that is going to stand out and people will remember it for a long time.”
Mick will be on tour through the summer across the United States, Canada, and Australia in July.
Stay tuned for part two next week when Mick and I discuss his time in the territories, Memphis, Japan and the craziest Terry Funk story of all time!