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Best Hell in a Cell matches: The Undertaker vs. Mankind (King of the Ring 1998)

I got a bad feeling about this...
I got a bad feeling about this...

If you're reading this article and you haven't seen this match, something has gone terribly wrong. (Okay, I'll give you a pass if you've recently become a wrestling fan but you long-timers have no excuse.)

This is the match that made Mick Foley. This was when he was transformed from a smart mark internet darling -- who was better known for breaking his bones, searing his flesh, and losing his teeth than being a legitimate world title contender -- into a multiple time WWE Champion, New York Times best-selling author, and one of the most beloved superstars of the Attitude Era.

Up until this point, Foley was almost never in the WWE title picture aside from when Shawn Michaels needed a new heel to conquer during his 1996 run as champ. And with his dumpy physique and looks only a mother could love, it didn't seem like Foley ever would be.

But that never stopped him from wanting to put on a show, a spectacle for the fans that plucked down their hard-earned money to be entertained for an evening. And maybe, just maybe, he would be lucky enough to inspire one uncoordinated, awkward teenager to become a professional wrestler much like "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka had done for him a decade and a half before.

Number three on my countdown of best Hell in a Cell (HiaC) matches is Mankind and The Undertaker at the 1999 King of the Ring, a spot fest that would make Sabu cringe but also one of the most important matches in WWE history.

Let's get this out of the way early: from a technical standpoint, this match is awful. That settled? Okay, let's move on.

The match, of course, started not inside the ring or even inside the HiaC structure itself. It started at the top. And just mere minutes after both 'Taker and Mankind had climbed up and started brawling, Foley was thrown off, twisting in the air to minimize damage before crashing through the Spanish announce table.


Michael Cole will never say anything half as good or as memorable in the booth as that.


Jim Ross' next line has been replayed and restated so many times that it has almost become cliche. But then again, so has "Do you believe in miracles?" and I still get chills every single time I hear that.

Several officials attempted to stretcher Foley to the back and were about halfway there but that stubborn bastard began walking back towards the cage. By this point, 'Taker had climbed down and as he witnessed a man he thought was dead only minutes before stagger back towards the ring, a scowl creeped across The Undertaker's face that was absolutely amazing.

The match continued on top of the structure and the chokeslam through the cage -- which was not supposed to happen -- came almost immediately after. Foley has stated that it was this spot that did more damage and that he doesn't remember anything after this point.

Old friend and fellow masochist Terry Funk quickly made his way inside the ring to aid Foley. Always a professional, he jawed with 'Taker, giving the "Dead Man" the cue to chokeslam him which bought Foley more time to recover.

The other highlight of the match is the iconic shot of Foley seemingly smiling as he's slumped in the corner with a teeth sticking out of his nostril. It's right up there with the blood pouring down Steve Austin's face as he refuses to tap to Bret Hart's Sharpshooter at WrestleMania 13 of best images from the Attitude Era.

'Taker picked up the win but Foley picked up a main event career.

I'd say Mama Foley's baby boy came out the real winner in this one.

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