Flashback: The Undertaker Talks Wanting To Stop The HIAC Match Against Mankind At 'King Of The Ring'

On June 28, 1998, the ongoing feud between The Undertaker and Mankind led to a Hell in a Cell match, which would become the most memorable match of its kind in WWE history. Leading up to the event, Mankind had his sights on the Undertaker immediately, attacking him during a match against Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw on the Raw after WrestleMania XII in 1996. Months later, after the feud further intensified, a Boiler Room Brawl match was booked for the SummerSlam pay-per-view. During the match, Undertaker went to reach for the urn from Paul Bearer, but instead was betrayed by his manager, causing him to be defeated by Mankind.

Over the next year, the two competed in several more matches, including a Buried Alive match, and match at Survivor Series 1996 and the following night on Raw, and a WWE Championship match at In Your House: Revenge of the Taker. After spending most of the latter part of 1997 feuding with either Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels, Undertaker rekindled his feud in 1998 with Mankind, following a several-month feud with Kane. Steve Austin also became involved in the fray, which led to a double main event pitting Austin vs. Kane (First Blood) and Undertaker vs. Foley at King of the Ring.

Although the Hell in a Cell match was nearly 20 minutes, it did not take long for the match to reach a boiling point. Mankind carried a chair to the match, throwing it on top of the cage and immediately climbing it before Undertaker was introduced. Then, the gong sounds, and the Undertaker proceeds to the ring, following Mankind's path and climbing up the cage as well. Just about one minute into brawling on top of the cage, Mankind took one of the most frightening bumps in WWE history, as Undertaker threw him off the cell, going through the announcer's table and landing on the floor. "Good God almighty! Good God almighty! That killed him!" said Jim Ross. "As God as my witness, he is broken in half." Mankind laid motionless for at least a minute, before Terry Funk came out to provide assistance.

Mankind spent the next few minutes getting medical assistance, before being rolled up the aisle to get more help. Nearly six minutes after being thrown off the cell, Foley got up from the stretcher and walked back down to the cell to finish his match. Climbing right back up the cell, the two resumed their match. About 25 seconds later, Mankind was chokeslammed through the cell and took a very tough bump to the ring. Remarkably, Mankind recovered, and the match lasted nearly 10 more minutes before Undertaker picked up the victory.

In a discussion about the match on Off the Record prior to WrestleMania 18 in 2002, Undertaker explained that Mick Foley was out on his feet for about two or three minutes, and he was strongly considering stopping the match.

"I said, 'Mick, just stay down,'" Undertaker recalled. "His tooth had gone through his lip, was lodged in his nostril, he's bleeding from the mouth. You can look into someone's eyes and tell, they're not there. And for the next two to three minutes after that fall, Mick wasn't there."

Undertaker then praised that Foley stuck it out for the fans despite those two potentially career-ending bumps, and even introduced thumb tacks later in the match.

"True to his professionalism, and Mick cared about what fans thought, and it was his duty to perform and go out, he stuck it out," said Undertaker. "It was violent, and once he got up and got the cobwebs shaken loose, I mean, it didn't stop there. There were the tacks, there were the punches and the kicks. It was a violent night for Mick Foley."

Currently, Foley is touring the country sharing stories of that infamous night, and recently posted on Facebook, "20 years ago today. It was a night that changed my life forever."


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