Classic Feud Of The Week: Mankind Vs The Undertaker
Mankind vs the Undertaker, circa 1996 (Photo Credit: WWE)

In 1990, Ted DiBiase introduced his mystery partner at the Survivor Series, and after eliminating several competitors, Taker would be counted out. Fast forward six years later, Taker is the biggest star not named Bret Hart (who's going on sabbatical) in the WWF, after the deperature of top talents: Diesel and Razor Ramon. But as Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left, in came a WCW and ECW top talent, the newly christened Mankind, came onto the scene with eerie vignettes from the bowels of the building, where he would speak to his only friend, "the only person who understands him", George-a rat (who, was actually the pet of Jim Cornette's wife). In a character that shrieked "Mommy" and abused himself, even pulling out his own hair, Foley would embark on his second face of Foley.

Making his debut the night after WrestleMania 12, Mankind would assault the Undertaker. This would lead to Mankind's WWF Pay-Per-View debut at the King of the Ring PPV, when Paul Bearer would accidentally strike The Undertaker with the urn instead of Mankind, and Mankind would lock in the mandible claw for the victory, as Taker passed out, giving Mankind a monumental victory. However, it wasn't anywhere near over just yet, as after weeks of Taker interfering in Mankind's matches he'd issue a challenge to his match, the first ever-Boiler Room Brawl! Foley, one of the more underrated workers of the era, would face Taker in a BRUTAL match, physically abusing both men's bodies, before Taker beat Mankind to Paul Bearer before Bearer refused to give the Undetaker the urn so Mankind won the match, and Bearer smashed Taker's head in, and Mankind joined "Uncle Paul".

Mankind would go from this win, to facing off with Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mindgames for the WWF championship, in what he considers the best match of his career (even above beating the Rock for the WWE Championship in 1999). Taker would cost Mankind the strap, leading up to their buried alive match; Taker would win that match before Terry Gordy (the Executioner) would hit him with an axe and bury him alive.

This rivalry would spark back up again after Taker defeated Sid at WrestleMania, and at Revenge of the Taker...They wouldn't cross path's until a year later, on the June 1st episode of Monday Night Raw when Vince McMahon fired Dude Love and Mankind made a return, teasing one last showdown...Hell in a Cell!

Mankind after being thrown through the table;
Photo Credit: WWE

"Well, there’s a famous match that took place in a cell in Pittsburgh in June of 1998, As a result of that match, several of my teeth were damaged, and it’s only now, seventeen years later, that those teeth have to be extracted and replaced, so people should keep in mind that while the match was wildly entertaining, and inspirational, that there is usually a price to be paid for everything in life. And so people should carefully reconsider the price to be paid, in before venturing off and doing things that they may regret.”

Hell in a Cell and Mick Foley are synonymous for each other. Foley, putting on a variety of classics with competitors and champions such as Triple H, and even gave us a six man Armageddon Hell in a Cell match, between Kurt Angle, Rikishi, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and the Rock. But quite possibly the most infamous Foley-cell match was against the Undertaker at the 1998 King of the Ring Pay-Per-View event.

The match started with Mankind's entrance, scaling the top off the cell. In comes the Undertaker who also goes to the top, as Mankind starts to work on him, however, the Cell would give; much unlike the top of the first Hell in a Cell match, between Shawn and Taker a year earlier at Badd Blood in which had no give, and, Mankind and The Undertaker would brawl on the top of the Hell in a Cell with a chair, before Taker would gain the advantage and throw Mick Foley off of the top of the Hellish Structure, in the most famous spot in the entire history of proffessional wrestling.

Foley would get off of the stretcher and CLIMB back to the top of the Hell in a Cell, as Taker would chokeslam him on the top and he'd go through as a chair smacked his face, pushing a tooth through his lip. Just when you thought it can't get worse, he gets chokeslammed on thumbtacks. After some offensive by Mankind, he got hit with a tombstone to end it.

After this feud, it's still talked about to this day, and the Hell in a Cell match is considered one of the greatest matches of all time just because of the impact it had. A feud, between one of the greatest mic workers of all time (Foley) and 2 of the greatest characters of all time, the world would be in awe after every contest because of the things that they did.

VAVEL Logo