Ringside Rewind: Undertaker vs Mankind (Hell In A Cell Match, 1998)
It’s been far too long since the clubhouse has played host to a classic wrestling smackdown. In fact, I never realized how much I missed it until sitting down to start this post so I decided to dust off our Ringside Rewind column!
Now, when I say classic wrestling I’m not talking about the late 70s or even the “Golden Era” of the 80s (though there were some great matches back then). No, I’m talking about the adrenaline-pumping, big hair, big muscles, adult-oriented, over-the-top-rope action of 90s pro wrestling; in particular the “Attitude Era,” during which most of my wrestling fandom took place, and the “Monday Night Wars.”
It was during this time that superstars like Mankind (Mick Foley) emerged and began to clash with rising stars like The Undertaker – two of my favorite athletes. Actually, one of the best matches from that era featured those two beating the hell out of each other on top of a steel cage AND a pile of tacks. Some even say it was this match that turned Foley from a “jobber” to a bonafide superstar.
The freaking match actually starts at the top of a 16 ft high cage with a chair! Remember, this was way before “tables, ladders & chairs” matches became the go to gimmick of main events. Heck, this wasn’t even the main event of the night (it was Steve Austin vs Kane)! ‘Taker really dominates the bout, first throwing Mankind from the top of the cage and then, later on, chokeslamming him through the cage itself (WTF!). When Mankind finally does get some momentum he pulls out a bag full of tacks… only the be slammed on them himself not once but TWICE and (finally) tombstone’d for the 3-count. By the time the match ended both men were bloody, broken and exhausted. It was EPIC.