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MATCH OF THE WEEK - Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (Mick Foley) from In Your House: Mind Games - September 1996
By Mr. Tito
Jan 21, 2012 - 1:05:42 AM

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Since Mick Foley actually wrestled on Monday Night, tagging up with CM Punk to fill-in for the Main Event six man match, I figured it would be a great time to discuss what I'd was one of Foley's best matches.

Mick Foley joined the WWF in 1996 after things didn't work out in WCW through 1994 and then from Foley getting really hardcore with his work in Japan/ECW during 1994-1996. THANKFULLY, Vince McMahon saved Foley from those dangerous days between WCW and WWF, as Vince was in serious need of stars in 1996. Vince repackaged Foley as "Mason the Mutilator", which was later renamed to Mankind. I'd argue that Mankind was one of the best gimmicks of ALL TIME.

Foley made an immediate impact in the WWF as he was an opponent who actually pushed the Undertaker to some good matches by not only bumping for him, but convincingly delivering aggressive offense towards the Taker. He was psychopathic enough to go after the Undertaker and Foley was the perfect actor to convince fans he was able. The work with the Undertaker went so well that Foley actually earned a WWF Title shot for the post-SummerSlam Pay Per View, In Your House: Mind Games during September 1996. In fact, the show, "Mind Games" was named after Foley.

Very odd pairing of wrestlers with Mankind and Shawn Michaels, but they ended up delivering what I'd argue to be the "Match of the Year" for 1996. Foley went after Michaels aggressively to start the match and it actually pushed Michaels up an actual notch. Lots of physical stuff and the psychology of the match was perfect with the babyface having to survive against a psychopath. Foley took a beating but mostly through great bumps on the outside and absorbing all of Shawn's offense perfectly.

Interesting note from the match... At 31:00 of the below video, you'll see Vince McMahon relaying new instructions to the wrestlers in the midst of the match. Reportedly, Foley was actually supposed to win the WWF Title but Vince got cold feet and changed the plans. Who knows, but regardless, it was a GREAT match and worth going out of your way to see.

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