10 WWE Stars Loved For The Wrong Match

10. Mankind

WWE.com

Loved for: Mankind Vs. The Undertaker, Hell In A Cell Match, King Of The Ring 1998

This is the match synonymous with Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy. It is his most iconic, memorable, influential - and it harrowingly distills the essence of a performer who, lacking the physique to reach the top via the traditional route, opted to carve his own path. Betraying the very premise of the industry, Foley used real violence to get himself over. The achievement was subjectively dubious, objectively successful: Foley's leap remains both highlight fixture and impossible precedent.

Deserves as much, if not more credit for: Mankind Vs. Shawn Michaels, WWF Title Match, In Your House: Mind Games

Violent but not catastrophically so, this was a character masterclass in which Mankind unearthed the real Shawn Michaels - the heartless pr*ck within the smiling do-gooder facade - to craft a textured story of a good man compelled to do bad things. A genuine fight, Mankind and Michaels used the ringside apparatus in devilishly ingenious ways, creating a template for the multiple hardcore matches that would follow.

A deflating finish does not undermine its power, all these years later: this was seminal and inspiring stuff confirming that Foley was an even better worker than he was a stuntman.

Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!