For me, it has to be a special moment from January 4th, 1999. When Mick Foley won his first WWE Title.
Long before Daniel Bryan, there was another man who wasn't supposed to be World Champion who managed to rise to the top. In WCW, Foley, better known as Cactus Jack, was a very solid and reliable hand. His hard hitting and often hardcore style was different and lead to him being a great foil for many of WCW's top stars like Sting, but he never seemed to be a guy who would reach the top. Jump to WWE and Foley becomes Mankind. Again, Mankind was a memorable character who put on some fun feuds and wrestled some underrated matches, not even counting his infamous Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker, but he didn't fit the mold of what a traditional World Champion looked like.
At 6'2 and constantly pushing the 300 pound mark, Foley wasn't a giant like Andre or even Undertaker, nor was he the Greek god chiseled from stone like Hogan. He wasn't traditionally handsome like a Shawn Michaels or Rock. Above all, his character was one that wasn't something that screamed company poster boy. What Foley had though, was a likeable personality that shone not only in his promos once he turned face, but an undeniable work ethic. He has a guy who took the most insane bumps, and came back for more, and he endeared himself to the fans in a way that made it impossible to not get behind him.
So on that faithful night, back when Raw was often pre taped and in an age before easy to access internet spoilers, when Tony Schiavone announced on a live edition of WCW Nitro that Mick Foley would be winning the WWE Title, people switched over, 600,000 people in fact, to see Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy win the big one. Indeed, Mick really did put butts in seats, as Raw never lost in the Monday Night War ratings again.
The lasting image of Foley being hoisted onto the shoulders of DX and running around like a child after having beaten The Rock were something that even I enjoyed at eight years old, and now into my late twenties still enjoy.
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