Throughout careers of great wrestlers, great stories are told. They may be a one night shot lasting only a brief moment or they could span decades. Those that span years upon years do not happen because of long-term planning. They happen because the wrestling world rolls into a direction where these stories become natural to tell. Nobody planned back in 1997 to have the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels have a brief feud and then have a huge Wrestlemania rematch twelve years later. It was just a natural booking that followed the direction the creative sphere was rolling. This concept of mega-rematches is nothing new. It happened in ECW at their last pay per view between RVD and Jerry Lynn. It happened at the first Spring Stampede between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat, at Wrestlemania 19 with The Rock and Steve Austin, and this Sunday it will happen again with Mick Foley and Sting.
A couple of weeks ago the Nosebleeds scoffed at Mick Foley suggesting his match with Sting was gathering more talk than Wrestlemania and these blood drops stand behind that statement and understand Mick was doing what he does best by promoting the hell out of his match. While this Sunday’s Lockdown is not bigger than Wrestlemania it is nevertheless a huge event for TNA, Sting, Mick Foley, and longtime fans of both competitors.
An interesting note about Lockdown and Mania: Mania featured the long-awaited rematch between Taker and HBK. When looking back at 1996 when Michaels was on top of the wrestling world, arguably his most memorable title defense was that against Foley in September of that year. Foley pulled out a whole new side of HBK that was unseen in his matches with Bret Hart and British Bulldog, and nowhere to be found in matches against Vader or Kevin Nash. The Michaels in this match was an angry Michaels resorting to an unorthodox style to cream an unorthodox opponent. Meanwhile, if it had not been for Foley, the Undertaker character would have suffered extreme exhaustion. Foley changed Taker into a new character. In another mega-rematch at Hell in a Cell in 1998, Foley etched his name in history in mainstream wrestling culture forever when he took his infamous falls from the top of the cell. However, there is a reason fans remember whom Foley was fighting in that bout. The Taker character also benefited from that match, enhancing his dark side.
When: June 1992.
Where: Beach Blast-Mobile, Alabama.
What: Sting vs. Cactus Jack-Falls Count Anywhere.
In Foley’s Foley is Good, he wrote he believed the fans like to know the wrestlers are having a good time in the ring. There is a point in the 92 Beach Blast match where Foley is slapping Sting in the face while he has the stinger on the mat. If you look closely you can see the two combatants exchange a smile. It’s amazing how Sting and Foley are such opposites but seem to really enjoy each other’s work. Many criticized top stars in the industry for playing too safe and not being as tough as the mid-card guys, but Sting never seemed to come under the scrutiny. He was always well-liked and respected by all. Part of it was Sting’s chance in matches such as this one to showcase another aspect of his abilities in the ring. Even by today’s standards this is still a brutal match that would hold as a classic. If you have never seen this match or haven?t seen it in a long time and want to check it out, you can view it below:
It has been nearly seventeen years since the Beach Blast bout between Sting and Mick Foley. For years Foley held that match as his favorite, something the Stinger seemed to take pride in. Later on there would be other matches that would take its place from Death matches in Japan with Terry Funk to championship match with Shawn Michaels, and then onto Foley’s personal favorite; the2004 Backlash fight with Randy Orton. Foley was very frustrated with how he was used in WWE towards the end. I wonder if part of Foley’s mindset is to get into that cage on Sunday and give the best match he has ever had. Can these two guys do it? Yes. I have compared this match to this month’s TNA version of HBK-Taker and while it is very much the case that does not mean it will be hindered by that Mania match. I won?t call Foley the greatest worker of all-time and neither will he, but I won?t go so far as to call him a glorified stuntman because this man has given provided us with unforgettable matches filled with raw emotion. With a professional like Sting in there with Foley it cannot disappoint
When: April 2009
Where: Lockdown-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
What: Sting vs. Mick Foley-Six Sides of Steel
Enjoy another classic mega-rematch.
WWE Draft Thoughts: Many have already touched base on this topic, but the Nosebleeds had a few random comments.
CM Punk to Smackdown: Great idea. Perhaps Punk, Mysterio and Hardy can for a fantastic baby face alliance against Edge and Jericho.
Triple H to Raw: Honestly, I kind of liked HHH on Smackdown. Even as champion it seemed Hunter could be play a supporting role which would probably suit him at this point in his career. He’s not an ideal baby face but the fans respect him too much to boo him. Also, even at his best as a heel, Edge, Jericho, and Orton would outshine him.
Kane to Smackdown: I welcome another Brothers of Destruction Team/feud.
Drafts the Nosebleeds were rooting for:
Christian to Smackdown: Come on, you wanted it to happen too.
Shawn Michaels to ECW: No, I have nothing against HBK; I just think he could really help out ECW. He could have had an excellent program with Jack Swagger and if he had turned heel, he could play Tommy Dreamer’s obstacle to the ECW championship. Even if Christian had stayed in ECW that would have given us a classic series of matches.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading.