“Good God almighty! Good God almighty! that killed him! As God as my witness he is broken in half!” It’s quote known around the world by avid wrestling fans and one to this day that still sends chills down the spine of those who rematch the match it originated from.King of the Ring 1998 is where that quote came from, and to be more specific, it came from the Undertaker Vs Mankind Hell in a Cell match. For those who aren’t a fan of wrestling, a Hell in a Cell match is pretty dangerous (and yes I know it’s fake for anyone out there that states the obvious). Two men are locked inside a steel cage with a roof on it and anything is legal. It is often said to shorten careers and damage lives. The match mentioned in this article is no exception from this.
Mankind made his debut in 1996 and immediately set his sights in the Undertaker (who debuted in 1990). The two feuded on and off for two years. By the time 1998 rolled around, there wasn’t many types of matches left for them to feud in. Enter the Hell in a Cell match, set to end their long running feud. Boy does this match deliver, it has all the makings of a classic wrestling match: violence, a brawl, blood, drama, emotional investment and thumbtacks.
Could get the sense this match was going to be good when Mankind decided to start the match on top of the cell (anybody else think it was a bad idea?). Undertaker makes his entrance and starts on top with Mankind. All hell (excuse the pun) breaks loose. Within in two minutes of the match starting Undertaker tosses Mankind from the top of the cell which is a 22ft drop and sends him crashing through the announcer’s table. This is where commentator Jim Ross utters the quote at the top of this article. Fans didn’t know what to think, and anyone watching at home had Jim Ross screaming into his head set.
I’d love to tell you that this was the end of Mankind’s night, but it wasn’t, he was put on a stretcher and carted up the aisle, but he didn’t go to the hospital, he got off the stretcher and even with a dislocated shoulder climbed back up the cell to continue the fight with Undertaker. Within another two minutes Mankind took another big fall, but this one was through the cell to the ring bellow. Getting hit in the head with a chair on the way down leaving him with a concussion. Mankind later stated that the Undertaker thought he was dead when he hit the ring.
This wasn’t the end of the match. Undertaker climbed down to the ring and continued the assault. Mankind did amount some offence despite his injuries, he even busted the Undertaker open. His plan to drop Undertaker on thumbtacks backfired though, he took a backdrop and a chokeslam on them. Moments later Undertaker did end the match and Mankind’s night with a tombstone pile driver. To say fans were exhausted after this match would be an understatement.
This is match is such an emotional drain to watch. It’s violent and a slugfest. If my vague description enticed you, check the match out yourself, and listen to the fan reactions and that of the commentators, you’ll see why this match is a classic.