Performing as Mankind, Foley defeated The Rock on the January 4, 1999 episode of RAW in a No Disqualification match. The WWE Hall of Famer went on to hold the WWE Championship for a combined 36 days over the course of his three reigns with the title.
Speaking on Robbie Fox’s My Mom’s Basement, Foley was asked to name a moment from his career that he would like to relive. The 55-year-old chose his win over The Rock due to the fact that he never expected to win the WWE Championship:
“I think if I had to relive any moment, it would be that night when I defeated Dwayne for the WWE title for the first time,” Foley said. “That was really a great time and so unexpected. Not only the result but also the way it made me feel, because I’d never based my success on being a champion because I honestly just didn’t see that in the cards. But when it happened, oh man, it was incredible.”
Mick Foley’s first WWE Championship reign lasted just 20 days. Later in January 1999, The Rock defeated his long-term rival in an 'I Quit' match at the Royal Rumble to regain the title.
Mick Foley on his victory drawing ratings
WCW Nitro aired at the same time as WWE RAW on the night of Mick Foley’s WWE Championship victory. As Foley’s win was pre-taped, WCW commentator Tony Schiavone was told to give away the result of the match during the live Nitro broadcast.
Foley recalled how WCW’s spoiler led to RAW defeating Nitro in the ratings:
“I felt like I’d been a success,” Foley added. “But then that victory and the subsequent ratings that show themselves really took me to the next level, especially within the business, the way people thought of me within the business, so that was a great night. That’s one I would like to live over.”
Tony Schiavone, who now works for AEW, amusingly reacted to Mick Foley’s anniversary tweet about the famous moment earlier this year.
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