The match at No Way Out 2000 was meant to write the former WWE Champion off TV for good. He had been a long term rival for Triple H and the match as the best way to say goodbye to the fans, as injuries mounted and he saw his health deteriorate.
He had been looking to retire since the year prior. However, the absence of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin due to neck surgery meant WWE were in a bind and Foley postponed his retirement to help carry the company alongside The Rock and The Undertaker.
He went into 2000 locked in an intense rivalry with Triple H, battling The Game in increasingly violent and dangerous matches. The two first battled in a Street Fight at that year’s Royal Rumble and then inside Hell in a Cell at No Way Out with Foley’s career on the line. He retired after an incredibly emotional bout, saying goodbye to the fans one last time before hanging up his boots for good.
…That is, until Wrestlemania just a few weeks after. He replaced Chris Jericho in the Wrestlemania main event, which also featured Triple H, The Rock and Big Show. He returned to WWE four years later for a handful of matches, wrestling Randy Orton, Edge and John Cena among many others. He also signed for TNA in 2009 and wrestle there for two years, before having his last match for WWE at the 2012 Royal Rumble.
2004 Royal Rumble, WrestleMania XX and most memorably at Backlash. The brutal No Holds Barred match at Backlash against Orton is regarded as one of the best matches in Randy Orton’s career.
Speaking on his podcast Foley is Pod (available on AdFreeShows), the former Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love revealed he wished he had retired in 2000 after the match with Triple H, before coming out of retirement for his program with Randy Orton and nothing else.
“Yeah, it really is, it’s the perfect exit,” [His Hell in a Cell match with Triple H at No Way Out 2000]
“If I could re-write my own history, I never would’ve wrestled again. I would’ve had to come back against Randy [Orton at WWE Backlash 2004] because you’re allowed one comeback match. I would’ve done the tag with The Rock, followed it up with the match against Randy and then never wrestled again.
“I think everyone accepts that you’re going to have one comeback match, but I wouldn’t have done a match six weeks later [at “WrestleMania 2000”]. I would’ve done those two matches and that would’ve been it.”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.