24 Years Ago Triple H And Cactus Jack Had One Of The Great Forgotten Matches

Cactus Jack [Mick Foley] Goes Through Ring
[Image via WWE]

When you think about Hell in A Cell, there are a few iconic moments that come to mind. Of course, the obvious Mankind is being flung off the cell by The Undertaker. You think about Kane’s first appearance in WWE during Undertaker and Shawn Michaels” Hell In A Cell Match too. Recently, you may think about Cody Rhodes facing Seth Rollins inside the cell with an already torn pec. Yet one match that took place 24 years ago involving Cactus Jack and Triple H was brilliant, yet forgotten.

This was one of the most brutal Hell in A Cell matches in history. It took place at the No Way Out PPV in Hartford, Connecticut. At the time, the three faces of Mick Foley had taken over WWE. One persona, Cactus Jack, was the version of Foley that had no problem going to the extreme to win a match. Triple H hated Foley and wanted him gone, leading to the two battling it out in this match.



Triple H and Cactus Jack - HIAC No Way Out 2000
[Image via WWE]

To appreciate the full scope of this match, we need to step back for a second and consider what came before. For months, Foley and Triple H had been feuding. Triple H had the upper hand at every turn. What’s Foley to do when he can’t seem to beat Hunter? Become Cactus Jack. 

Cactus Jack was a hardcore legend in other companies before he became Mick had taken on the Mankind role in WWE. Jack was sadistic. He wanted to inflict pain and could withstand an enormous amount of punishment. At one point, he would do an elbow drop from the ring to the concrete which might normally destroy a normal human being. Not Cactus, as he was able to withstand the potential pain and get up for more.

Foley knew he could not beat Triple H as Mankind, and especially not as Dude Love.

The two squared up at the Royal Rumble PPV in January of 2000 and had a brutal street fight. The iconic image from that match is Foley dropped onto a pile of Thumbtacks. Foley lost that match but challenged Hunter again for the WWE Championship the next month at No Way Out

The crucial part of this was that Triple H wanted Foley out of his hair. He gave Foley his match, but if he lost, he would be out of the WWE.

There’s nothing better for a sadistic superstar than Hell In A Cell, making Cactus Jack the perfect one to keep Foley”s career alive.



Triple H and Mick Foley - HIAC No Way Out 2000
[Image via WWE]

The match started with Jack trying to figure out a way out of the cell to take the fight to the top. Cactus had been up there before as Mankind. It was his playground—a way to even the odds. 

The action had Jack dominate early. He would land a blow and then continue to work on the door to try and figure a way out. Even as Triple H turned to the offense and went on beating Jack, he never stopped looking for a way out. Triple H attacked Cactus with a chair and buried him under the steel steps. 

The brutality in this match wasn’t among Mick Foley’s most memorable, but it told a great story. The toe hold launched Cactus head-first into a steel chair. Triple H beat him around the ring. Jack returns with the offense and throws Triple H into the cell, busting him open. 

This match harkened back to an era where more blood and brutality were a bit more commonplace in WWE.

Triple H dodged steel steps but opened the cell, allowing Cactus to take things to the top. 

The action continued with spots on the announce table, followed by Cactus Jack revealing the barbed wire 2×4. It’s exceptional storytelling. Triple H did all he could to keep Jack inside the cell for fear of going up to the top of the cell. By the turning point of the match, Triple H ended up on top of the cell, running for his life. 



Cactus Jack [Mick Foley] Goes Through Ring
[Image via WWE]

For Jack, this is a familiar script. He falls from halfway up the cell onto the announcer”s desk. Triple H is watching in disbelief as he rises to his feet. Cactus Jack does what we’ve been waiting all match to see…he climbs to the top of the cell to battle it with Triple H.

Once on top of the cell, Triple H punishes Jack with the 2×4. Foley mounts offense. This action is better knowing that the last time Foley was on top of the cell, he fell through the cell, knocking himself out. It made him a hardcore legend in the eyes of the average WWE fan. Of course, that was due to the faulty cell that was not made for people to walk on top of. The newer cells were made much better.

Cactus lights the barbed wire on fire and hits Triple H with it. You can see them walking carefully on the cell. Jack has Triple H in the position to essentially piledrive him through the cell, but “The Game” flipped Jack over to escape. In doing this, Jack went through the top of the cell and even through the ring below, offering shades of Foley”s iconic 1998 Cell match. Finally, Triple H climbed back into the ring, gave Jack a pedigree, and pinned him 1-2-3. 

This match was the ultimate blowoff in what was an incredible feud. This was a marquee matchup at that time. It had violence, a wild flaming barbed wire 2×4, and Foley both flying off a cell and then dropping to what felt like his death. 

This isn’t remembered with the same fondness of Cody in the cell or Mick Foley being flung from it, but 24 years later, let’s put some respect on it.