Dirty dozen: Mick Foley's 12 wildest matches

Cactus Jack vs. Randy Orton - Hardcore Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Backlash 2004

The intense and starmaking rivalry between Mick and Randy Orton had been one nearly a year in the making. When the two met in Madison Square Garden at WrestleMania XX, it was in a Handicap Match pitting The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection against Evolution — a match that left The Hardcore Legend disappointed.

“I played it safe at WrestleMania,” Mick revealed to WWEClassics.com. “I think I got a little overwhelmed by the magnitude of the Garden, having The Rock as my tag team partner and seeing a legend like Ric Flair out in the ring, really feeling the moment. And I just, for whatever reason, couldn’t feel the moment.”

By the time a rematch was set with Hardcore rules for Randy’s Intercontinental Championship, Mick’s stakes were raised. (WATCH FOLEY VS. ORTON)

“It was really important for me in terms of redeeming myself for what I thought was a very disappointing performance at WrestleMania,” he said. “This was the biggest match of my career and probably the last time that my heart was completely in being in the ring. I left it out there that night. I love the match.”

A scary fracas that involved tables, barbwire and even thumbtacks, the bout proved that Orton was a serious contender and that Foley was still a force to be reckoned with.

“Best case scenario for a match is when everybody benefits,” he explained. “I think this is one of those great cases where the same match benefitted both guys enormously. I think it helped people see Randy in a different way. There was a sudden respect because he had just gone through years of learning in one night. He suffered greatly. As did I.”