Mick Foley and Kevin Nash on Jan. 4, 1999: The night that changed wrestling

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January 04, 2013

WWE CLASSICS: Please elaborate. How do you mean?

NASH: The year that [Mike] Tyson showed up for WrestleMania [XIV] in ’98 changed wrestling. Who thinks Jan. 4, ’99, changed wrestling? A lot of [know-it-all fans]? It was already back and forth at that point with who won Mondays, so how did that change anything?

WWE CLASSICS: You could say, in a spiritual sense, the momentum went to WWE.

NASH: I don’t believe in it. There’s nothing spiritual about it. When Tyson came to WrestleMania, Vince knew that everybody was going to be watching that WrestleMania. They put a movie-trailer-quality piece before every match that caught everybody up to date if you hadn’t been watching the show every week. It got a great buyrate. When I watched that WrestleMania, I said, “We’re dead in the water.” That’s what changed wrestling.

WWE CLASSICS: Can’t disagree with that.

NASH: You’re not talking to some [know-it-all]. You’re talking to somebody that was in the process, in the middle of it. We could never out-produce Vince. Our production was never anywhere near Vince’s production. And then Vince went edgier than we were, and all of a sudden standards and practices started pulling the cord back on us. Raw became the hip show and we became the un-hip show.

WWE CLASSICS: So you don’t think Jan. 4, 1999, played a big role in the Monday Night War?

NASH: The “Fingerpoke of Doom” was nothing. The “Fingerpoke of Doom” was just trying to realign The nWo to face off with Goldberg and Goldberg ended up getting injured. I love how the story of my life is how I beat Goldberg to turn around and take the “Fingerpoke of Doom” a week later. Boy, that did me a lot of good. When you look at how people perceive the whole thing, it’s ridiculous.

WWE CLASSICS: Why do you think fans were upset with it?

NASH: The number one problem people have with the “Fingerpoke of Doom” is it “got” everybody. And nobody likes to be “got.” So, of course, [know-it-alls] are going to hate it the most because they never called it. They didn’t see anything coming.

WWE CLASSICS: How far in advance was the “Fingerpoke of Doom” planned? Was it because you heard the Raw taping results of Mick winning the title?

NASH: Oh, we didn’t care what WWE was doing. We were more worried about when Sable would come out, because those quarter-hour ratings of Raw would go through the roof. It was planned for about two or three weeks. It got to the point where people were disenchanted because Goldberg was undefeated. When we went to WWE’s territory in Salisbury, Md., people were chanting “Goldberg sucks.” They started pumping in the “Goldberg” chants and it became a situation where they were trying to fabricate a situation that had been organic.

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