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

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January 04, 2013

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WWE CLASSICS: Mick, was there a consciousness within WWE at the time that Raw needed to do things to win the ratings war against Nitro? Was the WWE locker room aware of what Nitro was doing?

FOLEY: Oh sure, yeah. I wasn’t aware about what had happened on Nitro that night until I saw it play out on Jan. 4. I think too much of the credit goes to me individually when a lot of the credit should go to WCW for putting on a really bad show that night. The arresting of Goldberg I thought was terrible. And for a long time, I thought WCW had the hot hand in the wrestling war. I would watch their show and go, “Wow, they’ve just got that edge that we don’t seem to have.” But by the time the ratings tide turned in our favor, I believe we had the better show for well more than a year. I’m not picking on Nitro, because they had some great shows, but that particular night stood out to me for being particularly bad.

WWE CLASSICS: Why was that episode of Nitro so noteworthy?

FOLEY: I always say there’s no steadfast formula for getting a show right. There are some nights when Raw seems to go better than others. The show hooks people and the action is compelling. There are other nights that doesn’t seem to go so well. For example, the dramatic return of Santa Claus was one of my all-time favorite Raws, and it seemed to be a night where everything was just right for that particular show. But I think this was a combination of WCW getting everything wrong on the wrong night and WWE getting everything right on the right night.

WWE CLASSICS: Kevin, is there any part of you that wishes instead of doing the “Fingerpoke of Doom” you did a wrestling match against Hogan or a rematch from Starrcade against Goldberg?

NASH: It wouldn’t have mattered. Goldberg still would’ve put his hand through the limo window [and been injured] in a couple of months, so what’s the difference? A bunch of [know-it-all fans] wouldn’t be as mad?

WWE CLASSICS: So you don’t think that if Nitro had put on a different main event, fans would not have changed the channel to see Mick win the title and Nitro would have possibly moved in a different direction?

NASH: They already knew they wanted to watch Mick win the title over me wrestling Goldberg or Hulk. That was a decision that was already made.

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