What does it feel like to win the WWE Title? Five former WWE Champions share their stories

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April 26, 2013

Mick Foley

WWECLASSICS.COM: There are plenty of memorable WWE Championship Matches, but your Jan. 4, 1999, WWE Title win seems to be the most memorable. Do you think any other championship victory compares?

MICK FOLEY: Well, thank you, but I was in the crowd when The Iron Sheik beat Bob Backlund and that signaled the end of the era. The next month, I watched on the Madison Square Garden Network when Hulk Hogan beat The Sheik and that ushered in a new era. If someone wants to say [my WWE Title win] was one of the top 10 most important I’ll take it, but in no way am I saying it was the most important one.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Did the fact that you won the title on a taped show have any negative effect on your achievement?

FOLEY: I was just talking to a WWE Superstar who I can visualize as a future World Champion, telling them that in no way did the circumstances surrounding my title wins reduce them in any way.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Part of what made your title win so special was that it wasn’t supposed to happen. You never thought you’d be WWE Champion, right?

FOLEY: I never made winning the WWE Championship my goal. A.) I really didn’t think I’d ever get into WWE. Going back to the early ’90s, I just accepted I was not a WWE type of guy. B.) When I got here, I thought being WWE Champion wasn’t in the cards and I was fine with that. I based the success of my career around having great matches and giving fans their money’s worth. That was until I actually won the title, at which point it became the greatest thing in the world.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Your post-match celebration has become a highlight in its own right. What part of that moment sticks out to you now?

FOLEY: I did an impromptu two laps around the ring at a faster speed than I thought I was capable of. And I got hoisted onto the shoulders of D-Generation X and I couldn’t help but notice that Billy Gunn looked like he was thinking that should’ve been him. It was a great way to win the title and celebrate.

WWECLASSICS.COM: And, of course, there were no limousines or champagne bashes after the show.

FOLEY: Never, no. We had to drive through a blizzard to Boston, which should have been a little more than an hour drive that turned into a three-hour drive. I fully intended to order a nice meal and stay in a much nicer room than I ordinarily would have. Instead, I saw The Blue Meanie in the lobby, because there was no more availability at the inn. So I let him stay in my room. I celebrated my championship win by listening to the farts and loud snoring of Blue Meanie.

WWECLASSICS.COM: That’s one hell of a party. Where is the championship you won that night now?

FOLEY: I wanted to have it framed and put on the wall. But I won the championship from The Rock who won it from “Stone Cold” who had celebrated with a post-match beer bash for six months. So the title smelled like beer and mildew. It stunk up a closet for a couple of years, and then I ended up auctioning it to help a wrestler pay their medical bills. Even though I hadn’t displayed it, I loved that title. Someone in Japan has it on their wall now and it helped one of the guys.

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