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Putting butts in the seats
WWE.com's No. 8 Greatest Moment in Raw History was a night that made Mrs. Foley very proud and marked a major turning point in the Monday Night Wars.
Mick Foley winning his first WWE Championship from The Rock was a surprise no one saw coming. Adorned in a dirty, tattered shirt and wearing a Hannibal Lector-esque mask, Mankind, one of Foley's many personas, may have been the unlikeliest WWE Champion. Shaped like a pear, with scars from years of Barbed Wire Matches overseas, he wasn't Hulk Hogan. And he sure as hell wasn't a corporate dreamboat like The Rock.
When Foley received an opportunity at the WWE Championship, Raw and Nitro were in the midst of a heated ratings war. At the time, Raw was pre-recorded and Eric Bischoff, president of WCW, often announced the outcome of Raw matches during Nitro's broadcasts.
The night of Jan. 4, 1999 was no different.
"Tonight, fans, Mick Foley, who wrestled here as Cactus Jack and now wrestles in WWE as Mankind, will win the WWE Title," quipped Nitro announcer Tony Schiavone. "Hmmph! That'll put some butts in the seats."
WCW's sabotage attempt failed miserably as fans almost immediately tuned in to Raw to see Foley's magical moment. Raw won the ratings battle that night, and Foley's title win was considered a pivotal moment in the war WCW ultimately lost. Although Mr. McMahon cried at the site of Mankind holding the WWE Title, he still had to credit Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy for helping him bring WCW to its knees.