An official for all Mankind?
It's up to YOU, WWE Fan Nation, to select the special guest referee for the World Heavyweight Championship Match at Cyber Sunday, and boy, do you have three blockbuster choices. You decide whether "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mick Foley or JBL -- all former World Champions themselves -- will be the arbiter for Batista vs. Undertaker.
Being former World Champions and top-flight WWE Superstars, each of these three men shares a history with at least one of the combatants -- some good moments, and definitely some bad ones as well. While the third man in the ring is normally a neutral party, one has to wonder if your selection will call it right down the middle at Cyber Sunday. After all, JBL didn't become a self-proclaimed "wrestling god" by being fair and balanced, and one of Stone Cold's biggest mottos is "Don't Trust Anyone." As for Foley…well, the two ring combatants are players in two of his biggest and most memorable rivalries, so even he can be influenced -- right there, in Washington, D.C.
So just who is Mick Foley and what kind of history does he have with Batista and Undertaker?
Often loved, sometimes hated, but always respected, thy name is Foley. Mick Foley may not have taken a prototypical path to WWE Superstar-dom, but hey, Mick Foley isn't the prototypical WWE Superstar. Most known for some of his infamous ring catastrophes -- perhaps ones even he'd like to forget -- Mrs. Foley's baby boy is one of the most decorated men in WWE lore. The man with three faces -- four if you count just being himself -- is also a three-time WWE Champion and has held the World Tag Team Championship seven times.
Once again, Batista is the "easy" part of Foley's equation. Easy, that is, if you consider being an accomplice to Evolution teammate Randy Orton's rivalry with the Hardcore Legend a negligible offense. That's just what The Animal was back in 2004, as he watched the Legend Killer go toe-to-toe with Foley in one of Mick's fiercest rivalries. Batista also was given a first-hand taste of the action, as he, Orton & Ric Flair defeated Foley & The Rock at WrestleMania XX.
While Orton is just one of Foley's biggest rivalries, Undertaker may be the fiercest. Long-time WWE fans need only to hear the words "Hell in a Cell" to remember one of the most infamous moments in WWE history: The Phenom tossing Foley nearly 20 feet from the Cell roof down through the announcers' table.
That's not even the half of it. Undertaker vs. Mankind was one of the biggest rivalries in WWE history, spanning from 1996 all the way through Foley's retirement in 2001. From Hell in a Cell to Buried Alive Matches and Boiler Room Brawls, from tag team title changes to Paul Bearer turning on The Phenom, both have gone through Hell and back.
If you truly believe that old rivalries die hard, then Foley/Undertaker is definitely one that's not quite cold. Do you think that will affect Foley's judgment? He has been a guest referee before -- including refereeing multiple WWE Championship Matches -- so he knows what it means to put on the stripes (and in case you were wondering, so does his good friend, Mr. Socko).
Will Foley get your vote to serve as special guest referee, or will he watch as Stone Cold or JBL get the nod? The world will find out at Cyber Sunday, but until then, keep voting!