There was a match at WrestleMania 22 in 2006 that provided wrestling fans with one of the most memorable endings to a match ever. That’s not just WrestleMania. I mean any show.
Let’s go back to WrestleMania 22 for a closer look at Edge vs. Mick Foley and a flaming table.
Who: Edge vs. Mick Foley @ WrestleMania 22
When: April 2, 2006
Where: Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois
Edge won his first WWE Championship at the New Year’s Revolution event early in 2006. Edge lost the title back to Cena three weeks later at the Royal Rumble. On the February 13, 2006 edition of Raw, Edge challenged Cena for the title again. Foley was the referee of that match, Cena hit Edge with the FU and won clean with Foley making the count. Edge didn’t see it that way. He blamed Foley for the loss. After the match, Lita hit Foley with a low blow and Edge hit him with a Spear.
Edge challenged Foley to a match at WrestleMania. He noted that Foley never had that classic, defining moment at a WrestleMania before. Foley rejected his offer for a wrestling match and challenged him to another match with no rules…a Hardcore Match. Edge accepted the challenge after he crushed Foley wit ha Conchairto.
Foley fired back at Edge by noting that Edge had awoken a part of Foley’s past that he had forgotten about. Foley was really aggressive in the build up to the match as he used weapons like chairs and barb wire baseball bats to show that he was ready.
They did a great job of making it feel like a personal rivalry.
What I Thought Back Then
Mick Foley is one of my favorite people in wrestling history. I think it’s because he’s an “everyman” type of guy. He looks like a normal guy that just so happens to be ridiculously talented when it comes to that art of professional wrestling. For fans that think he was only a guy that fell off rooftops or cages to get attention, you’re wrong. He became a big star because of his hard work, his ability to tell a story on the microphone and in the ring and most importantly of all, his connection with the crowd. I was really happy to see him back in action six years after he retired. I had no doubt that he was going to be ready to put on a great match.
As for Edge, I watched him in the indies before he was WWE. Seeing him win the WWE Title earlier in the year was awesome because he was a local guy to me. I assume he went into this match very motivated to prove that he was a main event performer. He might have been mad that he wasn’t in the main event of WrestleMania after the great 2005 he had and winning the WWE Title earlier in the year. I think he had a valid point if he was mad.
Foley went into the match at 40 years of age and as I said, six years after he retired as a full-time wrestler. Edge was in the prime of his career at 32 years of age. The story was strong and they were good performers, so I was expecting a great match.
Here’s my full review of the match plus the analysis, which was written in 2012.
Hardcore Match: Edge (w/Lita) vs. Mick Foley
There was a video package to set up the match.
JR welcomes Joey Styles to the booth to call this match due to his experience in hardcore matches. No countouts, no DQs and falls count anywhere. Edge is out first with Lita and her cleavage. Foley’s out in the darker flannel shirt and a Cactus Jack shirt underneath. The crowd was ready and thirsty for blood.
Edge attacks with the bat. Foley counters, hits a bulldog and hits the Tree of Woe elbow to the head of Edge. Edge gets a forearm on Foley as Lita hands him a cookie sheet. He kills Foley with it twice. Now another larger cookie sheet to the head of Foley. Baseball slide dropkick into a side crashing into Foley’s face. Edge goes for the spear and he hits it only two minutes into the match. Edge starts yelling like he hurt his arm, which proves to be a work as Foley takes off the dark flannel to reveal the red flannel and shirt. Then we learn why Edge is hurt because Foley’s got the barb wire wrapped around his stomach. Edge’s arm is bleeding as Mick attacks him with the wire. Edge gets tied up in the ropes while Mick goes under the ring steps to find Barbie the barbed wire baseball bat. Lita jumps on his back and he charges at Edge with Lita on his back while hitting the Cactus clothesline sending all three to the floor. What a crazy bump by Lita there. Neckbreaker on the floor by Foley. Punches on the floor, then a charge but Edge hiptosses him into the steel steps with Foley’s legs and hip hitting the steps. Ouch. This just in: Mick Foley is still insane. I guess that’s why we love him so much, huh? Here’s more proof as Edge chucks him legs first into the steps sending him crashing over those knee first.
Back in the ring, Edge with a baseball slide dropkick that sends him out to the floor. Edge pulls a table out from under the ring. Edge rams the back of his head into the steel ramp. Ouch. Again. Edge pulls out some lighter fluid and sprays it all over Foley’s flannel shirt. Foley comes back with punches, then hits the pulling piledriver for two. Foley places Edge’s face headfirst on the cookie sheet, then grabs a chair for the conchairto. Lita comes in, Edge gets up and hits the DDT on the cookie sheet (or close to it anyway) for two. Edge picks up the barb wire bat, Barbie, and cracks Foley with it in the stomach, the back and then in the forehead as Foley bleeds. Edge sticks it into Foley’s forehead in a gruesome spot. Facecrusher into Barbie gets two for Edge. Edge looks under a different set of steps, then gets a bag of thumbtacks and puts them in the corner of the ring. Edge punches him down in the corner and then Foley drops him with a backdrop suplex into the thumbtacks leaving Edge’s bare back full with tacks. Crowd liked that. Mr. Socko comes out. He wraps it in wire and puts it in Edge’s mouth and then Lita’s. They show Lita’s mouth bleeding on the floor outside. Ewww. Now Foley with Barbie in his possession he smashes Edge in the stomach, back and then face leaving Edge bloody. Then a Barbie smash to the face. They’re both bleeding huge. Big “Foley” chant as Mick now grates the wire into Edge’s face. Foley gets the lighter fluid and sprays it all over the table that’s right by the ring. He poses on the apron with it. Lita takes the Barbie bat into Foley’s knee and she lights the table with fire. Foley’s on the apron, Edge charges in and spears him through the ropes and into the flaming table! Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Wow. Edge pins him on the floor after 14:36.
Winner by pinfall: Edge
What a finish! That visual is something I’ll never forget. That’s for damn sure. It was an amazing finish. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Replays were shown and they make me say wow because it was a crazy spot to end that match.
Analysis: ****1/2 I loved it. Great action in this match. I loved the intensity that Edge showed off the bat. The barbed wire around the waist of Foley at the start of the match was a really innovative idea too. That bloody arm that Edge had was pretty gross to look at. The spots in this match were fantastic including the Cactus clothesline while Lita was on Mick’s back, the thumbtack spot and of course the finish through the flaming table. I think that flaming table spot is one of the most memorable endings to any WM match ever. It was masterfully done and it’s a good thing that they were safe about it. The other thing I noticed was how much of a difference the TV14 era was from the TVPG era because there’s no way a match like this would happen now. I was so impressed by Foley putting on a match that good six years after he retired as a full-timer. Not easy to do. Edge was there to help him too and they put on a classic.
Post match, they both sell the beating as Edge shakes in shock while Foley just lays there knocked out. That was nuts. Huge standing ovation for Foley.
What They Said
Here’s what Foley had to say to Fighting Spirit Magazine in 2012:
“As far as my Wrestlemania moment goes, it’s got to be the one with Edge. I’ve told that story when I do my shows about realizing being surrounded by charred flesh and blood, even as the referee was counting to three, I was like ‘I got my moment, I got my moment.’ When I made that phone call home, which I had to do under direct orders after every single PPV, my wife answers the phone and said, ‘Is Edge okay?’ That was my magic WrestleMania moment and then being dramatically brought down to earth.”
Foley also wrote about it on a website he had several years ago:
“I finally had my great Wrestlemania moment in this brutal battle with one of the very best in the business. Edge’s back must have been killing him for days after carrying me through this hardcore extravaganza. This is the fourth of the “Winter” matches on my top ten list.”
Foley also covered the match in more detail in his book, Countdown to Lockdown.
When Edge was on ESPN Sportscenter with Jonathon Coachman, he explained it this way:
“I was in the mind-frame where I wanted to be in the main event and if I wasn’t, I was going to make sure everyone came out of the event thinking I should have been in the main event.”
Two years later he was in that main event with The Undertaker.
What I Think Now
I loved the way they came up with creative ways to have the most hardcore match in WrestleMania history. It started off with Edge going for that Spear, but Foley had barb wire wrapped around his waist. Who does that kind of thing? Only a Hardcore legend like Foley. That led to Edge bleeding by the arm and Foley followed that with a clothesline on Edge while Lita was on his back. What a crazy start to this match.
The most difficult thing about watching a match like this are all the shots to the head. They hit eachother in the head with chairs, they had other objects that they used for headshots and it looked painful just watching. That’s because there aren’t chair shots in WWE, which is a great thing for the health of the performers.
What I liked the most is that they got the right amount of time to put on a classic match. If they went only 10 minutes it wouldn’t have been as good. If they were given five more minutes then perhaps it would have dragged at different times.
The ending was incredible. I’ve run out of words to use to describe it. That’s not the kind of move that a lot of wrestlers would even try, but if you’re going to do it then you might as well save it for a WrestleMania. I thought the way they set it up was spectacular, having Lita involved made a lot of sense as well and thankfully Edge hit the move perfectly as he drove Foley through the table as safe as he possibly could.
What Happened Next
They followed up this match with a heel turn from Foley, which was a surprise since he was one of the most popular wrestlers ever. The reason for the turn was for him to align with Edge in a “I respect him” kind of way and that set up a huge tag match against Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer at ECW One Night Stand 2006, which was a fantastic show. Foley also had a feud with Ric Flair culminating in a match at SummerSlam 2006.
As for Edge, he won back the WWE Title in July 2006 and solidified himself as a main event level talent over the next five years. I feel like this match really opened people’s eyes as he proved that he belonged on the top of the card, which is where he was for most of the rest of his career.
This is one of those matches that nobody is ever going to forget. Kudos to both men for being crazy enough and, more important, good enough to deliver a classic WrestleMania match unlike anything we have ever seen before or since. Both men had a lot to prove going into it and I think they both opened up a lot of eyes with their performance on April 2, 2006. It’s a perfect example of a match where both men became even bigger superstars thanks to the effort they put into this match.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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