Seventeen years ago today, we saw one of the weirdest matches to ever be held over the prestigious Triple Crown Championship of All Japan Pro Wrestling. It took place in the HUSTLE promotion in Yokohama Arena, and saw the champion Toshiaki Kawada defend against Mick Foley in his Cactus Jack persona. This was the final match that Foley ever had in Japan, and it was unique right down to the reason he was in the mix.
Mick Foley Replaced Goldberg, And Could Barely Walk
This match came just a few weeks after facing Randy Orton in a now iconic No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere match at WWE Backlash. Foley was just visiting in Japan, but any wrestler worth booking always has their gear handy. So while there, when it was reported that Goldberg would be unable to make his match with the legendary Toshiaki Kawada? Foley answered the call.
Speaking about the match on Twitter after being tagged in a video clip from user @CiaranRH, Foley would say the following. “I arrived in Japan for this match in a wheelchair, and left Japan in a wheelchair – but I did the match! This was my last appearance in Japan – 17 years ago, today. I’d love to go back to Japan for a convention sometime.”
Another fan would ask if this is the match where he replaced Goldberg, which Foley confirmed. “Yes – when my agent told me I could make Bill’s money, I told him I couldn’t walk, but I’d be in that ring!”
A Memorable Brawl Of A Match
Despite being in rough shape at the time, Foley truly gave everything had in the match. He was already well past his prime, but could still give a good brawl in the ring. Barbed Wire bats were swung, Kawada showed the powerful strikes that made him a legend, and after nearly 13 minutes, Kawada was named the victor.
It’s unclear if Goldberg would have been able to beat Kawada and get a reign as Triple Crown Champion, but there was little to no chance to a beat up Foley getting the belt. Kawada would reign until February 2005, when he was taken down at AJPW Realize by Satoshi Kojima.
Have you ever watched this hidden gem from the career of Mick Foley? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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