“As God As My Witness, He Is Broken In Half”
22 years ago on this day, the following phrase was exclaimed by an announcer after watching a grown man being thrown from 20ft in the air onto a table below. "As God as my witness, he is broken in half!". Jim Ross, the former WWE ringside commentator, yelled out those words after the Undertaker tossed Mankind off the top of a steel cage onto a broadcast table below. It's a moment in WWE history that has stayed with me since that time as something I am still amazed by.
The WWE pay-per-view was King of the Ring, and the match in which the Undertaker and Mankind were battling under was dubbed 'Hell in a Cell'. The match, which was actually the third 'Hell in a Cell' match, the second was two weeks earlier on Monday Night Raw to promote the upcoming battle, set the bar as far as any future 'Hell in a Cell' match moving forward.
The match started on-top of the steel cage with Mankind wielding a steel chair. As the Undertaker is introduced he makes his way to the top of the cage, setting the stage for the moment that has been in my memory, and I'm sure other WWE Attitude Era fan's memory's since.
Mankind fell 16-22 feet down onto the poor Spanish announce teams table, it seems their table was always the first to be demolished by an Attitude Era wrestler.
I remember distinctly watching the pay-per-view on VHS the next morning in my parent's basement as I couldn't stay up to watch it "LIVE" with my dad, as I was 11 at the time. Hearing Jim Ross and Jerry the King Lawler this morning as the memory came up brought me back to eating a bowl of Trix cereal while watching these two athletes giving it all atop a steel cage.
That was one of those moments when I wanted to be a professional wrestler and do something like that. It led to my brother and I power-bombing one another off our family's boat into the river, flying elbow drops from on top of couches and roofs onto mattresses and our opponent below.
We'd go to the shows when they were in town, it was a simpler time then. No COVID-19, no 'adult' jobs, and summers were meant for riding your bike, swimming, and traveling baseball.
Now my brother has 3 kids all under 6, we both hold 'adult' jobs, summer means projects and working on our homes, and instead of playing traveling baseball it's bringing kids to practice and putting the chain back on the bikes.