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  April 24, 1999



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Rock 'em & Sock 'em
20,000 raving fans on their feet for ring masters



By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
  Late last summer, Mick Foley wasn't sure if he wanted to wrestle any longer. He had been Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack, portraying enough characters to make his a psychiatrist's nightmare.

"When Mankind first came on the scene he was there to scare people," said Foley who now uses the Mankind persona exclusively. "He was there to pose a threat to the Undertaker. If I had stayed that way, there would be no more Mankind.

"This past eight months or so, I have added a bit more humour to the character to the point where I think people have a lot of fun when the Mankind character comes out." Like last night at the SkyDome when Mankind, wearing a bow tie, a Pooh T-shirt and bright red pants to team with Ken Shamrock in a loss against the Undertaker and Midian.

The crowd of about 20,000 was on its feet when Mankind strode the ring and even though he ended up being tombstoned by the villainous 'Taker, Mankind drew a few chuckles as he tossed his tie into the crowd after the loss, announcing he would never wear it again.

"You have to continually evolve," Mankind said. "I was at the point when I thought that wrestling had passed me by. I was debating if there was still a life in wrestling for Mick Foley. I started to have more fun and it made it a lost easier. I think there are enough people who understand what I do to make it worthwhile."



ROUSING SUPPORT

Unlike the lacklustre effort in February, last night's card featured lots of action and little talk. While Mankind received his rousing support, the biggest pops of the night were saved for last when heavyweight champion Stone Cold Steve Austin teamed with Paul Wight, a 500-pound behemoth to rattle The Rock and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

Austin, who will defend his title tomorrow on a pay per view against The Rock, brought the screaming fans to their feet when he used his patented Stone Cold Stunner on Helmsley to win the bout in about 12 minutes. He had them roaring in the aisles when he stunned Helmsley's valet Chyna before delivering another stunner on Helmsley while Wight and The Rock slugged it out at ringside.

The WWF returns to the SkyDome July 24.