WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi has recalled his horrifying Hell In A Cell fall while facing off against The Undertaker at Armageddon 2000.
Speaking on Insight With Chris Van Vliet, Rikishi would say the decision to fall from the structure came from an amalgamation of wanting to steal the show despite not winning the match – and “knowing it was his time” after watching Mick Foley’s iconic moments in matches of the same stipulation.
“I knew I wasn’t the person going over in that match, but I also thought, ‘What can I do to steal that away and have people talk about it years down the line?’ It was very nerve-wracking. I watched Mick Foley fall off and [he] could have died in any of those bumps. It was my time [to be thrown], and Undertaker was known for throwing people off [the cell]. I never knew that when my time came, it would be taking a bump backwards onto a steel flatbed truck. There’s no rewind from that.”
The WWE Hall of Famer would also reveal his touching “last words” to The Deadman before taking the incredible bump – which was actually onto a flatbed truck.
“When he grabbed me, my last words to him were ‘Tell my family I love them.’ But it’s that moment, you can’t turn back now. This is what you signed up for, what you trained for. People have paid their hard earned money to watch you guys do what you do best. I’m thankful that I was safe and they still play my high spot in the years to come.”
The former Intercontinental Champion would also reveal that he made the decision early on not to rehearse the move – and just to do it live – saying it’s something he would end up regretting and that Shane McMahon actually did it for him a couple of times.
“Earlier Shane went up there and asked me if I want to practice it. I said no I just wanted to do it during show time. He went up there and walked me through it. He did it [the bump] a couple of times. When I got up there, I felt like I should have done it beforehand.”
Rikishi would state that his fall was also cushioned with “padding” – but admits it was of very little help due to his own weight and the height of the fall.
“They did have padding in that truck. But when you’re coming from a 50 foot cage and you weigh 450lbs, I hit every part of that steel flatbed and the truck went to the springs. Man, I was so full of anxiety in the moment.”
The 55-year-old would also add that he got a standing ovation following the match, but admits it wasn’t enough to convince him to make those type of spots a regular occurrence.
“When I landed you can see my lips shaking. I moved my toes to make sure I had feeling in my body. I was laid out and they drove that truck to the back and everybody in gorilla gave me a standing ovation. After that I said ‘I’m doing that [big bump] one time and that’s it!'”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet.