It's the first time that WWE's annual Survivor Series pay-per-view, now in its 30th year, returns to Canada since 1997. In that event, now dubbed the "Montreal Screw Job," Vince McMahon conspired with Shawn Michaels and referee Earl Hebner to orchestrate a different ending to the match than the one outlined with the then-champion Bret Hart -- one of the most infamous moments in wrestling history.
Hart refused to lose to Michaels in Canada, and he had planned on relinquishing the WWE title the next night on Raw before joining rival promotion WCW. The incident upset many wrestlers backstage, who then planned on boycotting Raw the following night. In the end, only one wrestler ended up not showing up for work.
That man was Mick Foley.
Just before leaving his home in Long Island for this Sunday's Survivor Series event in Toronto, Foley took a few moments to speak to ESPN about his experience that day and touch on a few other topics prior to this historic event.
"I was just upset because I was a friend of Bret Hart's, and more importantly, he's a guy that I respect as a champion and a person," Foley said. "So I walked out and didn't show up the next night for Raw. If I had a car I would have driven home, but I didn't, so I sat in the hotel room in Montreal.
"I found out that night that one really is the loneliest number when only one guy sits out," Foley continued. "There was a bunch of guys talking about it, but looking around the hotel I was the only one that ended up sitting out, so I said, 'Ah, I guess it didn't happen.'"
After taking a moment to consider his long-term prospects, some insight from his wife allowed Foley to justify walking back through those doors and continuing on with the WWE.
"My wife pointed out that there was something in my contract that said I would be breaching my contract and couldn't work anywhere in the world for the next five years if I just sat home," Foley recalled. "I came back and I was embraced, and it was never held against me -- as a matter of fact, I think Mr. McMahon respected it."
Foley didn't love how things had played out in Montreal, but by continuing to pursue his lifelong passion, he achieved some of his greatest personal successes. The following year at Survivor Series, Foley's career would get the push he had always dreamed of when he was put in the main event against The Rock for the WWE championship.
"My greatest personal Survivor Series moment was facing The Rock in 1998 and having Mr. McMahon turn on me," Foley said. "That set into motion one of the best series of matches I've ever had and some of the most important with The Rock. Not only did we have great matches, but then we became teamed up following the rivalry, so that was big."
By the time all was said and done, Foley was a three-time champion and earned induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. He returned to the WWE earlier this year when the company implemented a brand split, separating talent onto either Raw or Smackdown. As general manager, Foley has been one of the most vocal advocates for the "women's revolution," and Raw has seen some history made by Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair in the last several months. Not only did Raw see its first women's main event in 12 years, one of Raw's brand-exclusive pay-per-views featured the first-ever women's "Hell in a Cell" match, the first women's match to main event a pay-per-view event.
"Triple H was one of the main proponents of women's wrestling," Foley said, acknowledging how much of a companywide initiative it has been. "As soon as they hired Sara Amato, or Sara Del Rey as she's [been] known [on the independents] as a coach, it showed how serious the WWE was in developing this next generation of women talent. I've just been a guy pointing, going, 'Look over there, there's something special happening. I hadn't seen Charlotte in years, and I hadn't even met the other women when I started watching them, but I knew there was something special there, and that people should take note of it -- and it's only going to get better."
Foley has been vocal on many topics of late, both within the WWE and outside of its scope on social media. No matter where you turn in the world, the fallout from the election of Donald Trump is being felt everywhere, by everyone, including Foley.
While Foley has no personal interest in running for political office or cashing in on his celebrity to wield any kind of political power, he felt the need to make his opinion known prior to last week's presidential election. The WWE Hall of Famer implored his millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook not to vote for Trump, who "was standing about 15 feet away from me on stage," when both joined the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
"I know our fan base is all over the political map, and you don't want to offend half your fan base, but I said [to myself] I have to be able to look into the mirror and know I tried to do something," Foley told ESPN. "I think it's a scary time.
"President-elect Trump wasn't my choice, but I'm going to be like Dave Chappelle and I'm going to give him a chance -- but I think there are people out there with legitimate worries."
Earlier this week, Bovada, an online betting company, set odds for the 2020 presidential election, including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at 100-1 and Vince McMahon, WWE's chairman and CEO, at 500-1. Foley said he could see his old tag-team partner and rival in the oval office in four years, even if it won't be a reunion of the Rock 'n' Sock Connection.
He also added a few other WWE names to that list, and while he initially feigned some apprehension, Foley included his current partner in crime, Raw's commissioner Stephanie McMahon, in that group.
"I see The Rock running in 2020 and being a two-term president," Foley said. "I think he would be great, and I'm joking when I say I think Stephanie McMahon wouldn't be a fine president of the United States. I think she's got the leadership qualities. I see those two as potential candidates, and I see Kane as a congressional leader. Kane could win, and he's maybe the most knowledgeable man I've met in any field of business."