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WWE Looks Back At Super Bowl 'Halftime Heat' With The Rock vs. Mankind

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Each week, World Wrestling Entertainment looks back into its vault for its This Week in WWE History feature.

For this week's installment, which hit YouTube on Thursday, WWE rewinds to its attempt to steal viewers from the Super Bowl halftime show with its own halftime performance.

Back on Jan. 31, 1999, during the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXIII, the then-WWF (World Wrestling Federation) ran a special edition of its Sunday Night Heat show named Halftime Heat.

The special airing had the Rock defending his WWF World Heavyweight championship against Mankind in an Anything Goes match in an empty arena, days after snatching the belt from one-third of Mick Foley's personas at the 1999 Royal Rumble.

The wild match was pre-recorded to air on the USA Network, countering Fox's Super Bowl halftime show starring Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder.

While the legendary artists were belting out their best tunes, the Rock and Mankind were exchanging their own hits in a match that spilled all over the empty arena.

After being led out to the ring by Vince McMahon, the Rock went toe-to-toe with Mankind, as the superstars traded punches in the middle of the ring. However, the match wouldn't stay in the ring for long, as the action quickly spilled to the top of the arena's stands, where the "Great One" kicked Mankind down the steps.

"That's three points right through the uprights," the commentator said, in reference to a field goal's worth in the NFL.

Halftime Heat only grew more out of control at the point when the Rock threw Mankind into a stand of cotton candy, Mankind swung a huge bag of popcorn at the champ and the most electrifying Superstar doused his wild opponent with everything from salsa to beer.

When it was all said and done, the action spilled over to deep backstage, where Mankind operated a forklift to prop three beer kegs of cargo onto the Rock long enough to get the pinfall and win back the WWF title. The company showed a hilarious shot of the Rock staring up at the forklift lowering down onto him.

Looking back 16 years to the match, it was a fun attempt to steal some eyes from the Super Bowl's halftime show.

Maybe WWE should consider bringing it back.

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