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Mick Foley


Mick Foley - Cactus Jack - Mankind - Dude Love

Professional wrestling legend, author, speaker, comedian and humanitarian

Websites

Mick Foley official website

Mick Foley WWE website

News

Three-time WWE heavyweight champion Mick Foley together with award-winning Australian comedian Brendon Burns, will visit Australia soil in February 2013 for a first ever Australian tour with their brand new double-handed stand-up comedy show ‘Good God Almighty!’.

Good God Almighty! Australian Tour Dates 2013

February 04 Adelaide, SA
Dunstan Playhouse
February 06 Brisbane, QLD
The Tivoii
February 09 Sydney, NSW
Enmore Theatre Sydney
February 11 Melbourne, Victoria
Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne

Get Tickets here
Visit www.facebook.com/LiveNationOzNz

Michael Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr. (born June 7, 1965) is an American author and professional wrestler. He is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), appearing primarily on its Raw brand.

Throughout his wrestling career, Foley has wrestled for many different promotions, both under his real name and under various personas (most notably Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love). He is the first ever WWF Hardcore Champion and became a three-time WWF Champion as Mankind. He is also one of the most successful tag team wrestlers in history, being an eight-time WWF Tag Team Champion, a two-time ECW World Tag Team Champion, a one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion and a one-time WCWA Tag Team Champion. He is also a one-time WCWA Light Heavyweight Champion.

Foley is a multiple-time New York Times bestselling author. He was also a subject of the documentary Beyond the Mat, which followed him at the peak of his career.

Early life

Foley was born in Bloomington, Indiana. Shortly after he was born, Foley's family moved to Setauket-East Setauket, New York, where Foley attended Ward Melville High School, played lacrosse, and wrestled. Mick Foley was also a high school classmate of Kevin James of King of Queens, and the two were on the wrestling team together. While a student at State University of New York at Cortland, he hitchhiked to Madison Square Garden to see his favorite wrestler, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, in a steel cage match against Don Muraco.[4] Foley has said that Snuka's flying body splash from the top of the cage inspired him to pursue a career in pro wrestling. Foley is visible on the WWE video of the event.

Career

Early career

Foley formally trained at Dominic DeNucci's wrestling school in Freedom, Pennsylvania, driving several hours weekly from his college campus in Cortland, New York, and debuted in June 1986. In addition to appearing on DeNucci's cards, Foley and several other students also took part in some squash matches for WWF TV tapings, wrestling under the name "Jack Foley", including a match where Foley and Les Thornton faced the British Bulldogs, during which The Dynamite Kid clotheslined Foley with such force that he was unable to eat solid food for several days.

After several years of wrestling in the independent circuit, Foley began receiving offers from various regional promotions, including the UWF. He joined Memphis-based CWA as Cactus Jack, where he teamed with Gary Young as part of the Stud Stable. Cactus and Young briefly held the CWA tag titles in late 1988. On November 20, Foley left CWA for Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling.

In World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) Cactus Jack, billed as Cactus Jack Manson, was a major part of Skandor Akbar's stable.Foley also won several titles, including the company's light heavyweight and tag team titles before leaving the company, losing his last match to Eric Embry in nine seconds. He then briefly competed in Alabama's Continental Wrestling Federation before completing a brief stint with World Championship Wrestling, including a match against Mil Mascaras at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout. It was during this period that Foley was involved in a car accident that resulted in the loss of his two front teeth, adding to the distinctive look for which he is famous. Following the short stint with WCW, Foley then signed with Herb Abrams's Universal Wrestling Federation. In UWF, Foley teamed with Bob Orton to feud with Don Muraco, Sunny Beach, and Brian Blair. Foley amassed a cult following because of his growing repertoire of high-risk moves. During a match in July 1991, Foley debuted the Double-arm DDT, which he used as a finisher for years to follow.

He soon left UWF for Tri-State Wrestling, whose style of high impact and violent wrestling style fit Foley well. On one night, known as Tri-State's Summer Sizzler 1991, Cactus Jack and Eddie Gilbert had three matches in one night: Cactus won a Falls Count Anywhere match, lost a Stretcher match, and then fought to a double disqualification in a Steel Cage match.These matches caught the attention of World Championship Wrestling promoters, and after a brief stint working in the Global Wrestling Federation, he joined WCW.

World Championship Wrestling (1991-1994)

On September 5, 1991, Cactus Jack debuted as a heel and attacked Sting. After feuds with Van Hammer and Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack faced Sting, then WCW champion, in a non-title Falls Count Anywhere match at Beach Blast 1992, which Sting won. For a long time, Foley considered this the best match he ever worked.

Cactus Jack first wrestled Vader on April 6, 1993. Foley and Leon White wanted an intense match, so they agreed that Vader would hit Cactus with a series of heavy blows to the face. WCW edited the match heavily because it was against their policies to show the heavy bleeding that resulted. Foley suffered a broken nose, a dislocated jaw and needed twenty-seven stitches, but won the match via countout. Because the title did not change hands on a countout, WCW booked a rematch. Foley, however, wanted some time off to be with his newborn daughter and get surgery to repair a knee injury. As a result, in the rematch with Vader on April 23, the two executed a dangerous spot to sell a storyline injury. Vader removed the protective mats at ringside and power-bombed Cactus onto the exposed concrete floor, causing a legitimate concussion and causing Foley to temporarily lose sensation in his left foot and hand. While Foley was away, WCW ran an angle where Cactus Jack's absence was explained with a farcical comedy storyline in which he went crazy, was institutionalized, escaped, and developed amnesia. Foley had wanted the injury storyline to be very serious and generate genuine sympathy for him before his return. The comedy vignettes that WCW produced instead were so bad that Foley jokes in Have a Nice Day that they were the brainchild of WCW executives who regarded a surefire moneymaking feud as a problem that needed to be solved.

Foley returned in the fall of 1993 to save the British Bulldog from an attack by Vader. He then proceeded to feud with Vader and other wrestlers managed by Harley Race, Jack's former manager. In one of WCW's most brutal matches of all time, Cactus faced Vader in a Texas Death match at Halloween Havoc. Race won the match for Vader by using a cattle prod on Cactus, knocking him out for over ten seconds. The level of violence involved in this feud caused WCW to refuse to ever again book Cactus Jack against Vader on a pay-per-view. On March 16, 1994, during a WCW European tour, Foley and Vader had one of the most infamous matches in wrestling history in Munich, Germany. Foley began a hangman, a spot where a wrestler's head is tangled between the top two ring ropes, which is usually painful but safe.Unbeknownst to Foley, however, 2 Cold Scorpio had earlier complained that the ropes were too loose, resulting in the ring staff tightening the ropes to the maximum. As Foley struggled to pull himself out, he tore off two-thirds of his ear and underwent surgery later that day to reattach the cartilage from the ear to his head, so that a total reconstruction would be possible in the future. Later that year, Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan were scheduled to win the tag team titles at Slamboree 1994. Foley had to choose between reattaching his ear or wrestling in the pay-per-view and winning the titles. Foley chose to wrestle and won his only championship in WCW. Foley has said several times that he was frustrated by WCW's reluctance to work a storyline around losing his ear.

On April 23, in a match with Vader, Foley again took a powerbomb onto the concrete. Expecting a brilliant remark from the commentators about the fact that it was the same move that disabled him exactly one year prior, Foley was left unsatisfied with Bobby Heenan's announcement of "That'll give you Excedrine Headache No. 9." Foley recounts this as the moment that set his intention to leave WCW.At Bash at the Beach, Cactus Jack and Sullivan lost the tag team titles to Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma), and Sullivan then blamed Cactus for the loss. Cactus Jack officially turned heel when he attacked Kevin's kayfabe brother Dave Sullivan, however, the Sullivan brothers aroused so little sympathy from viewers that the fans reacted as though Cactus were the face. Cactus and Kevin Sullivan engaged in a summer-long feud, which culminated in a Loser Leaves Town match at Fall brawl, which Cactus lost, ending his WCW career. After losing, Cactus decided to split his wrestling between SMW, ECW, and Japan.

Extreme Championship Wrestling, Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Japan (1994-1996)

After leaving WCW, Foley decided to wrestle for promotions that would fully enable the violent, brutal matches that made him popular. He went to the newly formed Extreme Championship Wrestling and began a feud with a man as noted for "insanity" as he was: Sabu. Jack then began working the ECW tag team division on teams with Terry Funk, Mikey Whipwreck, and Kevin Sullivan. He had two ECW Tag Team Championship reigns with Whipwreck while in ECW.

At the tail end of 1994, Foley joined Smoky Mountain Wrestling as Cactus Jack, causing Boo Bradley to lose the TV Title. Cactus Jack then began a crusade to rid Bradley of his valet Tammy Lynn Sytch. He ignited a feud between Chris Candido and Bradley when he accused Candido of having sexual relations with Sytch. Cactus Jack left SMW before the feud was resolved.

In 1995, Foley went to Japan and wrestled in IWA, where he engaged in feuds with Terry Funk and Shoji Nakamaki. Foley, however, soon returned to ECW to feud with The Sandman. Terry Funk returned to team up with Sandman, and during a particularly violent spot, the pair hit Cactus with a Singapore cane forty-six times. Cactus Jack then defeated Terry Funk at Hostile City Showdown 1995. Later, he fought Sandman for the ECW championship. During the match, Cactus Jack knocked Sandman unconscious and was declared the winner. Referee Bill Alfonso, however, reversed his decision on the grounds that the title cannot change hands by knockout.

Returning to the IWA, Cactus Jack began a feud with Leatherface, whom he had betrayed during a tag team match. Foley also continued to wrestle in independent circuits, winning championships on the Ozark Mountain and Steel City circuits. On August 20, 1995, IWA organized a "King of the Death Match" tournament. Each level of the tournament featured a new and deadly gimmick: Cactus Jack's first round was a barbed-wire baseball bat, thumbtack death match, in which he defeated Terry Gordy; the second round was a barbed-wire board, bed of nails match where Cactus Jack defeated Shoji Nakamaki. The final, against Terry Funk, was a barbed-wire rope, barbed-wire and C4 board, time-bomb death match, which Cactus Jack won with help from Tiger Jeet Singh. After the match, both men were ravaged by the wire, and burned by the C4 explosions. Foley later claimed that he only received $300 for the entire night. After the tournament, he teamed with Tracy Smothers for a quick run with the IWA tag team titles.

Foley then returned to ECW to team with Tommy Dreamer. Cactus began a gimmick where he criticized hardcore wrestling and sought to renounce his status as a hardcore wrestling icon. He said that he was on a mission to save his partner from making the mistake of trying to please bloodthirsty fans. The mismatched partnership lasted until August 5, 1995, when Cactus turned on Dreamer when they were teaming against The Pitbulls. Cactus Jack DDT'ed his partner and joined Raven's Nest, as he wished to serve Raven's "higher purpose." He remained one of Raven's top henchmen for the remainder of his time in ECW. On August 28, Cactus beat the previously undefeated 911. As part of Foley's heel gimmick, he began praising WWF and WCW on ECW television. At first, ECW fans did not really boo Cactus's "anti-hardcore" heel character, but once they learned that he was leaving the organization for the WWF, they began hating him passionately. They did not even react positively when, as his departure grew nearer, Foley attempted to shift away from his character and give sincere good-bye interviews. Cactus was booked to face WWF hater Shane Douglas, who won when he put Jack into a figure four leglock that allowed Mikey Whipwreck to hit him repeatedly with a steel chair. Foley's last ECW match was against Whipwreck in April 1996. The ECW fans, who knew that this was Foley's last match, finally returned his affection. They cheered him throughout the match and chanted, "Please don't go!" After the match, Foley told the audience that their reaction made everything worthwhile and made his exit by dancing with Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie. Foley has said that this exit was his favorite moment in wrestling.

World Wrestling Federation

Multiple personalities (1996-1998)

Foley arrived in the WWF in 1996 with a new gimmick: Mankind, a tortured soul who lived in a boiler room, spoke to a rat, pulled out his hair during matches, and wore a Hannibal Lecter-inspired mask in the ring. Mankind debuted the day after WrestleMania XII, quickly moving into a feud with The Undertaker. This feud continued through King of the Ring, Mankind's WWF pay-per-view debut. During the match, Undertaker's manager Paul Bearer "accidentally" struck him with the urn, allowing Mankind to apply the Mandible claw for the win. The two then began interfering in each other's matches until they were booked in a Boiler Room brawl, in which the goal was to escape the arena's boiler room and reach the ring to take the urn from Paul Bearer. The Undertaker appeared to have won, but Paul Bearer refused to hand him the urn, allowing Mankind to win, thus (for the time being) ending the relationship between Paul and the Undertaker.

Mankind then earned #1 contendership to the WWF World Championship versus Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games. Michaels won by disqualification via interference by Vader and The Undertaker. For several years, Foley considered this match his best ever, saying "Sure, at 280 pounds I still looked like hell, but after a brutal cardiovascular training regimen, I was able to go full-tilt for twenty-seven minutes with a smaller, quicker, better athlete than me."

The Mankind-Undertaker feud continued with the first ever Buried Alive match at In Your House: Buried Alive. Undertaker won the match, but Paul Bearer, Terry Gordy (as the Executioner), Mankind and other heels attacked 'Taker and buried him alive. Afterward, he challenged Mankind to a match at Survivor Series, which he won. The feud ended after one more match at In Your House: Revenge of the Taker for the WWF Championship, which Undertaker had won at WrestleMania 13. Undertaker won the match and Bearer took a leave of absence, ending the feud.

Jim Ross then began conducting a series of interviews with Mankind. During the interviews, Ross brought up the topic of Foley's home videos and the character he played in them, Dude Love. Around this time, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels won the WWF Tag Team Championships from Owen Hart and The British Bulldog, but Michaels was injured and could no longer compete. Mankind tried to replace him, but Austin said he wanted "nothing to do with a freak" and resigned himself to facing Hart and the Bulldog alone the next week. Halfway into the match, however, Dude Love suddenly appeared and helped Austin take the victory, becoming the new Tag Team Champions. Austin and Dude vacated their tag team titles when Austin suffered a serious neck injury at the hands of Owen Hart at SummerSlam. Dude Love feuded with Hunter Hearst Helmsley, as the two competed in a Falls Count Anywhere match. One of Foley's most memorable vignettes aired before the match began, in which Dude Love and Mankind discussed who should wrestle the upcoming match. Eventually, "they" decided that it should be Cactus Jack, and Foley's old character made his WWF debut. Jack won the match with a piledriver through a table. Shortly thereafter, Terry Funk joined the Federation as "Chainsaw Charlie", and he and Jack defeated the New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania XIV in a Dumpster match to win the tag team titles. The next night, however, Vince McMahon stripped them of the belts and scheduled a rematch in a steel cage, which the Outlaws won with help from their new allies, D-Generation X.

On April 6, 1998, Foley turned heel when Cactus Jack explained the fans would not see him anymore because they didn't appreciate him and only cared about Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon explained to Austin the next week that he would face a "mystery" opponent at Unforgiven. That opponent turned out to be Dude Love, who won the match by DQ, meaning that Austin retained the title. Vince, displeased with the outcome, required Foley to prove he deserved another shot at Austin's title with a #1 Contendership match against his former partner, Terry Funk. The match was both the WWF's first ever "Hardcore match" and the first time that Foley wrestled under his own name. Foley won, and after the match, a proud Mr. McMahon came out to Dude Love's music and presented Foley with the Dude Love costume. At Over the Edge, Dude Love took on Austin for the title. McMahon designated his subordinates as the timekeeper and ring announcer and made himself the special referee. Despite McMahon's support, Dude Love lost and was "fired" by McMahon the next night.

Hell in a Cell

Main article: Hell in a Cell

Foley then reverted to his Mankind character, who began wearing an untucked shirt with a loose necktie (a jab at Mr. McMahon for having Dude Love dress more professionally in order to fit into his idea of a "corporate champion") and feuding with The Undertaker. At King of the Ring, the two competed in the third-ever Hell in a Cell match. Foley received numerous injuries and took two extremely dangerous and highly influential bumps. The first one came as both wrestlers were brawling on top of the cell, and Undertaker threw Mankind from a height of sixteen feet and sent him crashing through the Spanish announcers' table. This event also triggered Jim Ross famously shouting "Good God almighty! Good God almighty! They've killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!" This fall was planned. According to Foley in Mick Foley's Greatest Hits and Misses, the second was accidental. With both men back on the top of the cell, Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind, and a section of the cage gave way. Foley fell through and hit the ring hard. A chair that had been atop the cage also slammed Foley's head and knocked out a tooth as he hit the canvas. He was also knocked unconscious for a few moments from the impact, but he finished the match after waking up. Although Mankind lost, both wrestlers received a standing ovation for the match, and the event is often said to have jump-started Foley's main event career.

Many future matches attempted to replicate some of the spots from this match. In his autobiography Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Foley wrote that he couldn't remember much of what happened, and he had to watch a tape of the match to write about it. The match was voted Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Match of the Year for 1998. Although many fans regard the match as a classic, it has generated controversy as well. Critics charge that the falls in the match were so extreme and they set the bar for further bumps so high that the inevitable attempts to equal or surpass them would be unsafe for the wrestlers involved. Additionally, in his autobiography, Terry Funk states that both falls, including the second one through the cage, were planned. Some sources, including Power Slam magazine and Pro Wrestling Torch, reported that Foley denied planning this bump to placate his wife, who was furious with him after the match. Foley said in his first book that his wife cried during a post match phone conversation between the two, and this made Foley strongly consider retiring from wrestling. He also said that after the match, Vince McMahon thanked him for all he had done for the company, but made Foley promise to "never do anything like that again."

WWF Championship and retirement (1998-2000)

Although conventional wisdom holds that the Hell in a Cell match was responsible for Foley's rise to main event status, live television crowds did not initially get behind Mankind because of the match. Foley decided that crowds might respond better if Mankind were more of a comedy character, and so he became less of a tortured soul and more of a goofy, broken down oaf. While Vince McMahon was in a hospital nursing wounds suffered at the hands of The Undertaker and Kane, Mankind arrived to cheer him up. Having succeeded only in irritating McMahon, Mankind unveiled a sock puppet named Mr. Socko. Intended to be a one-time joke, Socko became an overnight sensation. Mankind began putting the sock on his hand before applying his finisher, the Mandible claw.

McMahon manipulated Mankind, who saw the WWF owner as a father figure, into doing his bidding. McMahon created the Hardcore Championship and awarded it to Mankind, making him the first-ever champion of the hardcore division. Mankind was then pushed as the favorite to win the WWF Championship at Survivor Series, as McMahon appeared to be manipulating the tournament so that Mankind would win. He and The Rock both reached the finals, where McMahon turned on Mankind. As The Rock placed Mankind in the Sharpshooter, McMahon ordered the timekeeper to ring the bell even though Mankind did not submit, a reference to the Montreal Screwjob from the year before. After McMahon's betrayal, Mankind became the #1 babyface in the company.

After weeks of trying to get his hands on Mr. McMahon's new faction, the Corporation, Mankind received a title shot with The Rock at In Your House. Mankind knocked The Rock out with the Mandible Claw, but McMahon ruled that the title would not change hands because The Rock never gave up. After several weeks of going after the Corporation, Mankind had his big night on December 29, where Mankind defeated The Rock and won his first WWF championship. The taped show was broadcast on January 4, 1999, so that is the date WWE recognizes as beginning the title run. Having title changes on broadcast television rather than pay-per-view was uncommon in professional wrestling, but because of the Monday Night Wars, TV ratings became more important. The rival WCW, attempting to take advantage of the fact that their show Monday Nitro aired live while Mankind's title victory was taped the week before, had announcer Tony Schiavone reveal the ending of the Mankind-Rock match before it aired. He then added sarcastically, "That'll put a lot of butts in the seats." The move backfired for WCW, as Nielsen Ratings suggested that over half a million viewers switched from Nitro to Raw almost immediately despite the Hogan vs. Nash main event which led to the reformation of the nWo. Foley took great personal pride from this, and "Mick Foley put my ass in this seat" signs began showing up at WWF events.

Mankind first lost the WWF title to The Rock in a "I Quit" match at Royal Rumble. During the match, Foley took several bumps, including eleven unprotected chairshots. This match is featured on Barry Blaustein's documentary Beyond the Mat, which shows the impact the match had on Foley and his family at ringside. The match ended after Mankind lost consciousness and The Rock's allies played a recording of Mankind saying "I Quit" from an earlier interview. The match led to some legitimate tension between Foley and The Rock for a time, because in the planning for the match, far fewer chairshots were to have been used. The match was also voted 1999's Match of the Year by the readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Mankind won the title back at a rematch on Halftime Heat, which aired during halftime at Super Bowl XXXIII, in the WWF's first ever Empty Arena match. The two then competed in a Last Man Standing match at St. Valentines Day Massacre, which ended without a winner, meaning that Mankind retained the title. The next night, Mr. McMahon booked a ladder match for the championship, which The Rock won with help from The Big Show. Later in the year, Foley and The Rock patched up their friendship and teamed up to form a comedy team called the Rock 'n' Sock Connection, becoming one of the most popular teams during that time. The pair won the tag team titles on three occasions. Mick Foley helped WWF Raw achieve its highest ratings ever with a segment featuring himself (as Mankind) and The Rock. The "This is Your Life" segment aired on September 27, 1999 and received an 8.4 rating.

Foley returned from knee surgery as Mankind to win the WWF Championship for the third time at SummerSlam in a triple threat match against Steve Austin and Triple H. It is believed that Mankind was booked to win the championship that night because Austin refused to lose it to Triple H. Triple H defeated Mankind and won the title the next night on Raw. A major feud developed between Mankind and the McMahon-Helmsley regime, led by Triple H, which led to Mankind's reverting to his Cactus Jack persona and facing Triple H for the WWF Championship at Royal Rumble in a street fight. Cactus used barbed wire and thumbtacks, trademark weapons from his pre-WWF days, but Triple H won the match after delivering two pedigrees, the second onto a pile of tacks. This feud culminated with a rematch at No Way Out in a Hell in a Cell match, where stipulations held that if Cactus Jack did not win the title, Mick Foley would retire from wrestling. Triple H won, ostensibly ending Foley's career. Foley left for a few weeks but returned at the request of Linda McMahon to wrestle for the title at WrestleMania 2000 against Triple H, The Rock, and The Big Show. Triple H won, and Foley did not wrestle again for four years.

Commissioner (2000-2001)

After retiring from active competition, Foley served as storyline WWF Commissioner. Foley has said that he intended for his Commissioner Foley character to be a "role model for nerds," cracking lame jokes and making no attempt to appear tough or scary. Foley turned getting cheap pops into something of a catchphrase, as he shamelessly declared at each WWF show that he was thrilled to be "right here in (whatever city he was performing in)!" punctuated with a thumbs-up gesture. During this time, Commissioner Foley engaged in rivalries with Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian, and Vince McMahon without actually wrestling them. He left the position in December 2000 after being "fired" on screen by Vince McMahon.

Foley made a surprise return to the Monday Night Raw just prior to WrestleMania X-Seven and announced that he would be the special guest referee in the match between Mr. McMahon and his son Shane at WrestleMania. After WrestleMania, Foley made sporadic WWF TV appearances throughout the spring and summer, at one point introducing Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura during a taping of Raw in the state as a foil to Mr. McMahon, as well as serving as the guest referee for the Earl Hebner vs. Nick Patrick Referee match at the InVasion pay-per-view.

Foley returned as commissioner in October 2001, near the end of The Invasion angle. During this brief tenure, Foley had the opportunity to shoot on the WWF's direction and how dissatisfied he was with it. Saying that there were far too many championships in the company, he booked unification matches prior to the final pay-per-view of the storyline, Survivor Series. After Survivor Series, he ended his commissionership at Vince McMahon's request and left the company. Foley and McMahon had a real-life falling out with each other at the time, and Foley was absent from WWE for almost two years.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2003-present)

Foley returned in June 2003 to referee the Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Kevin Nash at Bad Blood. On June 23, during a Raw broadcast in Madison Square Garden, he was honored for his achievements in the ring and presented with the retired WWE Hardcore Championship belt. The evening ended with Foley taking a beating and kicked down stairs by Randy Orton and Ric Flair. In December 2003, Foley returned to replace Steve Austin as co-general manager of Raw. He soon grew tired of the day-to-day travel and left his full-time duties to write and spend time with his family. In the storyline, Foley was afraid to wrestle a match with Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton and walked out of the arena rather than face him.

In 2004, Foley returned briefly to wrestling, competing in the Royal Rumble and eliminating both Randy Orton and himself with a clothesline. He and The Rock reunited as the Rock 'n' Sock Connection and lost a handicap match to Evolution at WrestleMania XX when Randy Orton pinned Foley with an RKO as Mick pulled out Mr. Socko. The two continued to feud, culminating in a hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Backlash, where Orton defeated Cactus Jack to retain the title with an RKO onto a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat, which Foley now regards as possibly the best match of his career.

Foley appeared as a color commentator at WWE's ECW One Night Stand, which aired on June 12, 2005, and subsequently renewed his contract with WWE. In an interview with "Between The Ropes" on August 31, Foley acknowledged that prior to signing with WWE he had been negotiating a deal with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Foley returned in 2005 in a match where fans were able to vote on which persona he would appear as—Mankind, Dude Love, or Cactus Jack—against Carlito at Taboo Tuesday. Foley cut promos for each character and an online vote was held. The fans voted for Mankind, who went on to win the match with the mandible claw.

On the February 16, 2006 Raw, Foley returned to referee the WWE Championship match between Edge and John Cena. After Cena won, Edge attacked Foley, and the following week, Edge challenged Foley to a match at WrestleMania 22. Edge defeated Foley after Spearing him through a flaming table. In the weeks after the match, Foley turned heel and allied himself with Edge against the newly rejuvenated ECW. This would be the first WWE heel turn of Foley since his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin as Dude Love back in 1998. At ECW One Night Stand, Foley, Edge and Lita defeated Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty after Edge speared Beulah for the win.

Foley then engaged in a storyline rivalry with Ric Flair, inspired by real-life animosity between the two. In Have a Nice Day!, Foley wrote that Flair was "every bit as bad on the booking side of things as he was great on the wrestling side of it." In response, Flair wrote in his autobiography that Foley was "a glorified stuntman" and that he was able to climb the ladder in the WWF only because he was friends with the bookers. The two had a backstage confrontation at a Raw event in 2003, but Foley has said that they have largely reconciled. To spark the feud, Flair again called Foley a "glorified stuntman" and Foley called Flair a "washed up piece of crap" and challenged him to a match. The result was a Two out of Three Falls match at Vengeance, where Flair beat Foley in two straight falls; with a rollup counter to the figure four in the first and by DQ in the second after a trashcan shot. After the match, Flair was split wide open by Foley with a barbed wire bat. The two then wrestled an "I Quit" match at SummerSlam, which Flair won when he forced Foley to quit by threatening Melina with a barbed wire bat. On the August 21 edition of Raw, Mick Foley literally kissed Vince McMahon's buttocks as part of McMahon's "kiss my ass club" gimmick after he threatened to fire Melina. Shortly thereafter, she betrayed Foley and announced that he was fired.

Seven months later, Foley made his return to Raw on March 5, 2007, tricking Mr. McMahon into giving him his job back. On April 9, Foley contributed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and helped a young child named Michael Peña to become honorary GM of the night.

Foley appeared again on June 11 for Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night insulting Mr. McMahon. Foley also announced his place as a number 1 contender for the WWE Championship. During the Raw broadcast before Vengeance, Foley was scheduled to make his official in-ring return in a match against Umaga but he attacked Umaga before the match, and the match was never started. At Vengeance, Foley wrestled in a WWE Championship Challenge match involving WWE Champion John Cena, Randy Orton, King Booker, and Bobby Lashley. Cena retained by pinning Foley.

A month later, Foley made an appearance on Raw as the special guest referee for a match between Jonathan Coachman and Mr McMahon's kayfabe illegitimate son Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle won the match, after Foley handed him a miniature Mr. Socko. Foley then made an appearance on SmackDown the same week, where he defeated Coachman with Hornswoggle as the special guest referee. On the January 7, 2008 episode of Raw, Foley and his tag team partner Hornswoggle qualified for the Royal Rumble by defeating The Highlanders, but Foley was eliminated by Triple H during the Rumble.

Freelance wrestler

Outside of WWE during his time of sporadic appearances, Foley partially retired from in-ring competition, making more guest appearances and cutting promos rather than actually wrestling. Foley, however, still occasionally competed and made several notable appearances in independent promotions, including Ring of Honor, where he feuded with the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Samoa Joe, CM Punk, and The Embassy. During this time, Foley appeared at several supershows like International Showdown, Hardcore Homecoming, WrestleReunion, Ballpark brawl and the A Night of Appreciation for Sabu. As well as working a HUSTLE show against Toshiaki Kawada.

Legacy

Throughout his career, and under all of his aliases, Foley has proved extremely popular to his fans, even when he wrestled as a heel. Foley has always been accessible to his fans and will spend long periods of time with them signing autographs and posing for pictures. His hard work is often credited with helping to re-establish pro wrestling's popularity after the steroid and sex scandals of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Foley was leading the online poll for Time Magazine's Man of the Year honor in 1998 before being removed as a candidate. Foley is also seen as a pioneer of hardcore wrestling. The hardcore match became a staple of WWF programming in the late 1990s after Foley had several memorable hardcore-style matches, and it can be seen that Foley set the bar for hardcore-styled wrestling and matches.

 

Outside of wrestling

Writing career

From May 7 to July 1, 1999, Foley wrote his autobiography--without the aid of a ghostwriter, as he proudly notes in the introduction--in almost 800 pages of longhand.[58] The book, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, became hugely popular and topped the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks. The follow-up, Foley is Good: And The Real World is Faker Than Wrestling, was published in 2001 and debuted at #1 on the Times list. Foley has also written three children's books, Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx, Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos, and Tales from Wrescal Lane. He has also authored Tietam Brown, a coming-of-age story which was nominated for the WHSmith People's Choice Award in 2004. Foley's second novel, Scooter, was published in August 2005. His writing has generally received favorable reviews. Foley's most recent book is the third part of his autobiography called The Hardcore Diaries. It highlights his 2004 feud with Randy Orton, his match and later partnership with Edge, and program with Ric Flair in 2006. The Hardcore Diaries also spent time on the New York Times bestseller list.

Foley authored a weblog titled Foley is Blog on WWE's website. The entries focused on Foley's stories and travels in pro wrestling. The blog, however, was later removed from the site.

Works

Memoirs

* (1999) Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039299-1. (credited as Mankind/Mick Foley)
* (2001) Foley is Good: And The Real World is Faker Than Wrestling. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-103241-7.
* (2007) The Hardcore Diaries. PocketBooks. ISBN 1-4165-3157-2

Children's fiction

* (2000) Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039414-5.
* (2001) Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-000251-4.
* (2004) Tales From Wrescal Lane. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN 0-7434-6634-9.

Adult fiction

* (2003) Tietam Brown. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-41550-5.
* (2005) Scooter. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4414-6.

Film, television and radio

One of Foley's earliest acting roles was in 1996. Shortly before he left for Stamford, Foley appeared in Atlanta filmmakers Barry Norman and Michael Williams' short subject Deadbeats as "Bird", an armed robber turned debt collector. One of Foley's first TV guest appearances was as a wrestler on USA Network's short-lived action-comedy G vs. E. He also featured prominently in the documentary Beyond the Mat. He also appeared in the Insane Clown Posse vehicle Big Money Hustlas as Cactus Sac, which was basically the same character as his Cactus Jack persona. In the late 1990s, Foley hosted a series of Robot Wars dubbed "Extreme Warriors". He also provided a guest voice for two episodes of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which he portrayed a satirical earthbending wrestler named The Boulder, and provided the voice for Gorrath in the pilot episode of Megas XLR. Foley appeared in an episode of Boy Meets World as Mankind, giving advice to Eric Matthews before giving Eric the mandible claw and a helicopter spin. Mick Foley was also a voice in an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch where he was an animated version of Mankind doing a stunt from the ceiling, and later in the same episode he fought and defeated Ernest Hemingway. Foley will have a small role in the upcoming thriller movie Anamorph starring Willem Dafoe.

Foley has frequently appeared on Air America Radio's Morning Sedition, including several stints as a guest host and has appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show. He also hosted WWE's radio show, which was held in WWF New York. Foley also occasionally appears on the Opie and Anthony Show.

In the summer of 2007, Mick Foley was filmed for the upcoming film Bloodstained Memoirs, a wrestling documentary.

Personal life

Mick Foley has participated in numerous Make-A-Wish Foundation events, made surprise visits to children in hospitals and worked with the Christian Children's Fund. Foley has also visited schools and libraries, talking to students about the value of education and the importance of reading and traveled to various military bases and military hospitals to visit U.S. troops.

In the summer of 2004, Mick Foley spoke at the College Democrats of America Convention in Boston. He also opposed conservative John Bradshaw Layfield in a special debate on Raw prior to the 2004 presidential election.

Mick Foley is married to Collette Foley, née Christie. The couple have three sons and a daughter: Dewey Francis (born on February 20, 1992), Michael Francis, Jr. (born in January 2001), Huey (born in 2003), and Noelle Margaret (born on December 15, 1993). Foley and his family will be starring in a reality television show for A&E Network. The show is still being produced and no air time has been announced.

Mick Foley led the Saudi Arabian team out of the tunnel at the 2007 Special Olympic World Games in Shanghai, China. (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

Websites

Mick Foley MySpace

WWE Mick Foley profile

WWE official website

Profiles

Mick Foley - Australian Sports Entertainment profile

ECW

Wrestling

Books and Authors