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Mick Foley

Mick Foley

Real Name: Michael Francis Foley
Date of Birth: July 7, 1965
Billed Height: 6’2”
Billed Weight: 287 pounds
Wrestling names: Cactus Jack Manson, Cactus Jack, Mankind, Dude Love

Mick Foley's wife: Colette Foley (married in 1992)
Mick Foley's kids: Dewey Francis Foley, Noelle Margaret Foley, Michael Francis "Mickey" Foley Jr., Hughie Francis Foley

Accomplishments

Major Titles held

3 Time WWE Champion
8 Time WWF Tag Team Champion: 3 times with The Rock, 2 times with Kane, 1 time with Steve Austin, 1 time with Chainsaw Charlie, 1 time with Al Snow.
1 Time WCW Tag Team Champion with Kevin Sullivan
2013 WWE Hall of Fame
Headlined 13 WWF/WWE PPVs including 1 WrestleMania
Headlined 1 WCW PPV
Headlined 1 Clash of Champions

Mick Foley is a multi-time New York Times best-selling author having written more than 10 books.

Life Before Wrestling

Mick Foley attended Ward Melville High School. He was a member of their wrestling team. Actor Kevin James also wrestled on this team. Foley was a huge fan of wrestling while growing up watching the WWF. He hitchhiked to Madison Square Garden to watch the legendary Don Muraco vs Superfly Jimmy Snuka cage match in which Snuka jumped off the top of the steel cage which had never been done before. It was from that moment that Foley knew he wanted to become a wrestler. Home videos he would make at this time of him playing a character in his backyard and jumping off the roof of his house would resurface years later when he was in WWE that would be the inspiration for his Dude Love character.

Foley’s early wrestling career

Mick Foley was trained by long-time WWF wrestler Domenic Denucci, as was Shane Douglas who came from that same class. While training, Foley would get enhancement work on WWF TV. Foley’s first push came in 1988 when he went to Memphis and was part of the Stud Stable. He then worked World Class Championship Wrestling. While both groups were struggling, they were two of the few territories still left to gain experience. In World Class, he wrestled as Cactus Jack Manson. Foley on various podcasts said he did not like having Manson in his name, and dropped it at the first chance he was allowed to.

WCW

1990: Cactus Jack Manson

Cactus Jack Manson started wrestling in tag team matches with enhancement talent as his partners against an established tag team. His partner would lose and Cactus Jack would turn on him. Cactus Jack started to get noticed taking big and brutal bumps in his early matches. Cactus Jack’s first notable match came at The Clash of Champions X against Mil Mascaras. Foley made the most of it by taking a nasty bump backwards from the ring apron to the concrete floor and banging his head in the process. The Manson part of his name was dropped at Mick's request because he didn't want the association with Charles Manson.

1991: Back to the independents, return to WCW

Cactus Jack made his way into Tri-State Wrestling, the forerunner to ECW. He had 3 gimmick matches in one night with Eddie Gilbert that got the attention of the hardcore fan base, as well as WCW who brought Foley in full time. He was immediately given a push against the top babyface, Sting.

1992: Feud with Sting

The Cactus Jack-Sting feud culminated in a Falls Count Anywhere match for Sting’s WCW Title. Sting emerged victorious.

1993: Feud with Big Van Vader

Cactus Jack wrestled Paul Orndorff to see who would be on Team Vader. Harley Race and Orndorff turned on Cactus, making Cactus a babyface. Cactus defeated Orndorff at SuperBrawl III leading to his match with Vader. Cactus and Vader had a series of brutal matches in which both got busted up hardway. On April 24th, Vader power bombed Cactus on the concrete floor with such force that Cactus suffered a legitimate concussion and temporarily lost feeling in one of his feet. Cactus wanted WCW to play up the legitimacy of the concussion and resume the reality of the feud upon his return, however, WCW decided to give Cactus an amenia comedy storyline where Cactus roamed the streets trying to find his way back to WCW. The angle was eventually dropped and the brutality of their feud continued which led them into a Texas Death Match at Halloween Havoc which Vader won.

1994: Cactus Jack loses his ear, leaves WCW, ECW debut

The feud between Cactus Jack and Vader continued into 1994. Vader and Foley had a match in March in Germany that became legendary as this was the match Cactus lost his ear. Cactus attempted the spot where he gets his neck caught in between the first and second ropes. He called this the Hangman. Cactus has recently said that he did this move many times before, but on that night, the ropes were too tight and he could barely breathe when tied up in them. When he slipped out of the ropes, his ear was split and dangling. When Vader went to grab him, the ear came off. They continued the match while the referee picked up the ear. He was taken to the hospital and they were able to attach some of the ear back on his head. Cactus Jack tasted his first gold in WCW when he and Kevin Sullivan defeated The Nasty Boys for the WCW Tag Team titles at Slamboree. While champion, he made some appearances for Eastern Championship Wrestling, ECW, before becoming known as Extreme Championship Wrestling. He even went so far as to bring the WCW tag title with him and spit on it in front of the ECW crowd. They would lose them four months later to Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma at Bash at the Beach. Cactus became more and more unhappy with the lack of push he received from Eric Bischoff and left the company. He made a few appearances for SMW before settling in ECW. Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck won the ECW Tag Team titles from The Public Enemy, but then lost them back to them in November

1995: Japan and ECW

Cactus Jack also went to the hardcore IWA promotion in Japan where he solidified himself as the King of the Deathmatch by winning a tournament with a series of bloody gimmick matches. Word got back to the States, especially to the ECW fan base and gave Cactus an even better reputation as a hardcore legend. Cactus Jack began feuding with The Sandman in ECW and teamed with Tommy Dreamer. Cactus eventually turned on Dreamer and became a member of Raven’s nest. Cactus infuriated the fans by knocking the ECW product and praising WWF and ‘Uncle Eric’ in WCW, as well as telling the crowd that he was leaving for one of them.

1996: ECW departure

By this point, the smart fan base of ECW knew Cactus Jack was legitimately going to WWF. Cactus’ last match for ECW was at the Big Ass Extreme Bash. The crowd knew this was his last match and chanted ‘Please don’t go.’ Despite being a heel, the crowd knew what a great performer he was for the company and cheered for him and thanked him after the match.

1996: WWF debut as Mankind

Jim Ross was instrumental in bringing Mick Foley to the WWF. Vince McMahon wanted to call him Mason the Mutilator and have him wear headgear to cover his face. Foley hated the name and convinced Vince to call him Mankind. Foley has recently said it was his idea to have one piece of music when he came to the ring, and one after the match. He said the piano music after the match represented his character now being at peace after destroying his opponent. Mankind was immediately pushed near the top of the card by having a feud with Undertaker. They met at SummerSlam in a Boiler Room Match ending when Paul Bearer, the long time manager of The Undertaker, turned on Undertaker and siding with Mankind. Mankind would refer to Paul Bearer as ‘Uncle Paul.’ He then had an incredible match against the WWF Champion Shawn Michaels at In Your House Mind Games. Michaels won by DQ when Vader and Undertaker ran in. They followed that up with Mankind winning a Buried Alive match at In Your House Buried Alive when the Executioner (Terry Gordy under a mask). The Undertaker gained revenge by beating Mankind at Survivor Series.

1997: Feuds with The Undertaker, Cactus Jack WWE debut, Shawn Michaels, Dude Love debut

The Undertaker-Mankind feud continued into 1997. Undertaker, who had won the title from Psyco Sid, defeated Mankind at In Your House Revenge of The Taker. Jim Ross had a 3-part sit down interview with Mankind. In these personal interviews, we found out what made Mankind who he is and why he is the way he is. Mankind said he wanted to be somebody like Shawn Michaels who got all the girls, but it never happened. It was during these interviews he said he always wanted to be a wrestler like Jimmy Snuka with the crowd going crazy for him. They showed the clip of the match and we saw Foley in the crowd. They showed footage of Foley jumping off the roof of his house as a teenager and having a hippie ladies man gimmick. By the time these interviews aired over the course of the three week period, the fans embraced Mankind even though he was a heel. It didn’t take long for him to turn babyface. Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels had won the WWF Tag Team titles from Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. Michaels got injured and they had to vacate the titles. Mankind asked Austin if he could take Michael’s place in his rematch. Austin wanted nothing to do with him and said he would rather wrestle the rematch alone. During the match, with Austin in trouble, down comes Mankind, now in full Dude Love gear as a babyface. Dude Love interjected himself in the match, and Dude Love and Austin won the Tag Team titles. They lost the titles two months later to The Headbangers. Dude Love would make appearances the rest of the year as Mankind, Dude Love, as well as Cactus Jack.

1998: Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker

Foley had a memorable Royal Rumble, appearing three times, once as Mick Foley, once as Dude Love, and once as Cactus Jack. Terry Funk returned as Chainsaw Charlie. Cactus and Chainsaw formed a team and defeated The New Age Outlaws for the WWF Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania XIV, however, Vince McMahon stripped them of the titles the next night saying they used the wrong dumpster. Shortly after this, Dude Love turned heel stating that the fans don’t appreciate him. Dude Love tried to gain the respect of Vince McMahon. Dude Love beat Austin via DQ at Unforgiven. He asked Mr. McMahon for a rematch with Austin and to prove his worth, he beat up Terry Funk in a hardcore match. Dude Love for the first time wrestled under his own name of Mick Foley. Foley won and impressed McMahon, who presented Foley with the Dude Love outfit and a rematch with Austin. At Over the Edge, it looked like we were going to have another Montreal Screwjob as Gerald Brisco was the timekeeper, Pat Patterson was the ring announcer, and Vince McMahon was the referee. However, The Undertaker came down to make sure no screw job took place. Austin won the match, and as a result, McMahon fired Dude Love. Foley resumed the Mankind character. He fought The Undertaker in The Hell in the Cell at King of the Ring where Mankind got thrown off the cage onto the announcer’s desk. He was knocked out. They took him to the back. He came back, climbed over the top of the cage and Undertaker choke slammed him through the top of the cage and hit the mat hard, jarring a tooth loose that ended up in his nose. Later in the year, Foley became more of a likable character trying to win the respect of Vince McMahon. He showed up to the hospital to visit McMahon who had been injured by Austin. Mankind tried to entertain Vince with a sock pocket, whom he called Mr. Socko, irritating McMahon in the process. This unexpectedly resonated with the audience and at the next Monday Night RAW, hundreds of people in attendance were wearing a Mr. Socko they made at home. Mankind began to use the Mandible Claw as a finisher. Mr. McMahon presented Mankind with the Hardcore Title, the first time we would see this on WWF TV. The WWF Title became vacant and a new champion would be crowned at Survivor Series. McMahon presented Mankind with the idea that he would guarantee that he would make him champion in the tournament. It appeared that way until the finals when Rock turned heel, and he and McMahon screwed Mankind and Rock walked away with the title.

1999: Mankind wins the WWF Championship, The Rock 'N Sock Connection with The Rock

The Rock-Mankind feud continued with many more matches in 1999. Mankind defeated The Rock on Monday Night RAW that was taped on December 29th but aired on January 4th. At this point, WCW had beaten Monday Night RAW 83 weeks in a row. Eric Bischoff from WCW regularly would give away match results if RAW was a taped show in the hopes that people wouldn’t switch to RAW. Tony Schiavone was announcing for WCW and was instructed to say that Mick Foley was winning the WWF Title tonight on RAW and said, “Yea, that will put butts in seats.” Over a half million fans switched the channel to see Mankind defeat the Rock for the WWF Title. RAW won the night, ended the ratings losing streak, and never looked back as WWF continued to get record TV ratings while WCW was on a downward spiral. Mankind lost the title back to The Rock in an I Quit match at Royal Rumble. The match is still remembered today because the disturbing ending of the match had Mankind’s hand handcuffed behind his back and Rock slammed the steel chair on Mankind’s head full force over and over again. The WWF was so popular at this time that they decided to run a rematch between the two during the halftime of the Super Bowl in an empty arena match in which Mankind regained the title. They fought again at St.Valentine’s Massacre. Mankind retained the title as there was no winner. The next day on RAW, Rock regained the title in a Ladder match. Later in the year, Rock and Mankind would form a very popular tag team known as The Rock ‘N Sock Connection. Mankind presented a “This is your life” for The Rock. It was and still is to this day, the highest rated segment on Monday Night RAW, drawing an 8.4 rating. Foley entered a feud for the rest of the year with Triple H. Foley won the WWF Title in a triple threat match over Steve Austin and Triple H at SummerSlam, but lost it the next night to Triple H.

2000: Feud with Triple H, retirement

The feud with Triple H continued into 2000. Foley, once again wrestling as Cactus Jack, was unsuccessful in his quest to regain the title from Triple H at The Royal Rumble. They were rematched at No Way Out in a Hell in a Cell match where if Cactus lost, he had to retire. Cactus lost the match, but returned for WrestleMania 2000 at the request of Linda McMahon. This was Foley’s last match in four years as his real life injuries were catching up with him. Foley returned later in the year as Commissioner, but left the company in December.

2001: Commissioner Foley

Mick Foley returned to be the special guest referee in the Vince McMahon vs Shane McMahon match. He was also the commissioner during the WCW Invasion storyline. He once again left the company in November.

2003: Feud with Randy Orton

Mick Foley and Randy Orton began their feud at the very end of 2003. WWF was really getting behind Randy Orton in building him up, and Foley was the perfect person to get him over in evolution of Orton being ‘The Legend Killer’ Foley was supposed to fight Randy Orton, but Foley walked out before the match started. Foley walked away.

2004: WrestleMania XX, Backlash match with Randy Orton

Mick Foley returned a month after walking away and said he let the fans down and needed to face Orton. He eliminated both himself and Orton in the Royal Rumble by hitting the clothes line on Orton where Foley went over as well. The Rock returned for WrestleMania XX and reformed his team with Mick Foley to defeat Evolution (Ric Flair, Batista, and Randy Orton). Orton would then defeat Foley at Backlash in a brutal hardcore match.

2005: ECW One Night Stand, Taboo Tuesday

Foley again returned to WWE as a commentator for the ECW One Night Stand PPV and wrestled Carlito at Taboo Tuesday.

2006: WrestleMania feud with Edge

Edge had become a heel and was becoming a big star. Similar to how Mick Foley elevated Randy Orton in 2004, Foley was going to do the same for Edge in 2006. Foley returned to RAW to be the referee in the WWE Title match between the champion John Cena and Edge. After Cena won the match, Edge beat down Foley. Foley challenged Edge to a Hardcore match at WrestleMania 22. Edge won when he put Foley through a burning table. In a turn of events, Foley was so impressed with Edge’s violence, that Foley turned heel and teamed with Edge and Lita as they teamed up for the One Night Stand PPV against Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah McGillicutty. Foley would go on to have a feud with Ric Flair based on real life comments made in the past of Foley being nothing but a stuntman. Foley once again left the company towards the end of the year. Foley made sporadic appearances over the next three years.

2009-2011: Mick Foley in TNA

Mick Foley signed with TNA. He along with many ex WWE talents were making their way into the promotion at this time. Foley was involved in storylines ranging from being a babyface, a heel, and the on screen commissioner. He even won the TNA Title from Sting at the LockDown PPV in 2009. He lost the title later that year at Slammiversary to Kurt Angle.

2012: Mick Foley return to WWE

Mick Foley once again returned to WWE to make sporadic appearances including being an entrant in the Royal Rumble.

2013: Mick Foley inducted into WWE Hall Of Fame

2014-2015: Sporadic appearances on WWE television

2016-2017: Second run as WWE Commissioner

PPV Main Events

1993:

WCW Halloween Havoc: Big Van Vader defeated Cactus Jack in a Texas Death match

Mick Foley also headlined 1 Clash of Champions

1996:

WWF In Your House 10 Mind Games: WWF Championship: Shawn Michaels ( c ) defeated Mankind by DQ

WWF In Your House 11 Buried Alive: The Undertaker defeated Mankind in a Buried Alive match

1998:

WWF No Way Out In Your House Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack, and Chainsaw Charlie defeated Triple H, Savio Vega, Billy Gunn, and Road Dogg in an Non-sanctioned match

WWF Unforgiven In Your House: WWF Championship: Dude Love defeated Steve Austin ( c ) by DQ

WWF Over the Edge In Your House: WWF Championship: Steve Austin ( c ) defeated Dude Love

WWF Fully Loaded In Your House: WWF Tag Team Championship: Steve Austin and The Undertaker defeated Kane and Mankind ( c ) to win the titles

WWF Survivor Series: Tournament Final for the WWF Championship: The Rock defeated Mankind to win the title

WWF Capital Carnage: Fatal 4-Way match: Steve Austin defeated Kane, Mankind, and The Undertaker

1999:

WWF SummerSlam: Triple Threat match for the WWF Championship: Mankind defeated Steve Austin ( c ) and Triple H to win the title

WWF Unforgiven: Six-pack challenge for the vacant WWF Championship: Triple H defeated Big Show, The British Bulldog, Kane, Mankind, and The Rock

2000:

WWF No Way Out: WWF Championship: Triple H ( c ) defeated Cactus Jack in a Hell in a Cell Title vs Career match

WWF WrestleMania 2000: Fatal 4-Way Elimination match for the WWF Championship: Triple H ( c ) defeated The Rock, Mick Foley, and Big Show

2007:

Vengeance Night of Champions: Five-pack challenge for the WWE Championship: John Cena ( c ) defeated Bobby Lashley, King Booker, Mick Foley, and Randy Orton

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