Mick Foley - Cactus Jack - Mankind
- Dude Love
wresetling legend, author, speaker and humanitarian
Wrestling official website
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Championship Wrestling (1991-1994)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Championship Wrestling, Smoky Mountain Wrestling and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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,
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.
in a Cell
Main article: Hell in a Cell
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.
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."
Championship and retirement (1998-2000)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wrestling Entertainment (2003-present)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
* (1999) Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks.
ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039299-1. (credited as Mankind/Mick
* (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
* (2000) Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos. ReganBooks.
* (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.
* (2003) Tietam Brown. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-41550-5.
* (2005) Scooter. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4414-6.
television and radio
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.
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.
the summer of 2007, Mick Foley was filmed for the
upcoming film Bloodstained Memoirs, a wrestling documentary.
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.
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.
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.
Foley led the Saudi Arabian team out of the tunnel
at the 2007 Special Olympic World Games in Shanghai,
Mick Foley profile
Foley - Australian Sports Entertainment profile