Wrestling / Mick Foley

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Have a nice day!
"If God built me a ladder to heaven, I would climb it and elbow drop the world."

Michael Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr. (born June 7, 1965) is an American actor, author, comedian, voice actor, and professional wrestler in every promotion you could care to name, including WWE, WCW, ECW, Ring of Honor, TNA, SMW, FMW, World Class Championship Wrestling, the CWA in Memphis, HUSTLE, and All Japan Pro Wrestling, along with many independents. Arguably the biggest star to come out of the Garbage Wrestling circuit, he's often referred to as "The Hardcore Legend", a title he shares with Co-Legend Terry Funk.

From 1985–96, he wrestled for various promotions generally under the name Cactus Jack, sometimes tweaked as "Cactus Jack Foley" or "Cactus Jack Manson" (which Mick hated). In the early 90s, "Jack" and Terry were scouted by WCW to be their representatives of Hardcore. The result was the decidedly noncore "Lost in Cleveland" promo, in which an amnesiac Mick washed ashore and believed himself to be a lost mariner. In disgust, Mick left for Philly, leaving behind a severed ear and few prospects.

Things began to pick up in 1996, however, when he arrived in WWE and became the Leatherface clone Mankind. In mid-1997, after a four-part semi-shoot interview, Mick reemerged as Dude Love, a character he had conceived as a teenager: the cooler, idealized version who would be able to get the girls that Mick couldn't get himself. Funnily, even this Bizarro Mick was pretty dorky, coming out to faux disco music and wrestling in tie-dye. Thus, the "Three Faces of Foley" gimmick was complete, as Mick would alternate between Jack, Mankind, and Love when needed.

Following his retirement from a full-time wrestling after WrestleMania XVI in 2000, Foley has appeared sporadically as a special guest referee on WWE and TNA, as well as a color commentator for the SmackDown brand. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. At the 2016 brand split between WWE Raw and SmackDown, he was appointed the General Manager of Raw by Stephanie McMahon.

In addition to wrestling, Foley is a multiple-time New York Times-bestselling author. His first book, the 1999 autobiography Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, spans all the way from childhood to his finest moment, burying Rocky with beer kegs. He later wrote a sequel to that book, Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker than Wrestling, picking up during the Attitude Era and the months leading to his retirement. The third and fourth volumes of his saga, The Hardcore Diaries and Countdown To Lockdown, were less well-received. Foley has also written two novels (Tietam Brown and Scooter) and three children's books. He was also the host for both seasons of Robot Wars Extreme Warriors, the US version of UK robot combat show Robot Wars.

Mick was also one of the subjects of the documentary Beyond the Mat, which follows him at the peak of his career. More recently, he appears in Bloodstained Memoirs, another wrestling documentary.

And before you ask, no, he does not practice the art of Kung-Foley.

"Have a nice trope!":

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Foley was retired by HHH all those years ago, and people cried. Foley then wrestled at WrestleMania, not to mention his billion comebacks since. (Something he says in his book that he didn't want to do, but...) "Retirement" is definitely an over-hyped trope in wrestling.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Over time, wrestlers, announcers and fans stopped referring to him strictly by his preferred gimmick of the moment and simply called him Mick Foley. Watching old clips today, one probably thinks "Mick Foley as [Mankind, Cactus Jack or Dude Love]." This shouldn't be all that surprising though, given the fact that he switched between his three faces often and over time "Mankind" became Lighter and Softer, more like Mick in Real Life.
  • Acrofatic: The "Cactus Jack Crack Smash" saw Foley do a running somersault senton from the apron, fairly impressive for a guy his size. Age and injuries eventually took it out of his moveset, though even the first time he used it, he considered it "the downright dumbest move of my career".
  • Alter-Ego Acting/Acting for Three: The "Faces of Foley" - Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack were able to confer backstage to decide amongst themselves who got to face Triple H in a match.
  • Always Someone Better: In Have a Nice Day!, Foley frequently mentions that Marc Mero (now considered a very forgettable wrestler for anyone not a fan of WCW, and whose biggest accomplishment in the WWF was making his non-wrestler wife look great by comparison) always managed to have more money and more favor with management than Foley in the WCW and the WWF. The scales of justice eventually reversed this quite a lot...
    • As a lighter example, there's this quote from the jacket for Chris Jericho's 2007 autobiography, A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex:
    "Suddenly, all that enjoyment stopped as a wave of momentary panic crashed right into my literary ego. 'Oh no,' I thought, 'What if this book is better than mine?"
  • Ambiguously Human: It's not out of the ordinary for the commentators to question if Foley is even human due to the unholy amount of physical punishment he's endured throughout his career. In fact, even Foley himself has questioned how human he really is.
    • And if not human, the fans seem to have a pretty good idea what he might be. A common sign for Mick simply states "Foley is God."
      • Even Triple H questioned it; the night after Foley's Hell in a Cell with the Undertaker, Foley actually showed up to the tapings for Raw, and Triple H said to him; "All those signs out there say 'Foley is God.' Well if you're not, pal, you're something close, because I have no idea how you're walking around today."
  • Arch-Enemy: The Undertaker and Triple H. The Rock was this for a while before becoming an ally.
  • As Himself: A spoofy version of Mankind on the Celebrity Deathmatch episode "Battle of the Heavy Metal Maniacs," where, through the wonders of Time Travel, he defeated Ernest Hemingway by using the Mr. Socko-assisted Mandible Claw to break Hemingway's lower jaw.
    • He didnt just break it, he tore it clean off Big Poppas skull, causing his brain and eyeballs to fall out on the floot.
  • Ascended Meme: Dude Love started as Foley's fanboy wrestling alter ego in college, but Vince McMahon was so endeared by the story of Young Foley's dorkiness that the character was later adapted as an actual in-ring persona on WWF/E tv.
    • He took the "Foley is God" signs supporting him, added one letter, and turned them into the name of his second autobiography.
  • The Artifact: Mankind's dress shirt and tie remained his attire long after the angle that caused him to don themnote  was ancient history.
  • Atrocious Alias: Narrowly averted for the Mankind persona, as Mick recounted in his first autobiography. Vince initially pitched the character as "Mason the Mutilator", a name that Mick thought was absolutely dreadful. Mick countered by suggesting "Mankind the Mutilator", explaining that with that name, he could talk about "the evils of Mankind" and the audience would never quite know whether he was talking about himself, or them. Vince not only adopted the idea, but dropped the "Mutilator" part of the name, leaving Mick as, simply, Mankind.
  • Autobiography: Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Foley Is Good and the Real World is Faker Than Wrestling, The Hardcore Diaries and Countdown To Lockdown.
  • Ax-Crazy: As Mankind and Cactus Jack.
  • Badass Beard/Beard of Evil: Depending on his face/heel alignment at the time.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "I was spilling blood on six continents while you were still latched onto your mother’s breast!"
    • From a Cactus Jack promo:
      Cactus Jack: If the Gods could build me a ladder to the heavens, I'd climb up the ladder and drop a big elbow on the world.
    • This classic that manages to be both badass and modest at the same time, as Mankind:
      Mankind: I see all these signs out here that say "Foley Is God", but I think they got one letter wrong. Y'see, Foley isn't God, but he is pretty damn good. I beat The Rock, I shoved a sock down his throat, and I deserve this shot at the Royal Rumble!
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Have a Nice Day! relates the following from when he was in ECW and headed to WWE (then the WWF.) The crowd chanted at him "You sold out! You sold out!" Foley responded by getting on the mic.
    I have a feeling that a year from now, I'm going to have to look in the mirror and admit in my heart that I sold out... I sold out the Garden, I sold out the Coliseum, I sold out every damn arena in this country!"
    • What makes it somewhat Hilarious in Hindsight was that he pretty much lived up to this comment years later when he did indeed have a part in selling out these arenas.
  • Bash Brothers: Kevin Sullivan, Terry Funk, Tracy Smothers, Kane, Al Snow, Abdullah the Butcher, Gary Young, Steve Austin, Maxx Payne, The Rock, Vader...
  • Beware the Nice Ones: A really nice guy, loved by almost everyone both in real life and on screen, but this is Mick Foley, the King of Hardcore, a man who was tempered in the fires of the old ECW and the bloodsoaked arenas of Japan and Puerto Rico. He WILL tear you to shreds, even if he has to cripple himself to do it. After he spends time as simply Mick Foley, affable everyman, it's easy to forget just how violent he can get.
    • Especially when he's the general manager of Monday Night Raw. On the 9/5/16 edition of RAW, the team of Jeri-KO (Chris Jericho and Kevins Owens) managed to piss him off, resulting in them put in matches.
  • The Berserker: Cactus Jack, to the point where when Commissioner Shawn Michaels wanted to punish the Corporate Ministry by putting them in matches they'd clearly get beaten immensely from, Michaels put Mideon and Viscera in an handicap hardcore match with Cactus Jack (as opposed to Mankind, the character Foley was playing at the time), apparently confident that Cactus Jack was more than enough against two men, one of whom was the Ministry's 500-pound monster heel. He was right. He was oh so very right.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Averted:
    Y'see, Foley isn't God, but he is pretty damn good.
  • Big Eater: Has spent many a night on the road at 24-hour fast food joints, however that also meant he wasn't abusing drugs like many other wrestlers, as told in his latest book. This caused him to have a frame stable enough to survive the big bumps he has taken.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • In Have a Nice Day, he writes about how he needed to stop putting on exciting matches in order to make his Heel anti-hardcore campaign in 1995 ECW work.
    "Out went the chair shots, elbows, in-crowd fighting, punching, kicking, headbutting, suplexing, slamming or anything that could be construed as entertaining. In come the headlocks. Lots of headlocks. Long headlocks. Boring headlocks. Lots of long, boring headlocks."
    • In his The Daily Show appearance to defend/attack the filibuster, his first promo includes "They can come at me with chairs. With bats. With chairs made of bats."
  • Breakup Breakout: Has achieved far more than such past tag partners as Maxx Payne and Kevin Sullivan.
  • Butt-Monkey: Al Snow and Test (both Vitriolic Best Buds of his) in his books.
    • Foley himself was something of an on-air Butt Monkey for years, as his most famous matches are ones that he lost. Hell, not just lost, but was destroyed in. Amazingly, this is a big part of what got him over, as it just played up his Made of Iron image.
  • Precision F-Strike: His first book was full Cluster F-Bomb and in describing his father it's brought up he only used the word once, in a quote so it doesn't count. His second book is cleaned up except for one f bomb, quoting the Godfather's words on a backstage incident.
    • Mick usually avoids cussing in his Cheap Pops tour of kinda-sorta standup comedy, often allowing himself exactly one F-bomb. In one such performance, shown on the WWE Network, he explained how before hardcore match with Edge at Wrestlemania, Mick was listening to music to psych himself up, as he often does. Glen Jacobs (Kane) came into the dressing room where he was sitting alone, and asked him what he was listening to. Foley handed over the headphones. Kane listened to about sixty seconds of Tori Amos before handing the headphones back and saying,
      Kane: Remind me never to fuck with you.
  • Calling Your Attacks: In a manner of speaking. Foley is often ribbed by other wrestlers, due to his rather loud and unique in-ring vocalisations, which include announcing rapid-fire attacks with "Wah-Day! Wah-Day! Wah-Day!" and powerful attacks with "Waahh-Dow-Dow!".
  • Captain Ersatz: Fire Pro Wrestling seemed to settle for Cactus Jack.
  • Catch-Phrase: Three, for the three 'Faces'.
    • Cactus Jack: "Bang, bang!"
    • Mankind: "Have a nice day!"
    • Dude Love: "Oww, have mercy!"
    • And for plain ol' Mick Foley: "Right here! In [city name]!" *goofy grin and thumbs up*; (as Commissioner): "And that's final!"
  • Ceiling Smash: Inverted during his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker at the 1998 King of the Ring PPV, in which they brawled on the Cell's roof twice. The second time, 'Taker chokeslammed Foley through the roof, sending him crashing onto the ring below. And Foley still wanted to fight.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: The shirt-and-tie version of Mankind drew comparisons to Leatherface.
  • Charm Point: His missing teeth...well, for his wife, anyway; she was unsettled when he started wearing fake ones for Dude Love. He once even put them in during a marital spat, just to irritate her.
  • Cheap Heat: Inverted. Foley usually manages to work "Right here, in [city name]!" into a promo, which usually results in what is known as the "Foley Pop". He's also coined the phrase "cheap pop".
    • He could go for the heel version of this as well, such as when he wore shirts praising the Dungeon of Doomnote  and then-WCW boss Eric Bischoff for his and Raven's main event match against Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer at ECW November to Remember 95.
  • The Chessmaster: His recent angle with TNA revealed him to be this. He managed to work his way into the Network as an executive, a position he used to thwart Hulk Hogan and Immortal at every twist and turn. The best part is, of all the people they expected was screwing them, they never suspected Foley till he revealed himself.
    • Shows it again on May 26th when he revealed he'd manipulated Hogan into believing he'd left the meeting with the Network victorious. After Hogan left, Foley convinced the Network to revive the X Division against Immortal's wishes and turn them back against Immortal.
  • Companion Cube: Mr. Socko. Also the lesser known Barbie, the barbed wire bat.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Uses pretty much anything he can get his hands on as a weapon.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Averted, both in character and, more strongly, in real life. While countless announcers have claimed that Mick and his various characters enjoy the pain he suffers, he adamantly denies it. In character, he usually simply claims to be willing to do whatever it takes to destroy his opponent, even if he has to destroy himself to do it. Out of character, he cites Because I'm Good at It.
    I don't enjoy being hit with steel chairs, I just think it's something that I do rather well.
  • Compliment Backfire: In ECW, Tommy Dreamer called Cactus Jack "The Original Hardcore Wrestler", to which Jack berated Dreamer as ignorant, talking about much older hardcore wrestlers like Ray Stevens, who hardly anyone remembers, and famous hardcore wrestlers everyone should have been familiar with like Harley Race and Dynamite Kid, who couldn't enjoy the money they made because their bodies were broken down by the style
  • Cool Mask: As Mankind.
  • Corpsing: Mick is a professional, and even when he thinks something funny or silly is going on can keep it together...but one time, at a house show, he was unable to stop himself from laughing at the mental image of the gag he and the Rock had put together for their promo, resulting in him, Rock, Stone Cold and Kane standing in the ring giggling. The audience (perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not), loved it (Mick theorized that the fans really do like to see evidence that they're performers and coworkers who get along as opposed to believing them to be mortal enemies).
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Carried a barbed-wire cross as part of his introduction at the IWA Japan King of the Death Match Tournament on August 20, 1995.
    • The ankh on the original Mankind outfit could also count.
  • Cunning Linguist: He's fluent in German. Unfortunately, when he lost his ear to Vader in Germany, he realized that he didn't know the German word for formaldehyde.
  • Dark Reprise: Subverted, as his original Mankind theme (called "Ode to Freud" on WWF The Music: Volume 2 and "Schizophrenic" on Anthology) was designed to start off scary— but the ending part, designed to play after he won a match, would be beautiful. In Have a Nice Day, he wrote that he got the idea from the scene in the film of The Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lecter is basking in beautiful piano music after slaughtering a couple of guards.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Is the main subject of the WWF side of the business in the 1999 documentary Beyond The Mat, chronicling his life in the company from 1997-early 1999, including unseen footage of him in the aftermath of his famous matches with the Undertaker (guess which one) and The Rock (the I Quit Match at the 1999 Royal Rumble, which caused his wife and kids to cry at ringside and leave due to the viciousness of the match).
    • He won the Triple-Threat Match against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and HHH at SummerSlam 99 so that special guest referee Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura would be able to raise a babyface's hand in victory. HHH beat him for the title the following night on Raw.
  • Dented Iron: Discussed during an interview with Jim Ross, where he (as Mankind) berated Jim Ross for suggesting that Mankind enjoyed pain.
  • Dirty Old Man: During his time as WWE Commissioner, a couple of segments featuring Foley interacting with the Divas (particularly Trish Stratus) depicted him like this, particularly in provoking catfights between the girls and then watching with a huge grin on his face.
    • Has written that his favorite Diva was Stacy Keibler, and mentioned an incident where the two were going to have a promo in the ring together. When Keibler did her signature ring entrance, which was basically designed to show off her legs and ass as much as possible, Foley was standing behind her, and... Little Mick certainly noticed.
    • Noted multiple times in Have A Nice Day how Christina Ricci (or as he refers to her, Wednesday Addams) had filled out in the chest region. Keep in mind Ricci was around 18 when Foley was writing the book.
  • Determinator: Oh yeah.
    • For example, in the infamous Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring '98, Foley was thrown off of a sixteen-foot-tall steel chain link cell and through the Spanish announcers' table. The fall was so devastating that he sustained a concussion, spinal damage, a dislocated shoulder and internal bleeding. The EMTs squeezed in to put him on a stretcher and wheel him away, which seemed to signal the premature end of the match. Instead, Foley got up off the stretcher and climbed back up the cell (faster than before his fall!) to resume the match. After some more fighting, Undertaker performed his signature choke-slam, which sent Foley through the chain link cell to the ring below, a steel chair following close behind to smash his teeth out of his mouth, one of which lodged in his nose. Foley was completely knocked out, nearly died, and has no memory of the next few hours...but he got back up and resumed the match, finally ending it after taking two hard falls onto a large pile of thumbtacks. And then, simply because he refused to be stretchered out twice, he got up and walked back up the ramp to a standing ovation.
      • And then he came out to interfere in the main event, a First Blood match between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Kane, because that's how the storyline was written and he wasn't going to let a little thing like massive physical trauma and internal bleeding keep him from doing his job. Of course he was just too beaten up to really do all that much, but his interference did lead to Austin dropping his title to Kane when Austin and The Undertaker lined up simultaneous chair shots on him from each side and Foley simply ducked, causing Undertaker's chair to bust Austin open and costing him the match when the ref finally woke up and noticed.
    • Comparable to Hell in a Cell was Foley's participation in the IWA Japan King of the Deathmatch Tournament in 1995. During his first match, he got opened up hard way with a punch from Terry Gordy, then took a powerbomb into a bed of thumbtacks and had his face stamped into the same thumbtacks after winning the match. In the next match, he bumped on a barbed-wire covered board and a bed of nails before winning. Finally, in the grand finale, he and Terry Funk proceeded to destroy each other in a No-Rope Barbed wire Exploding Time Bomb Deathmatch, in which the ring was strewn with barbed wire boards laced with real C4 explosive. What made the bout even more brutal was that one of the gimmicks (the ring was supposed to be enveloped by massive explosions at the 10 minute mark) failed horribly, prompting Foley and Funk to take insanely dangerous bumps into the remaining C4 and barbed wire, just to save the match. In the end, after three brutal matches, Foley pinned Funk and became IWA Japan's King of the Deathmatch. He and Funk then went to the hospital together for treatment to their severe burns and lacerations. Foley's payment for this career-shortening night of torture? $200 and a can of soda, jokingly offered to him by the promoter (who at the time had been valued at the equivalent of half a billion dollars) as a 'Bonus'.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Upon his departure from WWE in 2008, he signed with TNA, where he was touted as the mystery "commissioner" on Impact. He leaded aid to Sting against the heel stable Immortal, and held a contest with Flair to see who could bleed the most. He left TNA in June 2011.
  • Dream Team: Him and Terry Funk.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He made his PPV debut at SuperClash III the AWA's lone Pay-Per-View) in a six-man tag against Eddie Guerrero's brothers.
  • Enemy Mine: He refused to stop opposing Ricky Steamboat over the direction of Ring of Honor after Steamboat saved Foley from The Carnage Crew. He did, however, return the favor.
  • Epic Fail: The "This Is Your Life" segment with John Cena. "This Is Your Life" with The Rock is the highest-rated segment in RAW history. "This Is Your Life" with John Cena is so painfully (yet hilariously) bad that it made people pity Cena. It was also probably the only time Cena was ever glad to see the Rock, who (mercifully) ended it before it got any worse by giving Mick a Rock Bottom. Mick would later admit on a Facebook post that he knew the segment was intentionally bad, had misgivings about going through with it, and greatly regretted doing so.
    • Also his attempted table spot at WrestleMania 2000. He wanted to avoid getting hurt in that match so he could go to Disney with the kids the next day (seeing as they were in Anaheim anyway). What actually happened was he hit the corner of the announce table so hard he nearly spit out his rib cage.
  • Everyone Went to Wrestling School Together: He, Shane Douglas and referee Brian Hildebrand all trained at Dominic DeNucci's school at the same time.
  • Expy: As Mick told Joey Styles during the Tommy Dreamer/The Sandman vs. The Dudley Boys main event at ECW One Night Stand 2005:
    "I used to say that Bubba Ray Dudley was nothing but a cheap, second-rate Cactus Jack knockoff, but, as cheap second-rate Cactus Jack knockoffs go, the guy's pretty damn good. And if he's just a cheap, second-rate Cactus Jack knockoff, I'll confess to being a cheap, second-rate Terry Funk knockoff."
  • Frying Pan of Doom:
    • In his first ECW match, against Sabu at ECW Hostile City Showdown 94, Cactus got a frying pan, hit Sabu with it, kissed it, and started hitting himself in the face with it, prompting Joey Styles to say, "He's hitting himself in the face with a frying pan! What the hell's wrong with him?"
    • The "ECW arena" was really a bingo hall located in a strip mall, and at the other end of the strip was a dollar store that sold cheap aluminum cooking utensils; the fans would buy these and hand them to their favorite wrestlers (since they were so flimsy that getting hit with one would hurt, but not inflict any serious injury). But when Cactus Jack faced The Sandman at ECW Double Tables, a fan gave Mick a pan they'd instead brought from home, and as Mick wrote, he was "in mid-swing" by the time he realized it was a cast-iron skillet. The Sandman was instantly concussed, and unfortunately, too out of it to remember that after the finish he was supposed to stay down, so he kept getting back up. After the card, he was on the shelf for two weeks, and Paul E. Dangerously ended the "Fans Bring the Weapons" practice.
  • Garbage Wrestler: In a way. There's no denying that his crazy brawls and sick bumps in WCW, ECW and in Japan as Cactus Jack did a LOT to get him over and were how he earned his Red Baron "The Hardcore Legend." At the same time, he DID have grounding in technical wrestling and could alternate the styles as needed.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: In his second ECW match with Sabu, he encouraged Sabu to do this to him. It took a few shots, but the bottle finally broke.
  • Happily Married: To his wife Collette since 1991. It has succeeded much to his own admitted astonishment, and it's not even a because-he's-famous example (they met while he was still working the independent circuit).
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Kind of. When one rewatches the '98 Hell in a Cell match, it's rather easy to forget that Mankind is supposed to be the heel in that match, mostly because he very quickly ends up on the receiving end of some of the most outrageous bumps of his career; the audience and even the commentators are clearly on his side, either rooting for him or begging him to stop before he hurts himself even more, and almost everyone remembers it for what Mankind went through and how amazing he was. If you didn't know the backstory to the match going in (Mankind was a Psychopathic Manchild set upon the Undertaker by Vince) you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Undertaker was the heel of the match, especially given No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he puts on his opponent.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If Mick brings out the thumbtacks, it is almost certain that he will fall on them. This was actually Lampshaded on one of his DVD sets.
  • Honorary Uncle: Paul Bearer was Mankind's honorary uncle after betraying The Undertaker and managing Mankind instead.
    • In a related play on the trope, for a short period Mankind considered Goldust his honorary mother. This was during the early stages of the gimmick, when Mankind was completely out of his mind insane.
  • Hot-Blooded: One of the most affable guys in wrestling, but when he gets really pissed off, there will be blood.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Foley lived this trope during the majority of his career.
    Jim Ross [after Foley is thrown off the Hell in a Cell through a table] AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF!
    • And then he got up off the stretcher, went up top a second time, got choke-slammed through the roof... Jesus, it was carnage.
    • There were also the death matches he did in Japan in IWA Japan and FMW.
    • Not as extreme an example, but at Royal Rumble '00 Foley kicked out of a Pedigree at a time that no one kicked out of the move. Foley did it just so he could take a second one... on thumbtacks!
  • Humiliating Wager: Cactus Jack and Luna Vachon lost a hair vs hair tag team match to Madusa and Eddie Gilbert while in Japan.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: On the go-home show to Fully Loaded 2000, Commissioner Foley was in a segment alongside The Rock confronting Chris Benoit, Edge, Christian, and Shane McMahon, in which Shane tried to rip off Rock's catchphrases and turn them against him. Mick cut the Boy Wonder off with this:
    Mick Foley: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold on a second there, sport. You don't rip off The Rock's catchphrases! Only I can rip off The Rock's catchphrases! It just doesn't sound cool when you do it.
  • Implied Death Threat: Back in WCW, Cactus and Abdullah The Butcher brought a cake to celebrate Sting's birthday.
    Paul E. Dangerously: It's not Sting's birthday.
    Cactus Jack: I know that. Don't you think I know that? But I wasn't here for Sting's last birthday. I wish I was at Sting's last birthday. But you see it's very important that we celebrate now, because Sting's last birthday was Sting's last birthday! BANG BANG! BANG BANG!note 
  • Insult Backfire: When it was announced on a live WCW Monday Nitro that Mick Foley was about to win the WWF championship on a pre-taped Raw... things did not go as WCW expected note 
    • To make matters even worse, the episode date this happened? January 4th, 1999, on the same episode a well awaited main event was to take place on for Nitro (another reason Schiavone was ordered to make the comment in the first place). Yep, the same date and match in which "THAT" happened.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Take a recycled feud from years ago from the cartoon-esque New Generation era, with an opponent who can't walk due to a foot injury, and attempt to follow up a five-star match featuring Shawn Michaels. This was Foley's first reaction to his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker.
    • WCW leaking word of his title win before Raw aired. The people meters at USA network must have exploded.
    • The irony of Tony Schiavone's gaffe was not lost on Foley, who so loathed his WCW experience that he fled the company a year before the MNW began. On the biggest night of Mick's career if not life, Bischoff couldn't resist one last dig and made it known how little he thought of Foley's drawing power. You can bet Foley was closely watching the audience figures that night. He did indeed put a lot of butts in seats.
  • I Was Quite The Looker: Despite what his in-universe backstory was, the real life Mick Foley was quite the handsome guy back in his high school wrestling team days, but his time in the hardcore indie leagues quickly ruined his boyish good looks.
  • Kung-Foley: No pun intended. In matches, Mick Foley has a very unique way of grunting while punching.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: After Triple H spent a few weeks making Mankind's life miserable, he shed his Mankind persona and reverted to Cactus Jack, triggering an instant Oh, Crap! from Triple H. Observe.
    • Got it again in his feud with Edge. Edge had been beating down Foley before hand. Foley's reaction? Thanking Edge for reawakening the Hardcore Legend he was and challenging him to an epic Hardcore match.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Mankind character started as a deranged, Thomas Harris-style psychopath, but at the height of Foley's popularity Mankind had evolved into a goofy, Cloudcuckoolander-style face. Cactus Jack eventually became the Darker and Edgier of the two personas, which is the reverse of how it was intended.
    • And then of course there's Dude Love, who is intentionally silly.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Odd for a guy who wrestles in civvies, Foley appears to own precisely 3 shirts, one for each of his gimmicks.
    • Even as a referee, his oversized ref shirt hangs unbuttoned and in tatters.
  • Made of Iron: Part of his character is to take ungodly amounts of punishment and keep going, including a great many things that would normally take other wrestlers out of business for some time. He's also a Real Life example as well; he's suffered a great many legit injuries in a match and continued without quitting. Just look at his Hell In A Cell Match with the Undertaker.
    • He lost an ear in a WCW match in Germany against Vader, but chose not to get it reattached so he could have a run with the WCW World Tag Team Titles instead.
      • He actually couldn't have gotten it reattached if he had wanted to, as he relates in the For All Mankind dvd; the ear hadn't been cleanly severed, but rather, roughly pushed off of his skull, leaving it too damaged to be reattached.
    • The back of the dust jacket for Have A Nice Day! points out every legitimate injury Foley had sustained up to the point of publication. It's quite... nauseating.
    • One of Foley's standard moves, the Hipbuster, was named for the damage it did to him.
    • Dented Iron: There's a reason he doesn't do much wrestling anymore. He also lampshaded this on the "Three Faces of Foley" VHS release when he said that he particularly liked his hippy-dippy Dude Love character because he didn't get hurt so much.
      • Lampshaded in an interview with Jim Ross, where Jim suggested Foley (as Mankind) enjoyed pain. Mankind responded by asking if having his kids want to play with him but being too hurt to get out of bed was where the fun started.
      • Sadly, years of dropping elbows off the apron onto the floor and outside brawls in WCW (during the Bill Watts era where they had no protective mats whatsoever) have left him with mobility difficulties. As shown on Celebrity Wife Swap, he is incapable of putting his own shoes on without assistance, and when he made a cameo appearance at Wrestlemania 32 with Shawn Michaels and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to squash the League of Nations he was practically shuffling down the ramp beside the other two men as they strode towards the ring.
      • Things started to change for Foley in 2016; while he's accepted that his hardcore style means that he'll always have a certain amount of pain, he finally got tired of living with the level he did. He got hardcore into DDP Yoga and water training (basically stretching and yoga in a pool), and ended up getting down to around 230 pounds, the lightest he'd been in nearly twenty years. He also had a right hip replacement in April 2017 that should improve his mobility a great deal.
    • Played for laughs once when he wrote about performing in WWE as Cactus Jack and taking a chair shot to the back from the fake Mankind (Dennis Knight).
    Mick: A chair to the back, you see, is different than a chair to the head, in that you have a little more freedom in choosing how to sell it. Which is my way of trying not to sound like a total hypocrite for choosing not to sell it at all.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Foley is often compared to film director Kevin Smith, who already looks and sound similar to him, in terms of his approachability and friendliness towards his fanbase. He also donates a large portion of his income to different charities related to sexual abuse and volunteers on RAINN's help hotline.
  • Mood Whiplash: The feeling one can get while listening to WWF The Music Volume 2 when Mankind's original theme "Ode to Freud" (renamed "Schizophrenic" for Anthology) is followed by Dude Love's original theme.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: How a sock puppet ends up drawing such a frenzied reaction from the crowd is anybody's guess.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: His persona of Dude Love, eventually transforming into "Corporate disco-loving retro hippie".
  • Nightmare Fetishist: His Mankind gimmick was definitely this, especially at the beginning. Often a prime source of....
  • Nice Guy: One of the very few pro wrestlers who is almost universally loved by both fans and fellow wrestlers and with good reason.
    • A significant portion of his post-wrestling career is playing Santa Claus at various functions. Most people admit he's probably as close to the real thing you can get.
    • Seriously, Mick is genuinely one of the nicest guys alive. Just look at his Facebook page and the things he talks about there, and pay particular note to the way he personally responds politely and sincerely to practically every comment he receives.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! and Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Tony Schiavone's comments about Mick beating the Rock for his first title caused over half a million people to switch from Nitro to RAW. With the infamous Fingerpoke Of Doom happening directly after, fans were seriously upset with WCW and RAW won the ratings battle on what could have been a huge victory for WCW. Nitro never beat RAW in the ratings again
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Foley is practically synonymous with this Trope.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mark Calaway (the Undertaker) had a moment of this when Mick Foley fell through the ceiling of the Hell in a Cell and thought that he'd seriously injured or even killed Mick Foley, saying in interviews that all he felt after that happened was "concern" for his fellow wrestler's health. Taker had chokeslammed Shawn Michaels on the roof of the Cell 8 months earlier, but, since Mick is, depending on the day, some 50-70 lbs. heavier than Shawn, and with UT at 328 lbs., the roof was not able to support them both. While there are no camera angles showing Taker's face at that moment, if you watch Taker's hand after he releases Mick you can see him visibly flinch as Mick impacts on the mat, and he would later say that he initially thought that Mick had been physically snapped in half.
    • Triple H had this on two occasions when Mankind revealed he couldn't face him in a match and he had a 'replacement' prepared. The trope would occur whenever Mankind revealed the replacement, Cactus Jack.
    • When he revealed himself as the Network Executive that had been screwing Immortal over weekly, Hogan and Immortal had a priceless Oh, Crap! on par with the Triple H example, as Foley had been a thorn in their side before he became their boss.
  • Orifice Invasion: His 'Mandible Claw' move involves shoving as much of his hand as possible down his opponent's throat until they pass out. Technically he's supposed to be pressing down on the soft tissue under the tongue. This is more easily seen in his earlier "insane" Mankind persona.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: at the end of the infamous "I Quit" match with The Rock. Mankind realized afterward that not only was "I quit" something he would never say, but he was actually unconscious when he supposedly said it. He realized it was a recording of him saying it during a pre-match taunt.
  • Papa Wolf: He's very protective of his children - highlighted by his infamous "Cane Dewey" promo. note 
  • Parts Unknown: Played straight as Mankind; subverted as Cactus Jack, there really is a Truth or Consequences, NM.
    • "Parts unknown" was the original birthplace WCW had cooked up for Cactus Jack until he convinced them it sounded stupid. He suggested Truth or Consequences (which was itself his indie hometown, which had been suggested by another promoter—his original hometown had been derided for not having any cacti, so the promoter went for a Southwest state with an interesting town tame).
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: A real life version. Mick was seriously upset with Tony Schiavone for his comments on Nitro deriding his winning his first championship. The plot mandated part was that Tony didn't want to do it - he was ordered to by Eric Bischoff.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in Memphis): The Stud Stable
    • (in Texas): Devastation Inc.
    • (in ECW): Raven's Nest
    • (in FMW): Funk Masters of Wrestling
    • (in WWE): The Corporation and the Union
  • Precision F-Strike: Have A Nice Day opens with Foley screaming "I JUST LOST MY FUCKING EAR, BANG BANG!" after part of his ear came off while tied up in stiff ropes during a match. Foley knew that whatever just happened to his ear was serious because he rarely used the f-word.
  • Pressure Point: His finisher in the Mankind and Mick Foley personas, the Mandible Claw, is said to trigger a pressure point under the tongue, causing paralysis and intense pain.note  The fact that he wraps his hand in a dirty sock before he does it is just the icing on the cake.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: How did Mick psych himself up for all that insane stuff he pulled? Listening to Tori Amos.
    • In one of his later books, Mick mentions being psyched at a chance to meet Tori Amos in real life... only to be horrified when he went through all of his older books and realized he mentioned listening to her music in conjunction with acts of ghoulish violence. Thankfully, her nephew was a wrestling fan and had read said books, so she knew what to expect from him when they met.
    • On the August 14, 2000 Raw, Mick compared Shane McMahon's attempts to hold his family together, in re issues Triple H and Stephanie had with Kurt Angle, to the plot of the Thirtysomething episode "Another Country," though not by name, and Angle chimed in with "I saw that one."
  • Real Song Theme Tune:
    • (In Herb Abrams' UWF): Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle"
    • (in ECW and later in IWC and ROH): Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild"
    • (in ECW): AC/DC's "Back in Black"
    • (in IWA Japan): Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction"
  • Reality Ensues: After his decades of wrestling through in-ring injuries, Foley is in bad, bad shape. He has lost part of an ear, several teeth, broken many, many bones, and lost most of the movement in his hands to wrestling.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: During the infamously bad "Lost in Cleveland" skits, an actress was used to play Foley's wife because Jerkass Bad Boss Eric Bischoff felt people wouldn't buy Cactus Jack's wife being that hot. Colette(his actual wife) didn't think that was funny.
    • In his second book he commented on how the briefly-hired ghost writer for his first book was going to write that when Foley lost his ear he screamed in agony, which Foley objected to and said that he should have wrote that he was calm and didn't even immediately notice what had happened to him. The ghost writer said that he didn't think Foley would have taken that so well if he actually did lose his ear- not realizing, of course, that all of this actually happened. Its one of the reasons that Foley decided to write the book himself.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As WWF Commissioner and WWE Raw General Manager.
  • Red Baron: "The Hardcore Legend".
  • Retired Badass: Announced his final retirement from in-ring competition in August 2013.
  • The Rival
  • Running Gag: As Commish, he'd often find the most absurd places to set up his office in the arena.
  • Self-Deprecation: When riffing on one of The Rock's Catch Phrases:
    "...and Mankind's dozens (AND DOZENS) of fans..."
  • Seven Year Rule: 1995, ECW, Mick Foley turns heel and tries to convince Tommy Dreamer to leave the promotion for the better pastures of WCW. 2005, Ring Of Honor, Mick Foley turns heel and tries to convince Samoa Joe to leave the promotion for WWE.
  • Shout-Out: From Cactus and Maxx Payne's post-match interview with "Mean" Gene Okerlund on the January 15, 1994 (taped December 13, 1993) WCW Saturday Night in re their match with the Nasty Boys at WCW Clash of the Champions XXVI.:
    CACTUS: "I'd like to talk about something else first. The Flintstones, Gene. I love the Flintstones. But you answer me this: How many times does Fred have to buy the ribs before he realizes the car's gonna tip over?"
  • Solemn Ending Theme: When he first appeared as "Mankind" in the WWF, he had two themes, an entrance theme and a different, more solemn exit theme that played when he won a match (which he requested specifically for the Soundtrack Dissonance).
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Employs this regularly.
    You know, you walk around here, you act like a pious, self-righteous sycophant, which is fancy New York Times-bestseller's speak for saying you, John Laurinaitis, are a kiss-ass.
  • Stand-Up Comedy: Performs at clubs. He calls it the Cheap Pops tour.
  • Stepford Smiler
  • Stylistic Suck: Dude Love's TitanTron video was full of all sorts of cheesy, obsolete green-screen effects.
  • Tag Team:
    • The South Sea Islanders, with King Kahlua
    • Assault and Battery, with Jimmy Cicero
    • The Rock N' Sock Connection
  • Take That, Audience!: His heel run in ECW was basically this, condemning the fans for pushing for more and more extreme violence, no matter how badly the wrestlers in the ring got hurt. He arguably had a point.
  • Tall Tale: Though not as bad as Hogan's, for years he insisted that Sting had knocked his front teeth down his throat. He finally came clean in Have A Nice Day and said it was actually caused by a car accident.
    • Averted with Vader ripping his ear off like Tyson; they thought his ear was already gone once his head became unstuck from between the ropes, and Vader was credited for storyline purposes. Later, they saw a tape of it clearly falling off after the match resumed, once Vader struck him.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Played straight at WrestleMania 2000, when he returned to the ring just three weeks after retirement. After that, though, he really went into semi-retirement and returned to the ring only occasionally.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: (from MCPW) "We are the champions. We Are The Champions! No time for time for Jacobs, cause we are the champions, of the world!"
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Literally after his cage match with Hunter Hearst Helmsley at SummerSlam 1997. Mick had wrestled the match as Mankind. After the match, his Dude Love music started playing and Mick got up from the floor and performed what he would later refer to in his first autobiography Have A Nice Day as his "mangled, twisted strut."
  • This Means War!: In the WWF/E, Cactus Jack became Mick Foley's last resort. DO NOT PISS OFF MRS. FOLEY'S BABY BOY.
    • One of the greatest moments of his career was when he did a TitanTron segment as both Mankind and Dude Love, while Triple H watched, confused, in the ring. When Foley announced that Cactus Jack was back, Triple H looked scared out of his mind. That's how you put someone over.
  • Token White: In the "Ghetto Odds" tag team handicap match at WCW Clash of the Champions XXI, where Cactus teamed with Tony Atlas and The Barbarian in a losing effort against Ron Simmons and the debuting 2 Cold Scorpio.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: As Mankind, he'd curl up at the corner of a ring before a match, rocking back and forth and letting out pig-like squeals.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Even Foley doesn't quite know how he managed to land Colette.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: At the 1999 Royal Rumble event, Foley took eleven unprotected chair shots to the head during his "I Quit" Match with The Rock. The Rock wasn't supposed to keep on hitting him, and Mick himself classified the match as "having gotten away" from both of them; i.e. they both got caught up in the drama and neither was willing to end it before the scheduled finish. The Rock didn't apologize to Foley for his actions, and this later became a bitter sticking point on Foley's part, though he said that when he eventually confronted The Rock about it, The Rock thought that he had checked on Foley after the match, and was very upset upon realizing he hadn't.
    • It's easy to see why Rock would think he apologized; in Beyond the Mat, there's footage of Rocky and Mick having a good-natured talk backstage after the match for several minutes.
    • In his second book, Foley admits both did wrong in the scenario but he was more in the wrong. Once The Rock was made aware of the situation, he apologized immediately. Foley was aware of the slight for several months but let it simmer unknown and lead him into bitterness (mostly as fuel for a Face–Heel Turn during the Rock 'n' Sock Connection days against the Rock that never materialized.)
  • Unusual Euphemism: As part of his general Running Gag of making fun of Al Snow whenever possible in Have a Nice Day!, Foley refers to taking a shit as "taking a Snow" and references wiping his "Sarven" (Snow's real last name). In fact, Mick says that Bob "Hardcore" Holly is banned from taking part in Mick and Al's insult contests on the grounds that he can't make up an original Unusual Euphemism to save his life.
    Bob Holly was actually disqualified for his lack of ingenuity. I mean, why use a common, ordinary word like 'cock', when I could tell Al to 'go fish for my one-eyed, purple-headed, blue-veined trouser trout' instead?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Foley is a real-life coulrophobe.
  • Win One for the Gipper: From his second book: Parodied in a promo at a show on October 10, 1999 in Miami. He described a fan covered in suntan lotion who slipped and fell running to him looking for an autograph.
    "As he was being loaded into the ambulance, this huge fan opened up one eye and spoke to me. 'Please,' he said, 'tonight in Miami, just one time, go out, and win one for the slipper!'"
    • Lampshaded: "I'm sorry, but the wrestlers in the back bet me that I wouldn't do it."
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The original Mankind was this. As he told Jim Ross in an interview, he had a very hard childhood, which involved having worms thrown at him by bullies, and being bullied even more after he ate the worms, and going through High School without date number one. He then concluded the interview by accusing Jim Ross of making fun of him, and putting the mandible claw on Ross.
    • This was May 26, 1997, some 8 years before anyone could have imagined a guy eating worms on a regular basis, and, more amazingly, getting over.
  • The Worf Effect: Inverted in his feud with Sting. Cactus Jack, then virtually unknown to American audiences, was to be built up as a monster and then soundly defeated by well-known face wrestler Sting. This feud ended up lasting much longer than planned, though, on account of Foley was so over as a heel by the time his match with Sting happened that he still seemed like a credible threat even after losing.
  • Worthy Opponent: In one interview, the Undertaker was asked who his toughest opponent ever was. He answered Mick Foley, without hesitation.
    • Better example is a Biography Channel program about Foley which had Undertaker interviewed out of character.note 
    • Terry Funk. They frequently had matches against each other, and even when things got personal, they didn't last that long before teaming up again.
    • Vader is on record as saying the hardest he'd ever been hit is when Cactus Jack hit him in the back with a steel shovel; keep in mind that Vader has been hit in the face hard enough that his eye popped out.
  • Yandere: For The Rock during the Rock N Sock connection angle.
  • You Bastard: The Anti-Hardcore promos in ECW.
  • You Have Failed Me: After Corporate Dude Love failed to beat "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the WWF title at Over the Edge 1998, Vince McMahon fired Dude Lovenote , causing Mick to revert to the Mankind persona. This is also why the 1998 and beyond versions of Mankind wear a dress shirt and tie.

"BANG BANG!"

Alternative Title(s): Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/MickFoley