Michael Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr. (born June 7, 1965) is an American actor, author, comedian, voice actor, and professional wrestler. He made his PPV debut at the AWA's lone Pay-Per-View AWA SuperClash III in a six-man tag against Eddie Guerrero's brothers and worked with every major North American wrestling promotion in his career, including WWE, WCW, ECW, Ring Of Honor and TNA and is currently signed to WWE. He is often referred to as "The Hardcore Legend", a nickname he shares with Terry Funk.Throughout his wrestling career, Foley wrestled for many different promotions both under his real name and under various personas (which are known collectively as the "Three Faces of Foley" - Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love) and, frequently since about 2001, as just plain Mick Foley. He was the first ever WWE Hardcore Champion, and he also became a three-time WWE Champion (as Mankind), an eight-time WWE World Tag Team Championnote 1x as Dude Love w/Stone Cold Steve Austin, 1x as Cactus Jack w/Terry Funk, 2x as Mankind w/Kane, 3x as Mankind w/The Rock as the Rock N Sock Connection, and 1x as Mankind w/Al Snow, a two-time ECW World Tag Team Champion with Mikey Whipwreck, a one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion with Kevin Sullivan, a one-time TNA Legends Champion and a one-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Following his retirement from a full-time wrestling schedule after WrestleMania XVI in March 2000, Foley appeared occasionally with WWE as a special guest referee and, later, a color commentator for the SmackDown brand. Upon his departure from the company in 2008, he signed with TNA, returning to a semi-regular schedule. He then left TNA in June 2011, and has since appeared back on WWE television, albeit less frequently.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 was enthusiastically well received and well reviewed. He has written a sequel to that book, 2001's Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker than Wrestling which partially goes in depth into the writing of the first book and why he decided to write his books himself instead of hiring ghostwriters and also is about the months leading into his retirement during the Attitude Era. The third part of his autobiography, The Hardcore Diaries, was released in 2007. A fourth volume, Countdown To Lockdown was relased in 2010. Foley has also written two novels, Tietam Brown and Scooter, and three children's books.He was also one of the subjects of the documentary Beyond The Mat, which followed him at the peak of his career. More recently, he appears in Bloodstained Memoirs, another wrestling documentary.
Tropes associated with Mick Foley include:
Acrofatic: The "Cactus Jack Crack Smash" saw Foley do a running senton from the apron, fairly impressive for a guy his size. Age and injuries eventually took it out of his moveset.
Always Someone Better: In Have a Nice Day!, Foley frequently mentions that Marc Mero (now considered a very forgettable wrestler) always managed to have more money and more favor with management for a large part of Foley's career in WCW and the WWF. The situation eventually reversed quite a lot...
In WCW he was one of the few heels to pose a credible threat to Sting. Originally he was just meant to be another monster heel to help put Sting over, but Foley's charisma and in-ring chemistry with Sting led to a much longer, more involved feud. Big Van Vader and The Nasty Boys qualify as well.
In ECW: Terry Funk (also in Japan), the Sandman and Tommy Dreamer.
Ascended Meme: Dude Love started as Foley's fanboy wrestling alter ego in college, but Vince McMahon was so endeared by the story of Foley's earlier fanboyishness the character was later adapted as an actual in-ring persona on WWF/E tv.
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.
Bait-and-Switch Comment: Have a Nice Day! relates the following from when he was in ECW and headed to 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!
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.
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.
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."
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.
And for plain ol' Mick Foley: "Right here! In [city name]!" *goofy grin and thumbs up*; (as Commissioner): "And that's final!"
Charm Point: His missing teeth, well, for his wife, she was unsettled when he started wearing fake ones for Dude Love.
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".
Chess Master: 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.
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.
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 listening to beautiful piano music.
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)
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.
For example, in the infamous Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring '98, Foley was thrown off of a twenty-foot-tall steel chain link cell and through an announcer 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, but, you see, this is the part of the match that was planned (well the fall part, not the injuries part). Mick got up off the stretcher and climbed his way back up the cell (faster than before his fall!) to resume the match. After some more fighting, Undertaker performed his signature choke-slam... which accidentally sent Foley through the chain link cell to the plywood ring below, a steel chair following close behind to smash his teeth out of his mouth. (You can see a little white speck in his nose on close-ups; that's his tooth.) 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 frigging 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, this was kind of a massive anticlimax, so you won't really see it in his career's highlight reels.)
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 hardway with a punch from Terry Gordy, then took a powerbomb into a bed of thumbtacks, and still came back to win the match. 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 Barbed Wire Rope, Exploding C4, and Time Bomb Match. What made the match 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, forcing Foley and Funk to take insanely dangerous bumps to save the match. In the end, after three brutal matches, Foley pinned Funk and became IWA Japan's King of the Deathmatch.
Fail O'Suckyname: 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.
Fingerpoke Of Doom: This happened on the night he won his first WWF Heavyweight championship. Mick Foley did indeed put a lot of butts in seats.
Follow the Leader: Since Have A Nice Day was released, almost every popular wrestler has a book out now. Many of which directly reference Foley's books or even have a foreword written by Foley.
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.
Foley also wrote all of his books and, unlike many athletes, does not use a ghostwriter (he actually was given one on his first book, but was unsatisfied with his work). He proudly notes in the introduction to Have A Nice Day! that he wrote the over 700-page manuscript for it in longhand (mostly because his typewriter broke). Also, his publisher was surprised by how long it was - they were expecting under 150 pages.
He opens his first book by recalling spending a double-digit-hour plane ride home working on his manuscript longhand. He was so bleary-eyed and punchy from working hard on it that, upon arrival, his wife asked him repeatedly if he had been doing drugs.
Happily Married: To his wife Collette for about twenty years now. A real-life Ugly Guy, Hot Wife that 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).
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.
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 be precise, a very large number of viewers switched from WCW to the WWF to see Mick get what they considered his just rewards.
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.
Kung-Foley: In matches, Mick Foley has a very unique way of grunting while punching.
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, Cloud Cuckoolander-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.
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.
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 in "The Faces Of Mick Foley" 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.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Foley is often compared to film director Kevin Smith 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.
My Name Is Not Durwood: 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.
In particular the Hell in a Cell match, which is honestly nauseating to watch. When he was choke-slammed through the cage, he dislocated his shoulder, was knocked unconscious, and had a chair land on his face, causing a tooth to pierce through his lip and lodge itself in his nose.
Oh Crap: Mark Callaway (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.
Triple H had one when Mankind revealed he couldn't face him in a match and he had a 'replacement' prepared. This trope occurred when 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.
One of Us: History buff, auto-biographical and fiction novelist, roller coaster aficionado, and lover of all things Christmas, wrapped in a human Muppet with a incredible tolerance for pain.
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 Dewey is his oldest son.
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 It was legitimately invented by Dr. Sam Shepard, the same guy whose life was the inspiration for The Fugitive. After he went through all his legal difficulties, he couldn't practice medicine anymore, so he went down to Tennessee to wrestle, using his medical knowledge to invent the hold. The hold had fallen into such disuse that, when Cactus, in his last ECW match, used it on Mikey Whipwreck, even Joey Styles didn't recognize it. 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. I couldn't make that up even if I tried.
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.
Running Gag: As Commish, he'd often find the most absurd places to set up his office in the arena.
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).
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."
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.
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.
Reality Is Unrealistic: During the infamously bad "Lost in Cleveland" skits, an actress was used to play Foley's wife because Eric Bischoff felt people wouldn't buy Cactus Jack's wife being that hot. Colette(his actual wife) didn't think that was funny.
Unnecessary Roughness: At the 1999 Royal Rumble event, Foley took ten 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.)
Unperson: Averted since his jump to TNA, though he isn't the only one, WWE has mentioned many of its stars recently, though Mick was the only one mentioned in a positive light, Michael Cole even shilled for his latest book.
Joey Styles even interviewed Mick on WWE.com recently. The shilling of the book might be because some of the book is reportedly about Foley's time as a commentator on Smack Down! and Vince very much likes Mick's writing style.
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?
What Could Have Been: According to his second book, Wrestlemania XV was booked to have Mankind involved in the main event as part of a triple threat match with The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Reportedly, Shawn Michaels convinced the writers that the Wrestlemania main event MUST be two wrestlers and two wrestlers only. Though Michaels was lobbying for it to be Stone Cold vs. Mankind, Foley was the wrestler who got removed from the main event.
Next year, he managed to get into the main event by getting in a FOUR Way Match with The Rock, Triple H, and The Big Show.
The street fight the following year at WrestleMania X-Seven was supposed Mick vs. Vince McMahon, as revenge for Mick's firing as Commissioner at the hands of Vince. Mick didn't feel confident enough in himself to do the match so the angle went to Shane McMahon and Mick acted as special guest ref instead.
Despite their incredible feud, Foley and The Undertaker never squared off at WrestleMania.
However, if Mankind had been put over Undertaker at WrestleMania (and it's very likely that it could have happened), we would not have The Streak that has been an instrumental part of the past few WrestleManias.
Also, Mick was supposed to be the Higher Power that the Ministry of Darkness answered to, but he didn't think he could put on a good match or feud with Austin in his current condition and declined the role.
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."
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.