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Mick Foley: The Many Characters of the WWE Superstar



Mick Foley: The Many Characters of the WWE Superstar


Few performers within the historical past {of professional} wrestling might take a “bump” like Mick Foley, who grew to become often known as the “Hardcore Legend” for his willingness to get crushed with steel chairs, impaled with sharp objects and subjected to different brutalities that will make most of his fearsome-looking colleagues run for security.

However Foley proved excess of a hefty brute with an unusually excessive ache threshold, as he additionally pushed the boundaries for the way a wrestler might interact with followers by portraying a number of totally different characters to nice impact over the course of his Corridor of Fame profession.

This is a take a look at the wrestling icon’s most distinguished ring personas:

Cactus Jack

Following his uneven early years within the enterprise, Foley discovered his footing within the latter half of the Eighties in what grew to become his longest-running and arguably hottest character. This iteration of Cactus Jack wasn’t but a fleshed-out creation, however after a stint as Cactus Jack Manson, during which he performed off the serial-killer vibe of infamous cult chief Charles Manson, Foley funneled a few of the creepier parts into the sadist who turbocharged the World Championship Wrestling and Jap Championship Wrestling promotions within the Nineties.

Alongside together with his signature “Bang bang!” catchphrase, Cactus Jack grew to become identified for wielding barbed-wire bats in his more and more bloody appearances, seemingly reaching the restrict when a botched maneuver vs. Huge Van Vader in Munich, Germany, resulted in his proper ear being torn off. However the incident did little to dampen Foley’s style for violence, and he discovered the perfect showcase for his abilities by surviving the beating, burning and bludgeoning featured at IWA Japan’s “King of the Demise Match” event in 1995.

Though he seemingly left Cactus Jack behind after transferring to WWE shortly afterward, Foley later donned the previous “Wished: Useless” t-shirt and slipped again into the character when pushed to the breaking level by overzealous opponents, together with Triple H in 2000 and Randy Orton in 2004.


Foley’s shot on the huge stage of WWE got here with the mandate that he assume the brand new persona of a masked character. He ultimately embraced the problem to turn into the distinct and disturbing determine of Mankind, a tormented soul who lived in a boiler room, confided in his pet rat, George, and delivered the throat-stuffing transfer often known as the “Mandible Claw.”

This characterization made Mankind the proper opponent for the Undertaker, a large who additionally trafficked in the dead of night aspect of human nature, and each loved the increase offered by their “Boiler Room Brawl” and “Buried Alive” matches, although Foley once more seemingly went too far when his physique was almost damaged by the falls sustained at their 1998 “Hell in a Cell” showdown.

The wrestler bounced again with a reinvented model of Mankind, this one a extra likable lug who carried round a sock puppet named Mr. Socko. His matches had been nonetheless marked by grotesque moments – the Mandible Claw was now administered with Mr. Socko on his hand – however Mankind surprisingly grew to become a fan favourite on par with prime attracts like Shawn Michaels and “Stone Chilly” Steve Austin. He started his off-and-on-again run as WWE champion by defeating The Rock in December 1998, and shortly joined his fellow WWE Corridor of Famer to type the profitable Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection.

Dude Love

The least-used of Foley’s main character creations additionally occurred to be his first. The gregarious, happy-go-lucky Dude Love was spawned again when an underage Foley was nonetheless horsing round in yard wrestling movies together with his buddies, the legend captured in a movie brief from 1985 known as The Liked One. The WWE model of Dude Love surfaced a dozen years later, following a collection of promotional interviews during which an anguished Mankind revealed his dashed childhood desires, and the emergence of the dancing, goofy hippie gave the wrestler one other platform to showcase his distinctive theatrical chops.

Whereas Dude Love’s run was short-lived, the character offered a enjoyable counterbalance to the no-nonsense depth of Austin for a number of memorable matches and in the end aided Foley’s ascent to the highest of the WWE pecking order.

Mick Foley

Lastly, after years of absorbing painful bumps and brutal beatings in different guises, Foley had garnered sufficient inventive freedom and viewers goodwill to carry out below his actual identify within the 2000s. In a single sense, Mick Foley the wrestler merely introduced his earlier characters collectively beneath the ring garb of an everyman flannel shirt. This was finest exemplified by his WrestleMania 22 match towards Edge, during which the Hardcore Legend brandished one among Mankind’s socks wrapped within the barbed wire favored by Cactus Jack.

However the promotion of the Foley identify additionally enabled him to make the profitable transition to elder statesman and authority determine as WWE commissioner, broadcaster and RAW basic supervisor, an incarnation that stored the favored champion within the highlight even after his oft-battered physique signaled that it was time to ease off the body-slams.