Have a Nice Day!
March 24, 2006 by Joanann Cloukey
There is a man who is considered one of the best wrestlers alive. He is a man who has shaped wrestling, as we know it today. He has wrestled with many different companies including ECW, WWF, WWE, and ROH. He is a man who has made us cry, laugh and smile. He has made us enjoy sock puppets again. He is Mick Foley. A future Hall of Famer, a legend, and a hero to us all.
Michael Francis Foley was born in Bloomington, Indiana on June 7, 1965. When he was, still a young boy he and his family moved to Setauket on Long Island, New York. Foley played Lacrosse in High school; it was during his Lacrosse training that he fell in love with wrestling.
Mick once hitchhiked to Madison Square Gardens in New York City, to see Jimmy "the super fly" Snuka take on Don Muraco. During the match, Jimmy Snuka climbed to the top of the cage and "flew" onto the unexpecting Muraco. At one point during the match, the camera looks out onto the crowd where you can see Foley sitting ringside.
Foley was inspired by many things in his life, but one thing that inspired him most began his career. A girl that he liked once called him Frank. It inspired Foley to make home videos. His first was a comedy where Foley played Frank, who had tried to commit suicide after the humiliation form the girl. His second was the most important though. It was entitled "The Loved One". It was about a WWF wrestler named Dude Love, who was a chick magnet and was destined to win the WWF championship. One of the scenes in the video involved Mick diving off a roof onto a mattress for a battle scene. It somehow made its way into the hands of professional wrestler Dominic Denucci. Denucci was impressed and invited Mick to join his training school.
Mick first debuted in 1986 after countless hours of hard work and training. He made frequent appearances on WWF T.V. during his training period. He then got an official job and contract with the WWF. He was then known as Jack Foley, but he eventually changed it and made more of a name for himself as Cactus Jack.
Cactus Jack travelled through many Independent territories like Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Japan, and Africa. He was first nationally noticed in 1989 when he went to WCW. He left WCW after a short amount of time, but returned when the company was bought by Ted Turner and was also under new management. With his return, he began a feud with main eventer, Sting. He then again left WCW to join another brand known as ECW.
Foley was one of the many superstars who was part of ECW. Many of the main eventers that we love today were once a part of one of the most brutal, barbaric businesses in wrestling history (I will not share my opinion on ECW, because there are too many people who dislike it. I also wont say that I think that anyone who has a problem with it well I think they should be shot, and well I don't care if you like it or not!). It makes us love them, to see their blood and see lots of violence (you are not a real wrestling fan if you don't like wither of those things). ECW was barbed wire, tables, ladders, lots of chairs; also, it was the heart and soul of many people. People put their bodies on the line for the people and for the love of the sport. At the center of this love was Cactus Jack, the king of hardcore. While in ECW Foley won a "King of the Deathmatch" tournament by defeating Terry Funk in the finals.
In 1996, Mick signed a contract with the WWF. It was there he was given the name, Mankind. In the WWF, he fought a man named the Undertaker. The Undertaker helped make him more famous in a legendary "Hell in a Cell" match between the two. During the match the Undertaker tossed Foley off the Cell onto the announce table. He was removed from ringside by a stretcher, but later returned only to be choke-slammed through the Cell. He was injured numerous times during the match including a time where Foley received a backdrop into a pool of thumbtacks.
Foley was stealing his way into the hearts of fans everywhere, and was becoming an icon in the business. He was then permitted to change his name once more to Dude Love, like the wrestler in his home videos. Foley made history by competing under three different names at the same time. In January of 2003 on a RAW episode, Mick was awarded the "Tell me I just didn't see that" award, for the three faces of Foley. Mick didn't attend the ceremony, but it was seen to many as a way to kiss up to Foley in his retirement.
At WreslteMania 14 Cactus Jack and Terry Funk, defeated The New Age Outlaws in a dumpster match to win the WWF Tag Team titles. The match was originally supposed to be a barbed wire match, but the PPV people decided against it. In 1998, Mick defeated his soon to be partner, The Rock, for the WWF federation title. In December of that year, he was awarded the first ever Hardcore Championship, as a gesture by Vince McMahon. Foley then debuted as part of a tag team called The Rock-N-Sock Connection. Together The Rock and Foley formed an odd sort of friendship (if you can call it that), and won the WWF World Tag Team tiles together.
Foley then began a feud with Triple H, that would last through out the years. At the Royal Rumble in 2000, Triple H defeated Foley in a brutal Street Fight match. Again, at No Way Out, Triple H defeated Foley. This time through it was in a "Hell in a Cell" match. The same type of match that formed his career had ended it. Foley announced his retirement, but wrestled one last time at WrestleMania. It was a 4way title match for the World Heavyweight Championship, in which Foley of course didn't win. In June Foley was appointed the new WWF Commissioner by Vince McMahon. He returned in October, replacing William Regal, who had jumped ship to the Allience. In November of 2001, Foley resigned as WWF Commissioner.
Mick was absent from wrestling until June of 2003, when he returned on an edition of RAW. He was announced the special guest referee for an upcoming "Hell in a Cell" match at Bad Blood, in which Triple H was a part of. In the match, Triple H defeated Kevin Nash. Foley and Triple H then pick up where the left off before Mick's retirement. On June 23rd Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, and others honor Mick with an emotional video. He was also awarded with the original Hardcore Championship belt in a glass frame, and was named the WWE Hardcore Legend.
In December, Mick was appointed the "Outside Consultant" by Linda McMahon. He later made himself Co-General Manager of RAW. HE fired La Resistance, The Coach, Test, and Scott Steiner. He later re-hired them all just to prove a point to Eric Bischoff.
Foley was then scheduled to have a match with Evolution's Randy Orton, but the match never happened because Foley left the arena early. In January, Orton sent a Limo and front row tickets to Mick's house. Mick refused to show up. Stone Cold then spoke to Foley and told him that he should go to the Royal Rumble and stand up to Orton. Foley entered the Rumble # 21, and eliminated Orton, but also himself in the process. For weeks member of evolution and Foley battle it out, until finally Evolution delivers a five-minute, brutal assault on Foley. A few weeks later The Rock returns and informs Evolution that they will no longer attack Mick. The Rock is the host of "Mick Foley this is your life", during an edition of RAW. At WrestleMaina The Rock and Foley have their Rock-N-Sock Connection reunion, and take on Evolution's Randy Orton, Batista, and The Nature Boy Ric Flair. The worst part of the match in Evolutions winning was when Orton covered Foley. It made it seem, to Orton, that he was the better man after all. Then at Backlash, Orton defeated Foley (as Cactus Jack) in a Hardcore match, which included thumbtacks and barbed wire. Orton finally had won the war.
Foley then left the WWE after loosing to Orton. He did though referee a lot and wrestle for numerous matches with other companies, like ROH. He then returned announcing that he'd tour Iraq with the SmackDown! superstars. He was then interrupted by Muhammad Hassan, and as you can imagine, Hassan had to state his opinion about how all Americans are racist and some other bad comments about our troops. I think that he should really talk, he is after all an American too and he's extremely prejudice against his own country! Anyway, Foley tours Iraq, and dresses up as Santa Clause for the troops.
Foley was absent until September of 2005 when he returned announcing his multi year contract with the WWE. He later announced that he had been in negotiations with TNA for months. At WWE Homecoming, he was a guest on Piper's Pit. Piper questioned Foley about his return when he was interrupted by Randy and his father Cowboy Bob Orton. He was also a guest on Carlito's Cabana, and a match was set between the two at Taboo Tuesday. The choices for the fans, was to choose which face of Foley that they wanted to see. Their choices were Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love, in which they chose Mankind. Either way Mankind was victorious over Carlito.
Mick once again took a break after his match with Carlito. He returned only for random events like the trail of Eric Bishoff, in which Foley was prosecutor for. He also returned to go over seas with RAW this time for the troops in Afghanistan. While there, he fought the battle of the Santa's, in which Foley was the good Santa and JBL was the bad Santa. Of course good, usually triumphs over evil, and Foley of course being the good Santa won the No Holds Barred match. Most recently, Foley refereed a match between John Cena and Edge, in which John Cena won. Of course Edge furious with the decision blamed Foley and speared him. Now a match at WrestleMania is set between the two in a Hardcore match.
Over the years Foley has accomplishes so much. He has won WCW Tag Team titles, ECW Tag Team titles, IWA Tag Team tiles, IWA King of Death match , WWF Heavyweight title, WWF Tag Team title, and the first ever WWF Hardcore title. He's been awarded the "Tell me I just didn't see that" award, and the Lifetime Achievement award. As well as a wrestler, he's an author of children's books, like Have a Nice Day, Tales form Wrestle Lane, and Scooter. He is loved by wrestling fans all over the world and by small children everywhere.
So in all, I believe that that Mick Foley, Dude Love, Cactus Jack, or whatever you want to call him, is one of the greats responsible for creating the WWE as we know it today. He's made us enjoy sock puppets, and mad us believe that our greatest dreams can come true. He is a man who's entertained us with blood, violence, and a few laughs along the way, and as Mick would say, "Have a Nice Day"!
by Joanann Cloukey ..
S. Hernandez wrote:
I would like to know who considers Mick Foley a great wrestler.
He is a great entertainer, yes. But to put him with the likes of Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Kurt Angle is ridiculous.
Matty G wrote:
Okay I appreciate you may be younger than me, but to say that if you don't like "blood (and) lots of violence" you are not a real wrestling fan does a great disservice to the people that came before Mick Foley. Go back and watch some classic 60s and 70s (and even 80s) wrestling that has neither blood nor excessive violence, but has actual wrestling, and then say what makes a true wrestling fan. Sorry to be harsh, but that's the exact ECW mentality that made me side with JBL at One Night Only (and I like ECW !). Apart from that one line, great column - and yeah I look forward to Mick Foley being in hall of fame. Legend.
That was a great article. It was nostalgic remembering those Mick Foley moments but at the same time it made me rememeber that he was on the loosing end of the WWE for years and that pissed me off because he is a great wrestler who accomplished so much and as you say is a sure entry for hall of fame but he lost to wretlers where I think he sould have won.
This man is the King of Kings when it comes to hardcore matches and he lost eveyone of them from 99. He was humiliated and its obvious he is going to get his ass whooped against Edge in a feeble attempt to give Edge a push and what they should have done is let Edge carry the title to Mania but thats for another article. I just thing in light of what you said ie his accomplishments his run so far is not beffiting for a wrestler of his talent.
A good article. Thanx
Jose Aguirre wrote:
Mick Foley is a joke to wrestling. In the words of a great wrestler, Ric Flair "Foley didn't get famous for being a wrestler, he got famous for being a stuntman." Sure there may be some that disagree with me but that infamous Hell in The Cell match, was begun at the top of the cage so someone getting thrown off was inevitable, not a shocking moment.
I do have to give Foley props on his promo skills, and even though I'm not a fan of wacky stunts I have to respect a man who is willing to put his body on the line just to entertain people.
Josh Lloyd wrote:
Bang! Bang! I love Mick Foley. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for him, if you have seen his DVD "Mick Foley's greatest hits and Misses" it explains that being thrown off that hell in a cell was planned, but when he is chokeslammed through the cell and to the ring, that was an accident. When that happened a chair also came down with him and actually landed on his face, knocking out several teeth in the process. In that match if you look closely you can actually see a tooth stuck up his nose! I like the way Mick Foley gives people pushes by beating him, the same way terry funk did back in the days of ECW. I just wish he would with at least ONE match. Great Column!
Kevin Roberts wrote:
NO WAY JOSE! You, of all people, have no right to call Mick Foley a joke to wrestling. You are a nobody bashing a hardcore legend AND a best-selling author. No, he may not be the best technical wrestler, but he is brilliant and he has dedicated his LIFE to the fans. You have no right. Being a wrestling legend is not just about doing a million suplexes and knowing a million more submission holds. Its not just about moonsaults and hurricanranas, Mick Foley takes bumps and sells moves like no other. He makes other guys look good, so therefore, he looks good. Any intelligent person should realize that all professional wrestlers are part-stuntman, unless you watch that show called "Real Pro Wrestling." For you to call Mick Foley a joke to wrestling, you are spitting in the face of a legacy. You might as well be disrespecting Abdullah The Butcher, Bruiser Brody, Dusty Rhodes, Wahoo McDaniel, Carlos Colon and many others whom Foley's style pays homage to. You have no right. You obviously dont know a great deal about wrestling and/or Mick Foley and maybe you need to do your research before you pass judgement, which you have no right to do anyway because you have not dedicated your life to the profession as these guys have. I think its just wrong for you to disrepect any wrestler because they LIVE to entertain YOU. 99% of people who bash wrestling on the web probably wouldnt last a minute the ring, yet they think they have the right to pass judgement on the people who do this everyday. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT.
Let your other readers know that not everyone can or should be Kurt Angle: There is no doubt that Mic Foley is a stuntman of sorts. But he was Damn Good at what he did. While certainly not a technical wrestler, having a hardcore legend was not a bad idea. Mic Foley is the absolute best at hardcore regardless, and there is nothing wrong with a little crazy every now and then. So people, lay off of Mic Foley! He is a future Hall of Famer, and deservedly so.
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