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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Foley is Good" No, Foley is GREAT!
August 1, 2005 by Matt Kopp


Throughout the history of the WWF, there was a man who always stood out. There was a man who the crowd could love or hate for his sheer insanity, his crazy persona, his hardcore supremacy, and his wrestling ability. This man would do things that us fans would find crazy. He would talk about eating cockroaches at his home, cut himself open with barbed wire, hit himself with chairs, scream and shriek things that would make us all think he belonged in a mental asylum. In this article though, I'm going to go beyond the mask, I am going to go beyond Mick Foley, I am going to go beyond Cactus Jack or Dude Love, this article is on Michael Francis Foley, one of the greatest competitors in the WWF/E.

Michael Francis Foley was born on June 7, 1965, in Bloomingham, Indiana. While he was still very young, he moved to East Setauket, Long Island, were he still lives today, just 10 minutes away from my house. Mick Foley was into Lacrosse in high school, until wrestling crossed his eye. He was so enchanted by the sport of wrestling, that he hitchhiked from East Setauket, all the way to New York City, just to see Jimmy Snuka wrestle. (P.S: A drive to NYC from East Setauket is about one and a half hours without any traffic.) Mick then made two home videos, his most famous about a WWF Superstar he created named Dude Love. Dude Love was on a never-ending quest to win the WWF Title. In the climax of the story, Dude Love leaps off his friend's roof, onto a cushion of mattresses and boxes. The tape got into the hands of a professional wrestler, Dominic Dennuci, and Dominic, seeing Foley's talent at the sport, invited him to join his training school.

After a brief stint in AWA, Foley found himself in ECW, competing as the legendary Cactus Jack. Jack was insane, crazy, ruthless, bloodthirsty, and power-hungry in every meaning of each word. His unbelievable endurance, dive, and his famous Double-Arm DDT helped him win the ECW Tag Team titles twice. However, in just one year, Mick Foley's entire legendary career would change in one word.

Mankind. Mankind was a stroke of pure GENIUS that the WWF Board thought up of. He's completely insane, he's cannibalistic, and he's got a finisher that looks and feels completely horrid. His constant shrieks of, "I'M GOING TO EAT YOU ALIIIiVeE!" gave millions of fans the impression that Mankind was a threat to society. Mankind was the most insane character in the WWF, and Mick Foley was the perfect person to play the role of Mankind. Out of all his gimmicks, Mick Foley was most successful as Mankind. Mankind wasn't really an "A-Class Performer" until King of the Ring 1998. This match should, and will be remembered as the greatest Hell in a Cell Match in the entire history of the WWF. Mick Foley vs. The Undertaker in one of the most brutal Hell in a Cell Matches in WWF history. The fight between the two quickly spilled to the top of the cage, where Mick Foley was thrown off the top of the cage threw a table. As he's getting stretcher out, he gets off the stretcher, a big smile on his face, and climbed up to the top of the cell yet AGAIN. Again, Foley fell 16 feet onto the ring floor in excruciating pain. In an interview, Foley was quoted saying, "The fall inside the ring actually hurt more than the one through the table." As though being chucked down 16 feet twice through a cage wasn't enough, Undertaker found some nice thumbtacks to chokeslam Mick on, thus ending the brutal match.

Some souvenirs that Foley picked up from this match were 2 broken ribs, and a bruised kidney. From that match, Foley's career shot off. Within a month of KOTR, Mankind captured his first of two World Tag Team Title reigns with Kane. After losing his second set of Tag Titles with Kane to The New Age Outlaws, Mankind was awarded the original Hardcore Title in December 1998. Then, in 1999, Mankind hit his high mark when he won his 1st WWF Title. Even though it was his longest reign, and it only lasted 20 days, it was still special to Mankind. Mankind would capture the WWF title twice more, and won the World Tag Team Titles three times with The Rock, and once with Al Snow. However, there were two other personalities that Mick Foley was wrestling with.

One of these two personalities was Dude Love, the chick magnet from Foley's movies. Dude Love was fun loving, and optimistic, unlike the cannibalistic, crazy persona of Mankind. Mick Foley first captured WWF Gold under Dude Love, capturing the World Tag Team titles with Stone Cold. His second alter ego was Cactus Jack, the extreme, hardcore wrestler. One interesting moment was when they all entered the 1998 Royal rumble, but were all eliminated. The Mankind and dude Love gimmicks both died out, but the Cactus Jack gimmick stayed until No Way Out 2000. Cactus Jack fought against Triple H for the WWF World Title/Retirement Match. After lots of blood, another appearance by everyone's good friend Barbie: Mick Foley's Barbed Wire Baseball Bat, and Foley getting backdropped through the top of the cell and through the ring, Triple H hit the Pedigree on Mick Foley and pinned him, thus ending his career. Well, sort of. In early 2004 Mick Foley began a fierce rivalry against Evolution Member Randy Orton, where Orton beat him twice, once at Wrestlemania XX, and once at the following Backlash.

Today, the man who back in the late 90's could be found competing in high-intensity matches, can now be found watching Long Island Duck's games. His favorite spot is just right of home plate, six rows up, fifth chair. Michael Foley, a true legend of the WWF.

by Matt Kopp..


Michael Eisen wrote:
That was a great article. If I did not know about Foley before then I would have loved him after that article. One thing I want to make sure of is that I don't Dominic Denucci got the Dude Love tape, but the Dude Love tape did get to WWE and were shown before his debut. All in all great article and keep up the good work.
Ox wrote:
I remember seeing mankind after a 2 year wrestling hiatus, in 1997. After a while I heard that he was Cactus Jack (one of my favorite WCW wrestlers). I was a fan almost immediately. His gimmick was a little weird. From a desert madman, to a psycho running around with his Uncle Paul (Paul bearer). Foley has never been phenomenal in the ring, but he had this ring presence, like a monster was after you. He was a guy who took his gimmick and made it a part of him (a rare talent these days). It was great watching Cactus Jack, in WCW, a paranoid desert madman who had a mean piledriver. Then onto Mankind, who coined the legendary phrase, "Have a Nice Day!" (only in an insanely demented manner). When Mick Foley was hurled off the Cell at KoR '97, that fall made him a legend. I had heard about his career in Japan shortly after and I knew this is what legends were made of. Had gone from killing himself in Japan, to bringing a taste of it here to the States. He had been bleeding around the world since I was in diapers. Yet a nice guy outside of the ring. Great in the ring and out of it. Nice article, by the way.
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