Courtesy of http://www.abc2news.com writer Ron Snyder, photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Mick Foley spent decades getting hit with steel chairs, tied up in barbed wire and diving 15 feet off of steel cages — all in an effort to send his fans home happy.
Foley, 48, garnered the moniker of a “hardcore legend” during his many years traveling the world as a professional wrestler. He eventually became one of the most well-known and respected wrestlers in the business and last year was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
It wasn’t until many years into his career that he learned he could entertain fans without putting his body – and possibly his life – on the line.
Through the years, Foley has evolved from professional wrestler to a multi-time, best-selling author, actor and stand-up comic/performer. His latest venture, a one-man show entitled, “Tales from Wrestling Past,” is coming to Maryland when he performs at 8 p.m. April 8 at the Baltimore Comedy Factory.
“I think I’ve shown through the years in the ring I could be funny,” Foley said. “My name gave me about a 10-minute grace period where people came because they knew who I was. It was up to me to keep them there passed that.”
Foley said while he felt natural performing in front of thousands of fans as a wrestler, it took time to hone his skills for his show.
“When I first started this about 4 ½ years ago, I used a lot of material that had nothing to do with wrestling. But I found it was like a classic rock group that tried to force new material down the fans’ throat when they really wanted to hear their greatest hits. I think I’ve struck that balance now where I weave wrestling and other subjects into my show.”
Foley, who was known to take a dozen chair shots in a match and even had part of his ear tore off in another, showed off his artistic side in 1999 when he released his autobiography, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. The book reached the topped the New York Times non-fiction best seller list for several weeks and started a trend of wrestlers releasing books.
In the years since, Foley wrote three more autobiographical books, four children’s fiction books and two fictional novels. The married father of four also went on to be very active in charitable causes, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.