Canadian Bulldog's True Wrestling Stories: Mick Foley
By Canadian Bulldog
It would be tough for any wrestling fan, be they casual or hardcore, to overlook the career of Mick Foley. After all, it's been discussed countless times on WWE television, documented in his two best-selling autobiographies, expanded on in several of his children's books and fictional novels, written about in his informational pamphlets, and soon, will be the subject of a lavish Broadway musical ("Bang Bang!", featuring an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber).
It turns out, though, that none of his story is true.
As a public service to all of the fine readers here at World Wrestling Insanity, and that one guy who likes to complain about everything (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!), this week, I present to you the True Wrestling Story of Mick Foley.
Chapter One: Jumping Off Buildings And Shit
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy, pictured well after he was Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy.
Mick was born Cactus Jack Manson in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (according to an old issue of "Wrestling Eye", anyways. Also, did you know that The Honky Tonk Man is originally from Graceland?). His parents were Charles and, uh, Shirley Manson. Even as a young child, people knew he was destined for great things.
"Even as a young child, people knew he was destined for great things," said a source who asked not to be named.
When he was a teenager, young Mick (a childhood nickname) took to making home videos about his wacky wrestling exploits. While the picture was fuzzy, the storylines weak, and the audio unclear, they still had better production values than most ROH videos.
During the final scene of one of his home movies ("Ready to Rumble"), Mick leapt off his best friend's roof and crashed onto a pile of mattresses below. Although it didn't win him the attention of any big-name wrestling promoters, he did win runner-up during the second season of "America's Funniest Home Videos." The winner that year was an adorable toddler sleeping on her cat.
Mick loved pretending to wrestle without making money so much that he decided to wrestle for actual wrestling companies, without making money.
Chapter Two: Learning The Ropes, Breaking Body Parts In The Process
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy, missing his hand after a particularly brutal scaffold match in Texas.
The early years were particularly tough for Mick, who fought the stigma of being a generic heel by taking crazy bumps and just generally acting like a moron.
"The early years were particularly tough," my anonymous source said. "(He) fought the stigma of being a generic heel by taking crazy bumps and just generally acting like a moron."
As Cactus Jack, he suffered for his craft. He often slept in his car, dressed in the same clothes for weeks, cut his own hair, ate out of garbage bins, and recycled newspapers (not all of these were poverty things; he just liked to save the environment).
Cactus worked for the old Mid-South territory, as well as the SouthWest region, the Pacific Northwest, the Deep East, the Outer-North and, occasionally, the famed Inner-NorthSouth promotion.
Eventually, though, it was time for Mick to move on to arguably the biggest and most important wrestling company in the industry at that time.
Chapter Three: Moving On To WCW, Where Mick Learns Important Lessons About The Business.
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy, minus his left arm following an unfortunate spot at Atlanta's Center Stage Theater. Insert Zack Gowen joke here.
Mick hit the big time when he entered WCW for the first time in late-1989, giving him the opportunity to learn from industry heavyweights such as Norman The Lunatic, Ranger Ross, The Motor City Madman, The Dragonmaster, Big Sky, Minotaur and Deadeye Dick.
"Mick hit the big time when he entered WCW for the first time," an unidentified source said. "In late-1989."
Soon, the writing was on the wall for Mick. It said "IF YO WANT TO GET SUCKED OFFF, CUM BACK HERE SUNDAY AT 10 P.M." (he was in a men's room stall at Wendy's at the time). Nonetheless, Mick knew it was time to move on. From both WCW and Wendy's restrooms.
Chapter Four: Trying His Luck On The Independent Scene Once Again, Hoping To Cement His Status As A Hardcore Legend.
Foley headed to the indies once again.
"Foley headed to the indies," once again, said a wrestler who refused to be identified.
Soon, he joined Herb Abrams' fledging UWF promotion, headlining shows against such household names as The Power Twins, Fire Cat, Colonel DeBeers, "Sexy" Sonny Beach and The Blackhearts.
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Heh… just kidding. But I had to fill out this chapter a little, you know?
Chapter Five: Humbled, Foley Heads Back to WCW, Where He Meets Old Acquaintances, Makes Some New Enemies and Loses His Mind.
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy, minus his nose, mouth and most of his facial hair, following WCW's decision to introduce "exploding locker room" matches in 1993.
Foley's first big program upon returning to WCW in 1991 was when he popped out of a gift box and attacked perennial fan favorite Sting. He would go on to feud with The Black Scorpion, team up with Nature Boy Ric Flair, feud with Flair, team with Flair, feud with Flair, team with Flair, feud with Flair, and in later years, drop from the rafters to intimidate Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
Sting, that is; not Foley. Although, Foley probably jumped off a few rafters in his day, too.
Soon, Foley was turned face after Big Van Vader powerbombed him on the concrete. And, as you'll recall if you've ever seen Bugs Bunny cartoons, Scooby Doo or The Muppets Take Manhattan, bumping your head is the country's leading cause of amnesia.
"Bumping your head is the country's leading cause of amnesia," my source said. "Foley forgot who he was."
Foley forgot who he was, and for months, just assumed he was the WWF's Saba Simba (Bet you never knew they were one and the same, did you? The headdress probably threw you off). WCW covered for the gaffe by claiming their beloved Cactus Jack was probably "Lost in Cleveland".
When he returned from his "amnesia" (it was actually plastic surgery to replace his missing nose, eye and mouth; also something to fix a chronic snoring problem), WCW rewarded Mick for years of hard work and sacrifice by teaming him up with Maxx Payne. And Vader rewarded Mick for helping him get over as a monster heel by ripping his ear off in Germany.
Soon, Foley became frustrated and set sail for a bold new course. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? He went to another company -- I don't need to be so freaking dramatic.
Chapter Six: Mick Goes To Japan, Where He Learns the True Definition of Extreme, and then To ECW, Where He Learns The True Definition of, I Don't Know, Japan?
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy… well, let's just say he didn't really have a nice day when this photo was shot.
Foley traveled to the Far East, looking for work. But then when he realized they weren't hiring in Minnesota, he hopped a plane to Japan, where he entered the Japanese government's mandatory King Of The Death Match tournament.
In the first round, he defeated Fabulous Freebird member Terry Gordy by tossing him into a pile of thumbtacks. Then he beat Tiger Jeet Singh (whom hardcore fans may remember as Tiger Ali Singh) by engulfing him in flames and cutting of his circulation. Next up was a match with Japanese legend, oh, let's just say, Kenzo Suzuki, in which Mick won after force-feeding cyanide tablets to "The Bronze Warrior". In the final round, Mick defeated his idol and hardcore legend Terry "Flash" Funk by giving him a fatal sexually-transmitted disease.
It was a great tournament.
"It was a great tournament," said guess-who.
From there, Mick joined the ranks of Extreme Championship Wrestling, competing in barbed-wire matches, barbed-wire table matches, barbed-wire ladder matches, barbed-wire table, ladder and chair matches and occasionally, barbed-wire lumberjack matches.
Starting out in ECW as a face, Mick quickly turned heel on his friends Shane "Jerk" Douglas, Tommy "Asshole" Dreamer and Mikey "Probably A Decent Guy Once You Get To Know Him" Whipwreck. The impetus for his big turn happened when he noticed a sign in the crowd that read "Kill Dewey", which probably had to do with a revolt at the time against the Dewey Decimal System.
Chapter Seven: Mick Enters the World Wrestling Federation for the First Time In His Career, Unless You Include His Short Stint As A Jobber, But That Happened Years Ago and Really Doesn't Count.
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy takes on a new look, and also grows a new head and limbs somehow, as the WWF's Mankind.
Foley, rechristened Mankind upon his 1995 debut in the WWF (because everyone who entered the company at that time was given a dumb name), was immediately thrust into a feud with company icon and possible lesbian The Undertaker. History shows that this has been a popular way not to get your character over (see also: Gonzales, Giant; Hughes, Mister; Heidenreich, Jon, etc.)
In one memorable Hell In A Cell match, The Undertaker tossed Mankind approximately 68 feet in the air, and Mankind landed safely on a (fake) table below, which exploded on impact to make everything look realistic. Before the match, Foley dipped himself in soft, chewy marshmallow sauce to cushion the impact of that blow, which incidentally, is exactly how most of ECW worked.
Mankind succeeded where countless others failed because the WWF allowed him to reveal some of his real-life history (which is actually phony, if you've been reading any of this column, but whatever).
The crowd took to his heart-warming persona, and soon, the evil Mankind because one that smiled more often.
Chapter Eight: Beginning the Era of the New, Friendlier Mick Foley That Smiled More Often. Oops, I Haven't Managed To Make This Headline Longer Than the Previous One, Which Has Kind Of Been A Running Gag.
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy with a new, surgically implanted smile that kind of looks like a crudely-drawn cartoon.
Spurned by his real-life "dad" Vince McMahon (forget what I said earlier about the Charles Manson thing. My bad.), the kinder, gentler Mankind feuded with The Rock in a series of matches that included Mankind pinning Rock with a forklift; Rock assaulting Mankind on a buffet table; Mankind breaking into an armored car and stealing Rock's money; Rock dropping an "Acme" brand anvil off the top of a cliff and having it backfire; and Mankind jumping off of said cliff and opening his parachute, which somehow had a 200-pound boulder concealed in it. Mick then held up a sign saying "Why me?" before crashing hundreds of feet to the canyon floor below.
"Mankind jumping of said cliff and opening his parachute," said our stupid source.
A series of sit-down interviews with Jim Ross (before he was fired) revealed that Mick had always wanted to be a character known as Dude Love. So the World Wrestling Federation did the only logical thing they could at the time…
… OR DID THEY?
Yes, they did.
Chapter Nine: Introducing Dude Love, the Hippest Cat in the Land, and… er, What Else Can I Do To Make This Subhead Longer? Oh, I've Got It - Read Inside The Ropes Every Week on Online Onslaught. Also, Buy My Book at: http://inside_the_ropes.tripod.com/thanksforthecompliment.
(Above) Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy during "The Summer Of Love", which was also known as "The Summer Of The Robotic Arm".
Mick's Dude Love character made its triumphant return (oh, he had used the gimmick earlier, but if I went and explained that, I'd have to rewrite an earlier chapter, and nuts to that) for a feud with WWF World Champion and professional wine connoisseur "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, in which Love was Vince McMahon's handpicked henchman.
Although Dude Love's attempt at winning the WWF World Title was a big, fat, stinking failure, he did have a few other things going for him.
Mick would later win the championship three times as Mankind. His partnership with The Rock as The Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Connection was responsible for the highest-rated segment in cable-television wrestling history. He became a legendary author with two of his books -- Have a Nice day and Foley is Good -- topping the New York Times best-seller list.
However, it's almost time for lunch, so I'm not going to really elaborate on any of that.
"It's almost time for lunch," said one highly-placed source.
Chapter Ten: Conclusion
(Above) Don't EVER ask Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy to carve the turkey at Thanksgiving.
Mick Foley retired in February 2000 after losing a Hell In A Cell match to high-flying luchadore sensation Triple H. It would be the last time we'd see or hear from Mick until almost six weeks later, when he headlined WrestleMania 2000 ("Russo Takez Over The Book").
We'd never see or hear from Foley ever again, until later that summer, when he became a storyline commissioner, joining the elite ranks of Jack Tunney, Sgt. Slaughter, Gorilla Monsoon, Bill Watts, Ole Anderson, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Shawn Michaels, Ernest "The Cat" Miller, Mike Sanders, Nature Boy Ric Flair, William Regal, Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff, Stephanie McMahon, Paul Heyman, Kurt Angle, Teddy Long, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Maven, J.J. Dillon, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Erik Watts, Vince Russo and Dusty Rhodes.
But all good things must come to an end (although Teddy Long is still SmackDown's GM - the hell is up with that?). Foley was publicly fired by no less an asshole than Vince McMahon himself, after being beaten to a bloody pulp by Edge, Christian, Kurt Angle and most importantly, Stephanie McMahon.
We wouldn't see of hear from Foley ever again, or at least until Linda McMahon upgraded his employment status from "fired" to "still hired". But one day after the phenomenally-successful WCW/ECW/CZW InVasion angle, Foley quit the job once again.
We wouldn't see or hear from Foley ever again, until the next time he came back. And then the next time, and then the next time…
"And then the next time," said a source familiar with the matter. "I'm getting paid for all this, right?"
For "True Wrestling Stories", I'm Canadian Bulldog.
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