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History and Biography of Mick Foley

Posted By on April 16, 2009

History and Biography of Mick Foley

History and Biography of Mick Foley

History and Biography of Mick Foley

Date of Birth
7 June 1965, Long Island, New York, USA

Birth Name
Michael Francis Foley

The King of Hardcore
The Boiler Room Dwellar
The Deranged One
Dude Love
Cactus Jack
The Hardcore Legend

6′ 2″ (1.88 m)

Mini Biography:

Michael Francis “Mick” Foley was born in Bloomington, Indiana and grew up in Smithtown, New York. Foley attended Ward Melville High School, where he was a member of the wrestling team. After attending college, Foley wrestled under the name “Jack Foley”. He would later change this and wrestled under the name “Cactus Jack”. After wrestling for numerous independent promotions, Foley made his way to World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he wrestled once again as Cactus Jack. He would soon make a name for himself in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where his high risk wrestling was a better fit. It was during his time at ECW that Foley would become known as a hardcore legend.

After exiting ECW, Foley went on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Upon entering the WWE, Foley adopted the persona of the masked madman Mankind. During his tenure at WWE, Foley was able to perform as Dude Love, a character he had created in his teens though he would soon revert to Mankind. It was as Mankind that Foley performed in one of his most noted matches, A Hell in a Cell match against the Undertaker. A match which garnered a standing ovation as well as multiple injuries, including the loss of a tooth.

In the following years, Mick Foley would win the WWE championship multiple times, enter into tag teams (including the notable Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and would return to his Cactus Jack persona for a time before temporarily retiring from wrestling though he would later return to in ring performing and appearing in non wrestling roles such as commissioner and commentator During his career, Mick Foley has established himself as a legitimate writer, writing multiple autobiographical novels, fictional novels and children’s books.

Recently, Foley left WWE for Total Nonstop Wrestling (TNA)

Full Biography:

Mick Foley was born on June 7, 1965, in Long Island, NY. As a teenager, he made a tape of himself as a wrestler named Dude Love and filmed himself jumping off a house onto his opponent. He was trained by Dominic DeNucci and made his debt in 1986. No longer a full-time active wrestler, he keeps himself occupied by writing and has two New York Times Best Sellers on his resume.

The Beginning:
One of his first matches was a televised WWF squash match against the British Bulldogs. He gained notoriety in the Texas based USWA as Cactus Jack Manson before joining WCW. His first WCW tenure highlight was a PPV title shot against Sting at Beach Blast 92.

King of the Death Match:
Cactus Jack spent a portion of the early ’90s in Japan. It was in Japan where he won a King of the Death Match tournament in matches featuring barbed wire, a bed of nails, exploding barbed wire, and a ring set to detonate with C4 explosives. While in Japan, he got his arm badly scarred by Leatherface.

WCW Part 2:
Cactus returned to WCW and found himself in a feud with Vader. This feud featured him get a concussion and lose his ear in a freak accident. While in WCW, he also appeared in ECW. When he left WCW he joined ECW. His anti-hardcore ECW promos are considered the best promos in the history of the business. While in ECW his two most famous incidents involved accidentally setting a fan on fire and having hundreds of chairs thrown in the ring by the fans.

The Three Faces of Foley:
Foley joined the WWE in 1996 and was renamed Mankind. He immediately started a feud with the Undertaker. In 1997, they showed his teenage Dude Love footage and he started to wrestle as Dude Love. Later in the year, during a feud with Triple H, he became Cactus Jack again. At the 1998 King of the Ring, he fought the Undertaker in a Hell in the Cell match featuring two of the most famous bumps ever.

The Champ:
On the December 29, 1998, edition of Monday Night RAW, Mankind won his first world title. He would trade the title with the Rock several times. In the last half of 99, he formed the Rock & Sock Connection with the Rock. He also released Have a Nice Day, which was a NY Times #1 Best Seller. In 2000, he stopped being a full-time active competitor.

WWF Championship and retirement (1998–2000)
Although conventional wisdom holds that the Hell in a Cell match was responsible for Foley’s rise to main event status, live television crowds did not initially get behind Mankind because of the match. Foley decided that crowds might respond better if Mankind were more of a comedy character, and so he became less of a tortured soul and more of a goofy, broken down oaf. While Vince McMahon was in a hospital nursing wounds suffered at the hands of The Undertaker and Kane, Mankind arrived to cheer him up. Having succeeded only in irritating McMahon, Mankind unveiled a sock puppet named Mr. Socko. Intended to be a one-time joke, Socko became an overnight sensation. Mankind began putting the sock on his hand before applying his finisher, the mandible claw, stuffing a smelly sock in the mouths of opposing wrestlers.

McMahon manipulated Mankind, who saw the WWF owner as a father figure, into doing his bidding. McMahon created the Hardcore Championship and awarded it to Mankind, making him the first-ever champion of the hardcore division. Mankind was then pushed as the favorite to win the WWF Championship at Survivor Series, as McMahon appeared to be manipulating the tournament so that Mankind would win. He and The Rock both reached the finals, where McMahon turned on Mankind. As The Rock placed Mankind in the Sharpshooter, McMahon ordered the timekeeper to ring the bell even though Mankind did not submit, a reference to the Montreal Screwjob from the year before.

After weeks of trying to get his hands on McMahon’s new faction, the Corporation, Mankind received a title shot with The Rock at In Your House. Mankind knocked The Rock out by shoving a dirty sweatsock in the Rock’s mouth, but McMahon ruled that the title would not change hands because The Rock never gave up. After several weeks of going after the Corporation, Mankind had his big night on December 29, where Mankind defeated The Rock and won his first WWF championship. The taped show was broadcast on January 4, 1999, so that is the date WWE recognizes as beginning the title run. Having title changes on broadcast television rather than pay-per-view was uncommon in professional wrestling, but because of the Monday Night Wars, TV ratings became more important. The rival WCW, attempting to take advantage of the fact that their show Monday Nitro aired live while Mankind’s title victory was taped the week before, had announcer Tony Schiavone reveal the ending of the Mankind-Rock match before it aired. He then added sarcastically, “That’ll put a lot of butts in the seats.” The move backfired for WCW, as Nielsen Ratings showed that Raw won the ratings battle that night, despite the Hogan vs. Nash main event which led to the reformation of the New World Order. Foley said that the ratings indicate that large numbers of viewers switched from Nitro to Raw to see him win the title and took great personal pride from this, and “Mick Foley put my ass in this seat” signs began showing up at WWF events.

Mankind first lost the WWF title to The Rock in a “I Quit” match at Royal Rumble. During the match, Foley took several bumps, including eleven unprotected chairshots. This match is featured on Barry Blaustein’s documentary Beyond the Mat, which shows the impact the match had on Foley and his family at ringside. The match ended after Mankind lost consciousness and The Rock’s allies played a recording of Mankind saying “I Quit” from an earlier interview. The match led to some legitimate tension between Foley and The Rock for a time, because in the planning for the match, far fewer chairshots were to have been used. The match was also voted 1999’s Match of the Year by the readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Mankind won the title back at a rematch on Halftime Heat, which aired during halftime at Super Bowl XXXIII, in the WWF’s first ever Empty Arena match. The two then competed in a Last Man Standing match at St. Valentines Day Massacre, which ended without a winner, meaning that Mankind retained the title. The next night, Mr. McMahon booked a ladder match for the championship, which The Rock won with help from The Big Show. Later in the year, Foley and The Rock patched up their friendship and teamed up to form a comedy team called the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection, becoming one of the most popular teams during that time. The pair won the tag team titles on three occasions. Foley helped WWF Raw achieve its highest ratings ever with a segment featuring himself (as Mankind) and The Rock. The “This is Your Life” segment aired on September 27, 1999 and received an 8.4 rating.

Commissioner (2000–2001)
After retiring from active competition, Foley served as storyline WWF Commissioner under his real name rather than one of his personas. Foley has said that he intended for his Commissioner Foley character to be a “role model for nerds,” appearing as sort of an affable everyman, cracking lame jokes and making no attempt to appear tough or scary. Foley turned getting cheap pops into something of a catchphrase, as he shamelessly declared at each WWF show that he was thrilled to be “right here in (whatever city he was performing in)!” punctuated with an intentionally cheesy thumbs-up gesture. During this time, Commissioner Foley engaged in rivalries with Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian, and Vince McMahon without actually wrestling them. He left the position in December 2000 after being “fired” on screen by McMahon.

Foley made a surprise return on the Monday Night Raw just prior to WrestleMania X-Seven and announced that he would be the special guest referee in the match between Mr. McMahon and his son Shane at WrestleMania. After WrestleMania, Foley made sporadic WWF TV appearances throughout the spring and summer, at one point introducing Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura during a taping of Raw in the state as a foil to Mr. McMahon, as well as serving as the guest referee for the Earl Hebner versus Nick Patrick Referee match at the WWF Invasion pay-per-view.

Foley returned as commissioner in October 2001, near the end of The Invasion angle. During this brief tenure, Foley had the opportunity to shoot on the WWF’s direction and how dissatisfied he was with it. Saying that there were far too many championships in the company, he booked unification matches prior to the final pay-per-view of the storyline, Survivor Series. After Survivor Series, he ended his commissionership at Vince McMahon’s request and left the company. Foley and McMahon had a real-life falling out with each other at the time, and Foley was absent from WWE for almost two years.

Referee, sporadic wrestling, and color commentator (2003–2008)
Foley returned in June 2003 to referee the Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Kevin Nash at Bad Blood. On June 23, during a Raw broadcast in Madison Square Garden, he was honored for his achievements in the ring and presented with the retired WWE Hardcore Championship belt. The evening ended with Foley taking a beating and kicked down stairs by Randy Orton and Ric Flair. In December 2003, Foley returned to replace Steve Austin as co-general manager of Raw. He soon grew tired of the day-to-day travel and left his full-time duties to write and spend time with his family. In the storyline, Foley was afraid to wrestle a match with Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton and walked out of the arena rather than face him.

In 2004, Foley returned briefly to wrestling, competing in the Royal Rumble and eliminating both Orton and himself with his trademark Cactus Jack clothesline. He and The Rock reunited as the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection and lost a handicap match to Evolution at WrestleMania XX when Orton pinned Foley with an RKO as Foley pulled out Mr. Socko, this match turned out to be The Rock’s final match in the WWE. The two continued to feud, culminating in a hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Backlash, where Orton defeated Foley as his Cactus Jack persona to retain the title with a botched RKO onto a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat, which Foley now regards as possibly the best match of his career.

Foley appeared as a color commentator at WWE’s ECW One Night Stand, which aired on June 12, 2005, and subsequently renewed his contract with WWE. Foley returned in 2005 in a match where fans were able to vote on which persona he would appear as—Mankind, Dude Love, or Cactus Jack—against Carlito at Taboo Tuesday. Foley cut promos for each character and an online vote was held. The fans voted for Mankind, who went on to win the match. On the February 16, 2006 Raw, Foley returned to referee the WWE Championship match between Edge and John Cena. After Cena won, Edge attacked Foley, and the following week, Edge challenged Foley to a match at WrestleMania 22. Edge defeated Foley after Spearing him through a flaming table. In the weeks after the match, Foley turned heel and allied himself with Edge against the newly rejuvenated ECW. This would be the first WWE heel turn of Foley since his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin as Dude Love in 1998. At ECW One Night Stand, Foley, Edge and Lita defeated Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty.

Foley then engaged in a storyline rivalry with Ric Flair, inspired by real-life animosity between the two. In Have a Nice Day!, Foley wrote that Flair was “every bit as bad on the booking side of things as he was great on the wrestling side of it.” In response, Flair wrote in his autobiography that Foley was “a glorified stuntman” and that he was able to climb the ladder in the WWF only because he was friends with the bookers. The two had a backstage confrontation at a Raw event in 2003, but Foley has said that they have largely reconciled. To spark the feud, Flair again called Foley a “glorified stuntman” and Foley called Flair a “washed up piece of crap” and challenged him to a match. The result was a Two out of Three Falls match at Vengeance, where Flair beat Foley in two straight falls; with a rollup counter to the figure four in the first and by disqualification in the second after a trashcan shot. After the match, Flair was split wide open by Foley with a barbed wire bat. The two then wrestled an “I Quit” match at SummerSlam, which Flair won when he forced Foley to quit by threatening Melina with a barbed wire bat. On the August 21 edition of Raw, Foley literally kissed Vince McMahon’s buttocks as part of McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass Club” gimmick after he threatened to fire Melina. Shortly thereafter, she betrayed Foley and announced that he was fired.

Seven months later, Foley made his return to Raw on March 5, 2007, tricking McMahon into giving him his job back. On April 9, Foley contributed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and helped a young child named Michael Peña to become an honorary General Manager of the night. Foley appeared again on June 11 for Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night insulting McMahon. Foley also announced his place as a number one contender for the WWE Championship. During the Raw broadcast before Vengeance, Foley was scheduled to make his official in-ring return in a match against Umaga but he attacked Umaga before the match, and the match was never started. At Vengeance, Foley wrestled in a WWE Championship Challenge match involving WWE Champion John Cena, Randy Orton, King Booker, and Bobby Lashley. Cena retained by pinning Foley. A month later, Foley made an appearance on Raw as the special guest referee for a match between Jonathan Coachman and Mr. McMahon’s storyline illegitimate son Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle won the match, after Foley handed him a miniature Mr. Socko. Foley then made an appearance on SmackDown the same week, where he defeated Coachman with Hornswoggle as the special guest referee. On the January 7, 2008 episode of Raw, Foley and his tag team partner Hornswoggle qualified for the Royal Rumble by defeating The Highlanders, but Foley was eliminated by Triple H during the Rumble.

Foley debuted as a color commentator for SmackDown alongside Michael Cole at Backlash in 2008, replacing Jonathan Coachman. On the August 1 edition of SmackDown, Foley was kayfabe attacked by Edge during Edge’s promo for his SummerSlam match against The Undertaker. Foley sat out the August 8 SmackDown to sell his recovery from the injuries. Tazz filled in for Foley as a color commentator on SmackDown, while Raw wrestler Matt Striker filled in for Tazz on ECW. Foley told the Long Island Press in August 2008 that “creatively, the announcing job wasn’t working out too well”. Foley allowed his contract with WWE to expire on September 1, 2008.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2008–present)
On September 3, 2008, Foley’s agency, the Gillespie Agency, issued a press release that stated Foley had signed a short-term deal with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Foley claimed in the statement to be “very excited about the specifics of this agreement and the potential it holds”. Foley made his TNA debut on September 5, at a TNA house show giving a short speech about how he loved the product. The official TNA Wrestling website featured an image of a smiley face with a variation of Foley’s catch phrase, “Have a nice day!” (and, before No Surrender, “Have a nice Sunday!”).

On the September 18, 2008 edition of Impact!, Foley made his first televised appearance for TNA, where Jeff Jarrett introduced him to the audience on the arena’s video wall. Two weeks later, Foley made his full television debut in a promo making comments about the WWE roster, Vince McMahon and Kurt Angle. At Bound for Glory IV, he was the special guest enforcer for Jarrett and Angle’s match. Later, on Impact!, Foley said goodbye, but was then approached by Jeff Jarrett with a new offer; he later indicated that they had come to terms on a new contract and would make a major announcement the next week. On the October 23 episode of Impact!, Foley announced that he was now co-owner of TNA along with Jarrett, just after Kurt Angle headbutted him.

On November 27, Thanksgiving day, TNA presented the Turkey Bowl. Alex Shelley ended up being pinned by Rhino, and Foley handed Rhino the check. After the match, Shelley was refusing to put on the Turkey Suit the person who was defeated had to put on, eventually he did put it on. However, Shelley “flipped off” Foley and was then beat down and Foley told him he was lucky he still has his job. The Main Event Mafia’s Kevin Nash, Booker T, and Scott Steiner were going to take on Brother Devon, A.J. Styles, and Mick Foley in his debut matchup at Genesis. Nash, however, suffered a legitimate staph infection and missed Genesis. He was replaced by Cute Kip. Foley got the pin when he hit Scott Steiner with a Double Arm DDT onto a chair. He is feuding with Sting and will fight him for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Lockdown.

Personal life

Foley is married to Colette Foley, née Christie. The couple have three sons and a daughter: Dewey Francis (born on February 20, 1992), Michael Francis, Jr. (born in January 2001), Huey (born in 2003), and Noelle Margaret (born on December 15, 1993).

Foley has participated in numerous Make-a-Wish Foundation events, made surprise visits to children in hospitals and has also visited schools and libraries, talking to students about the value of education and the importance of reading and traveled to various military bases and military hospitals to visit U.S. troops. Foley sponsors seven children with Christian Children’s Fund, a group he has been affiliated with since 1992. In recent years, he has become one of the fund’s leading donors, helping fund childhood education centers in the remote areas of the Phillipines and Mexico, as well as four small community schools in the war torn West African country of Sierra Leone. After visiting the country in November 2008, an experience he called “one of the best experiences of my life; maybe the best”. . Foley committed to funding a larger primary school as well.

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2 Responses to “History and Biography of Mick Foley”

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