Whether you loved him as Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love or just plain ol’ Mick, there may not be a more lovable wrestler than Mick Foley. The Hardcore Legend put his body on the line throughout his career, sometimes for as little as $300 despite there being barbed wire and c4 involved, just as long as the fans were entertained.
He survived things that don’t seem possible, and below we’re going to cover the ins and outs of just who Mick Foley is. His thoughts on his career and the most iconic moments, the numerous injuries he’s suffered and what his thoughts are on the WWE today. Something tells me you’ll have many of the same grievances he did. You may also be shocked at which wrestler caused Mick to say, “No one has ever worked harder, and no one has ever deserved it more,” after they won a championship.
Mick Foley is also an all around great guy. He’s got a Christmas room in his house, he’s put in hundreds of hours helping those in need, and even if he’ll admit he can’t remember most of his career, I guarantee he’s probably left you with some memories that you’ll never forget.
Pay him back by taking some time to learn 17 things about the WWE legend, and make sure to have a nice day!
17. Who His Favorite Wrestling Persona Is
Mick Foley became famous not just for one character but for embodying several different personalities. You can argue that the most painful may have been Cactus Jack, but then again, he was also thrown off Hell in a Cell as Mankind. Dude Love was probably the easiest, and Foley has jokingly said in the past “Dude was a lady’s man. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually kissed as Mankind. I don’t think my wife was [ever like] ‘Do some Mankind for me tonight.’”
But when Foley was asked who his favorite persona to play was, you may be surprised to hear him reply “I actually had the most fun when I was The Commissioner Mick Foley. I remember having the argument with Mr. [Vince] McMahon, that despite the fact he claimed he made me, I said my most popular character was me, Commissioner Mick Foley. It didn’t pay the best, but that was when I had the most fun.”
16. The Role Of Odor In His Life
When it came to Mr. Socko, it definitely looked like Foley had one of the more disgusting finishers out there, but he admitted in an interview that he had to make sure he had a clean sock for every match. One thing that would have smelled even worse than Foley’s sock? Foley as an amateur wrestler!
In an interview Foley admitted that he used his smell as an advantage, saying “Back when I was an amateur I remember specifically putting blue cheese under my armpits, trying to gain any advantage.” Honestly, we’re not really too sure what kind of advantage that would be, but hey, kudos to Mick for definitely keeping his eyes open for different opportunities to win!
Foley did however say that sometimes as a professional he’d have a few particularly sweaty nights and sometimes forget to air out his wrestling equipment, yikes! We just hope he paid closer attention to it on nights where he bled all over his clothes.
15. He Wanted To Boycott RAW
One of the biggest moments in the history of wrestling was the Montreal Screwjob. This isn’t a list about Bret or Shawn, so I’ll spare you the details, but at end of it Mick Foley was feeling incredibly upset at the company for how the entire thing went down. In fact, Foley did not appear the next night on RAW out of disgust for the action and had some serious thoughts about leaving the company. When talking about it a few years later, Foley said “Then when my wife read my contract to me over the phone and I realized I’d just breached my contract and couldn’t work anywhere in the world for five years.”
Bret Hart definitely did not hold any hard feelings towards Foley for returning to work, and later said in an interview that if Foley had continued boycotting that it would have been career suicide. Given all the amazing things that happened to Foley in the following years, you can understand that was far from an understatement.
14. He (And His Daughter!) Have a Reality Show
If you’re not already aware, Mick Foley has a daughter, Noelle, that is absolutely gorgeous. She has a solid following on Instagram, and you can be prepared to see a lot more of her. Mick and his family are starring in the reality show Holy Foley! which debuted on the WWE Network.
When talking about the show, Foley admitted that there would be no show without his daughter and that it was Mr. McMahon who believed in the dynamic between Mick and his family. Foley also went on to say that the entire family did not mind having cameras following them. “We all enjoyed it,” he said. “It was very natural. I even asked the showrunner in the last week of filming, ‘Is it just me or did this all go incredibly smooth?’ She said the people in the crew were literally telling her it was the most enjoyable thing they ever been part of in 15 years.”
13. He Was More Proud Of Sasha Than Any Other Wrestler
Mick Foley has been critical of the WWE and female wrestling in the past, but overall he’s a huge believer in women’s wrestling and he was only trying to offer some constructive criticism. When he came back on board this year, he and Stephanie both made an active effort to promote women’s wrestling and that was why women were drafted so high.
Foley was ecstatic about the state of women’s wrestling in early August when he was interviewed shortly after Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship. When talking to Tim Kail, Foley said “There were definitely some bumps in the road. I think we can expect some more. But I think the victory for Sasha was really monumental, like a seismic shift. Hopefully, we will be seeing it as a statement.”
In a Facebook post that Foley put out on August 1st, he called Banks’ victory “One of the most emotional experiences I have ever witnessed – in wrestling, in sports, or in life.”
Foley didn’t stop his praise there, saying that he had never “Ever seen a crowd this large lining up outside the curtain to specifically congratulate one person.” He continued, “I have certainly never seen so many tears. No one has ever worked harder, and no one has ever deserved it more.”
12. His Work With RAINN
Mick Foley is an incredibly passionate guy, especially when he finds out about a cause that he really believes in. In 2008, Mick Foley came across RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) after listening to the music of Tori Amos, and he was committed to make a difference in the organization.
Foley has raised over $140,000 for the foundation, partially through auctioning off some of his most iconic items such as a classic Mr. Socko. Foley also made headlines when he offered to mow your lawn if you donated more than $5,000.
Foley has volunteered hundreds of hours offering support to those in need. Within the first year, Foley had also talked to over 700 people that have suffered from sexual assault and has surely inspired countless others.
11. His Relationship With Kevin James
When Mick Foley went to high school at Ward Melville High School, he was on the school lacrosse and wrestling teams. Kevin James, who you may best know from The King of Queens, was also on the wrestling team. When asked about it in 2007, Foley admitted that James was “One of the preeminent tough guys at my high school. But we were pretty evenly matched when it came to wrestling. And I think that if we got in the ring together, it would just be a matter of who gassed out first,” but Foley also admitted that they were both spectacularly mediocre wrestlers.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Foley admitted that he and James lost touch about 10 years ago but that he got to surprise him when he was a guest on the Katie Couric show. As an added fun story, Foley ran into Shaq who mistakenly took him for Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Awkward!
10. What Would He Be Doing If Not Wrestling
It can be hard to imagine that someone who was as iconic in the ring as Mick Foley was could ever have done something else for a living. When he was asked the question back in 2007, Foley responded “I went to college for radio and television production, so I believe I’d be on one side of the camera or the other. I put together good projects, so maybe I could have been on the creative end of the entertainment world and possibly doing something with WWE.”
Several years later (roughly 2013), Mick Foley was asked if he ever thought he was in the wrong job, to which his response gave huge insight on the end of his career. “No, there was never a point that I thought I was in the wrong profession,” he said. “But there were many points 2008-2011 where I thought ‘I really shouldn’t be doing this anymore.'”
9. His Current Health Status
Mick Foley has admitted that he still often has to limp around because of the injuries sustained in the ring, but he also recently told RollingStone that he has dropped 75 pounds over the last 8 months. Last December he could barely get off the couch, but as for now said he is trying to get as close to being down 100 pounds as he can. “I think that would be a pretty nice positive statement,” Foley said. “I’m not saying I’m pain-free by any means. To paraphrase the Godfather, limpin’ ain’t easy, but I’m getting around much better.”
8. He Has A Christmas Room
When you take a look at the beard that Mick can grow, are you really surprised that he is a fantastic Santa? Foley participated in the documentary I Am Santa Clause in which he got to don the red coat. Foley spared no expense; despite him being a relatively cheap person in real life, he had one of the top leather craftsmen in the world make his Santa belt. He made sure to also have one made for John Cena’s dad, who has been a Santa Ambassador for 30 years.
Proving that Foley isn’t afraid to drop some change, he recalled a story of when Triple H saw him in his full robe and said “I’ve known you for 25 years. You’ve got more money tied up in that one outfit than everything I’ve seen you in combined.” A claim Foley did not deny!
7. He Was On Boy Meets World, Celebrity Wife Swap, and 30 Rock
Mick Foley is such a lovable guy, who wouldn’t want him on their television show? Foley made a hilarious appearance on an episode of Boy Meets World in which he showed up with full Mankind gear and offered to referee a match between the Jack and Eric and the girls. In hilarious fashion beats up Eric and the women then go to town on Jack.
Foley took to Twitter in 2014 to reach out to Danielle Fisher, saying “Watching #BoyMeetsWorld with my kids, and some of these episodes are so touching! Got a little misty a couple times.”
Foley has also recently said that he would love to make an appearance on Girl Meets World. Mick Foley (as Mankind again) also made a hilarious short cameo on 30 Rock.
6. People Always Ask About The Rock n’ Sock Connection
Foley admits that even 18 years later, the thing that fans ask him the most is if falling off Hell in a Cell hurt (…probably?). Another nice insight on his career is when Foley said the 2nd thing they remember the most is the Rock N Sock Connection. He went on to say “People can’t name any of our matches, but they think of the way we made them feel. We really had amazing chemistry, not just as opponents but as partners. Neither one of us appreciated it until years down the line.”
Foley also made the joke that if The Rock is in an upcoming movie and he doesn’t get the call to come and play Santa, he’s going to storm the set. Hard to argue with Mick’s credentials!
5. What He Misses From The Attitude Era
9 months ago Mick Foley made it very clear that he was not happy with the product being put on Monday Night Raw. You can only hope he’s feeling better about it now that he’s working on the show, but it’s always nice to hear wrestlers voice their opinion. Foley’s main complaint came from the lack of creativity in the program, saying “All the blood, the language, and the violence paled in comparison to the real secret weapon of the Attitude Era; the FREEDOM TO CREATE…THE FREEDOM TO TRY…THE FREEDOM TO FAIL….”
Foley also went on to say that the key to having a successful promo now is not heart or emotion, but just being able to memorize something.
If you’re curious, one of Mick Foley’s most heartfelt promos in which he choked J.R. was completely improvised and from the heart.
4. His Role In Ending The Monday Night Wars
One of the biggest moments in the Monday Night War between WCW and WWF came when WCW decided to go on the air and reveal that Mick Foley was set to win the title at RAW later that night. RAW had been taped earlier that week, so you can imagine this was a huge spoiler, the intention was that it was going to cripple the ratings. Especially because Tony Schiavone (the announcer for WCW) mockingly laughed at the idea of Mick being a successful champion saying “YEAH THAT’LL PUT BUTTS IN THE SEAT.”
The joke was on you, Schiavone, because that’s exactly what it did as over 600,000 tuned into watch the fan favorite on top of the mountain. When talking about the experience a few years ago, Foley said “That whole experience was a series of peaks and valleys; the peak of winning the title followed by the valley of WCW’s reveal and dismissal of my value followed by the peak of the ratings jump for WWE followed by the peak of the fake remorse I used when leaving a message on Tony Schiavone’s answering machine, followed by the peak of being seen within the wrestling business as a much bigger deal than before.”
This moment is considered one of the biggest turning points in the Monday Night War between the companies, as WCW failed to surpass WWF in the ratings following this event after beating them for 2 years.
3. His Extreme Match For $300 And Pain Threshold
There are a lot of matches that Mick Foley participated in that would seem absolutely insane, but I’ll pick one night to really hammer home that point. It was in 1995 when Mick Foley was wrestling in Japan and going up against Terry Funk in a No Rope, Barbed Wire, Explosive Barbed Wire Board, Time Bomb Death Match…what?
Prior to the match Funk even insisted that they use stronger C4 to really go out with a bang. The match was full of explosives and both wrestlers getting mangled by C4, but it ended with Mick Foley coming out on top. His reward for the hard night? $300 and a can of pop as a bonus, and as a souvenir he wrote in his autobiography that he suffered 7 stitches in his hand, 9 in his eyebrow, 11 in his head and 14 behind his ear.
When he was talking about it with Steve Austin, Mick admitted that he hated pain but that it helped motivate him. It almost jolted him into his wrestling personality and there was a time period where there wasn’t a huge difference between Cactus Jack and his real life personality.
2. The Whole Story Behind Hell in a Cell
You can’t finish a list about Mick Foley and not talk about the match that made his career. On June 28th, 1998, Mick Foley decided that it would be a fantastic idea to have Undertaker throw him off the top of Hell in a Cell. It was an idea that he threw around jokingly with Terry Funk backstage, but then the idea became more serious the more Mick thought about it.
Undertaker has talked about the feeling of watching Mick fall, saying “When I tossed him off of the cage, it was like time stopped. People say they have out of body experiences and things like that…standing on the cage and watching him fly, I could actually see him and myself standing up there. I didn’t think Mick Foley would get up from that.”
Not only did Mick get up, but he later got slammed through the cell. The 2nd one was unplanned, and when talking about it over a decade later, Mick revealed the original plan saying “I really thought the cell would slowly tear, so that the Undertaker would be stuffing me down a hole and the image would be of me dangling upside down, being stuffed through a hole, not plummeting into unconsciousness.” The move jammed one of Foley’s teeth through his face and into his nose, and while there is an iconic shot of Mick smiling; he’s really trying to show us the giant hole in his face.
The match had countless moments, including Foley being slammed down on thumbtacks. As a true sign of just how out of it he was, after the match Foley had to ask Taker if they used the thumbtacks – to which Taker replied, look at your arm.
After the match, Foley was approached by McMahon who thanked him for his efforts but asked him to never do anything like that again! Clearly, the lesson didn’t stick when you consider Foley went through the cage again against Triple H and Shane went flying off it this past WrestleMania.
1. The Extent Of His Injuries
Mick Foley had so many injuries that he has said in the past even a set of stairs can be daunting. There is no telling the full extent of injuries, but reported ones include:
Six concussions from 1986 to 1998
Broken Jaw in 1986
Two broken noses in 1993
One Broken Cheekbone in 1998
Lost 4 Front Teeth from 1989 to 1998
Lost TWO-THIRDS OF HIS EAR in 1993
Fractured his shoulder in 1989, separated his shoulder in 1990, dislocated it in 1998 and got 2nd degree burns on his shoulder and arm in 1995.
Broke his wrist in 1989
Six broken ribs from 1991 to 1998.
A torn ACL
A torn abdominal in 1992
A broken toe in 1991
Over 300+ stitches.
Those concussions above may have been what’s recorded, but Mick has said on several occasions that he has had too many concussions to count. An even scarier fact is that Mick also admitted that any matches past 2004 came with the realization that he was going to get a concussion.