Mick Foley delivered some great matches in his career, some real “slobber knockers” as Good ol’ J.R. would say. Unfortunately for Foley, he sustained a tremendous amount of abuse in these matches and to say that he dealt with a few injuries in his career would be like saying, Justin Bieber only has a “few” issues. It would be pointless to rattle off every single one of Foley’s major injuries that he experienced in his career, but there are a few stand outs that must be mentioned. In his career, Foley obtained six documented concussions (although he maintains he had at least twenty, just never bothered to go to the doctor), a broken jaw, two broken noses, a broken cheekbone, a torn ACL, a torn abdominal, a fractured shoulder, a dislocated shoulder, second degree burns on his arm and shoulder, and an accumulation of over 300 stitches. He also lost half of his ear, which is just insane. Pretty steep for a sport that’s supposed to be fake right?
Foley obtained many of these injuries by towing the line. He was willing to perform high-risk stunts that simply nobody else would do. Ric Flair even referred to Foley as a “glorified stuntman” in his autobiography. Those comments are not fair because while Foley did perform crazy stunts and put his body on the line, he managed to keep his opponents safe and was a favorite among the wrestlers to work with. His matches with The Rock, Triple H, Edge and Randy Orton helped catapult their careers. It would be more fair to say, that although he was involved in some wonderful matches, that he will be remembered more for his insane stunts in the ring. Lets have a look at the top 5 most insane moments Mick Foley had in the WWE, or as us wrestling fans would say; Holy S*** moments. P.S. if you’re at work, I’d strongly advise you turn down your speakers!
5. Royal Rumble, 1999, “10 Chair Shots From The Rock”
1999 was a year where it seemed like Mick Foley and The Rock would duke it out every week. The two had an instant chemistry in the ring and it’s fair to say that their feud helped solidify The Rock’s status as a superstar. They engaged in some gruesome contests, with Foley always receiving the brunt of the damage. None were as gruesome as the “I Quit” match at the 1999 Royal Rumble. Chair shots are a fairly regular occurrence when it comes to professional wrestling. Typically, before the iron meets skull, the recipient of the chair shot puts his hands up to absorb most of the impact. Nowadays people are more conscious of the consequences of head trauma and WWE has essentially removed all chair shots anywhere near the face/head region. In this match, not only did Foley receive ten unanswered chair shots directly to the skull, he was also handcuffed and couldn’t use his hands to absorb any of the impact. In Foley’s autobiography, “Have a Nice Day”, he reveals that he and The Rock has planned this out prior to the match, and that he told The Rock not to hold anything back. He also maintained that there was some real-life heat between the two of them for a while because The Rock didn’t come to check on him post match while the EMT’s were stitching him up and examining his head. He figured that since he let The Rock tee up on his skull, the least he could do was come check on him.
4. Royal Rumble, 2000, “Foley Gets Pedigreed Stomach/Face First On Thumb Tacks”
Over the years, when we’d see Mick Foley break out the bag of thumb tacks, the first thought was; “oh man, it’s only a matter of time before this guy looks like a human pincushion.” We saw Foley wear the thumb tacks as a badge of honor on many occasions. After his “Hell in a Cell” match in 1998 with The Undertaker (don’t worry, we will eventually get to that one soon), he asked The Undertaker backstage if they had used the thumb tacks…while he was still covered in them. To which The Undertaker just chuckled and said: “Yes, Jack. We did”. The reason this encounter with the tacks was insane on so many levels is because normally he’d get back body-dropped on the them, or would get body slammed, leaving his big rear-end taking the brunt of the pain. In this particular instance, he received the tacks in his stomach and face. A few of them were literally centimeters away from his eye.
3. WrestleMania 22, 2006, “Foley Goes Through Flaming Table”
By 2006, Mick Foley had already retired. He had made his mark in the wrestling world and had an extremely lucrative career. Physically though, he was a broken down man. He had mentioned on “Off the Record” with Michael Landsberg that he was suffering from memory loss, and struggling with his sense of direction: “I’m 20 minutes away from my house, and I don’t know where I’m going sometimes”. Any sane person wouldn’t even consider partaking in any type of physical contest when dealing with such head trauma. Foley decided it would be a good idea to go through a flaming table at WrestleMania 22, delivering another epic moment and officially making him insane. Even when there was no viable reason to push the limit even more, he still felt the need. That’s what makes this moment so incredibly ridiculous. We’ll never forget Foley’s carcass going through the flaming table while Joey Styles screamed OH MY GOD!!!
2. King of the Ring, 1998, “Foley Gets Thrown Off the Cell”
In a nutshell, The Undertaker threw Mick Foley off a 20 foot cage, where he crashed through the announcer’s table. Everyone has seen the clip, as it’s one of the most famous instances in WWE history. But most people don’t know how this insane moment came about. The match was scheduled at a time where both Foley and Taker were ravaged by injuries. Their mobility was extremely compromised, especially for The Undertaker who was nursing a broken foot. Putting on a technical match with a fast pace was out of the question. In order to keep it entertaining, both vets concurred that there had to be some risks taken, and a shocking moment that would take everyone out of their seat. Foley’s idol, Terry Funk, jokingly suggested that The Undertaker throw Foley off the cage. Foley unfortunately did not take it as a joke and was adamant that they perform the stunt, to which The Undertaker refused. The day of the match, they were still deliberating back and forth and finally The Undertaker conceded to Foley’s idea. If Taker was considering backing out of the plan, Foley gave him no choice, as he immediately climbed the cage upon making his entrance. They battled briefly and as planned, Foley was tossed and went crashing through the Spanish announce table (those poor guys always get the short end of the stick). Foley claims that considering he had just gotten thrown off a 20 foot cage and through a table, other than a dull sensation in his kidney area and a sore shoulder, he actually wasn’t that worse for wear. What happened next though near killed him.
1. King of the Ring, 1998, “Foley Gets Choke Slammed Through Top of Cell”
Yes, the top two insane Mick Foley moments occurred in the same match. Most wrestling fans have #1 and #2 reversed on their personal lists, but I’d argue the contrary and here’s why. Foley getting tossed off the cage may have been more shocking to see visually, but ultimately the two wrestlers had originally planned that they were going to do it. Once Foley got off the stretcher and made his way up the cage again, he was met with a Choke Slam from The Undertaker. Upon landing on the cage, one of the panels completely broke sending Foley landing back first into the ring. This instance was not planned and the impact of this landing was worse than the one he had received before, as this one left him unconscious, absolutely out cold for three minutes. Onlookers literally thought he was dead, including The Undertaker.
Jerry “The King” Lawler who was commentating at ringside flatly said “that’s it, he’s dead”. Foley later went on to say in his autobiography that had The Undertaker not somewhat botched the Choke Slam, he may very well have died. Normally The Undertaker lifts his opponent high off the ground when he performs the move which is called “the goozle” (I know right? the word goozle kind of makes it not scary anymore). Had he been able to perform the goozle properly, Foley likely would have landed directly on his head. Instead, due to his broken foot, The Undertaker was barely able to lift Foley off the ground which allowed him to land on his back. As you can see, everybody was in panic mode in the ring and had no idea what to do. Terry Funk ran in the ring and attacked The Undertaker in an attempt to give Foley some time to recover.
Wrestling is obviously predetermined, but in any other sport when someone is unconscious, the action is halted as they receive much needed medical attention. In wrestling, the show must go on!