|Ring name(s)||Nick Foley
Cactus Jack Manson
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||280 lb (130 kg)|
|Born||June 7, 1965 
|Resides||East Setauket, New York|
|Billed from||Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (as Cactus Jack and Dude Love)
The Boiler Room (as Mankind)
Long Island, New York (as Mick Foley)
|Trained by||Dominic DeNucci|
Michael Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr. (born June 7, 1965) is an American actor, author, comedian, voice actor, and professional wrestler, currently signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
He has also worked for many other wrestling promotions, including World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, formerly World Wrestling Federation), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Ring of Honor (ROH) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). He is often referred to as "The Hardcore Legend", a nickname he shares with Terry Funk.
Throughout his wrestling career, Foley has wrestled for many different promotions, both under his real name and under various personas (most notably Cactus Jack, Mankind and Dude Love). He was the first ever WWF Hardcore Champion and he also became a three-time WWF Champion as Mankind throughout his WWF career. He has also won the WWF Tag Team Championship eight times, the ECW World Tag Team Championship two times, and the WCW World Tag Team Championship one time. Following his retirement from a full-time wrestling schedule, Foley appeared occasionally with WWE as a special guest referee and, later, a color commentator for the SmackDown brand. Upon his departure from the company in 2008, he signed with TNA, where he is the storyline majority stock holder of the company. There, Foley has held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and the TNA Legends Championship.
In addition to wrestling, Foley is a multiple-time New York Times bestselling autobiographer. He was also a subject of the documentary Beyond the Mat, which followed him at the peak of his career. More recently, he has signed on for Bloodstained Memoirs, another wrestling documentary.
Foley was born in Bloomington, Indiana. Shortly after he was born, Foley's family moved to Setauket, New York, where Foley attended Ward Melville High School, played lacrosse, and wrestled. Foley was also a high school classmate of comic actor Kevin James of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and The King of Queens. The two were on the wrestling team together. While a student at State University of New York at Cortland, he hitchhiked to Madison Square Garden to see his favorite wrestler, Jimmy Snuka, in a steel cage match against Don Muraco. Foley has said that Snuka's flying body splash from the top of the cage inspired him to pursue a career in pro wrestling. Foley is visible on the WWE video of the event.
Mick Foley formally trained at Dominic DeNucci's wrestling school in Freedom, Pennsylvania, driving several hours weekly from his college campus in Cortland, New York, and debuted in 1983. In addition to appearing on DeNucci's cards, Foley and several other students also took part in some squash matches for WWF TV tapings, wrestling under the name "Jack Foley," including a match where Foley and Les Thornton faced the British Bulldogs, during which The Dynamite Kid clotheslined Foley with such force that he was unable to eat solid food for several weeks.
After several years of wrestling in the independent circuit, Foley began receiving offers from various regional promotions, including the UWF. He joined Memphis-based CWA as Cactus Jack, where he teamed with Gary Young as part of the Stud Stable. Cactus and Young briefly held the CWA tag titles in late 1988. On November 20, Foley left CWA for Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling.
In World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), Cactus Jack, billed as Cactus Jack Manson, was a major part of Skandor Akbar's stable. Foley also won several titles, including the company's light heavyweight and tag team titles before leaving the company, losing his last match to Eric Embry in nine seconds. He then briefly competed in Alabama's Continental Wrestling Federation before completing a brief stint with World Championship Wrestling, including a match against Mil Máscaras at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout. It was during this period that Foley was involved in a car accident that resulted in the loss of his two front teeth, adding to the distinctive look for which he is famous. Following the short stint with WCW, Foley then signed with Herb Abrams's Universal Wrestling Federation. In UWF, Foley teamed with Bob Orton to feud with Don Muraco, Sunny Beach, and Brian Blair.
He soon left UWF for Tri-State Wrestling (a forerunner to Extreme Championship Wrestling), whose style of high impact and violent wrestling style fit Foley well. On one night, known as Tri-State's Summer Sizzler 1991, Cactus Jack and Eddie Gilbert had three matches in one night: Cactus won a Falls Count Anywhere match, lost a Stretcher match, and then fought to a double disqualification in a Steel Cage match. These matches caught the attention of World Championship Wrestling promoters, and after a brief stint working in the Global Wrestling Federation, he joined WCW.
On September 5, 1991, Cactus Jack debuted as a heel and attacked Sting. After feuds with Van Hammer and Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack faced Sting, then WCW champion, in a non-title Falls Count Anywhere match at Beach Blast in 1992, which Sting won. For a long time, Foley considered this the best match he ever worked.
After spending his 1 1/2 years with WCW as a heel, Cactus Jack became a face after engaging in a feud with Paul Orndorff, Harley Race and Big Van Vader. Jack and Orndorff wrestled each other in a match for a spot on WCW Champion Vader's team at a Clash of Champions event. After the match, Race and Orndorff beat up Jack, turning him face. Later on at the Clash of Champions, Cactus Jack helped Sting's team win the match. He engaged in a feud with Orndorff, winning a falls-count-anywhere match against Orndorff at Superbrawl III. He then moved on to face Vader.
Cactus Jack wrestled Vader on April 6, 1993, winning by count-out, but being severely beaten in the process. As a result, in the rematch with Vader on April 23, the two executed a dangerous spot to sell a storyline injury. Vader removed the protective mats at ringside and powerbombed Cactus onto the exposed concrete floor, causing a legitimate concussion and causing Foley to temporarily lose sensation in his left foot and hand. While Foley was away, WCW ran an angle where Cactus Jack's absence was explained with a farcical comedy storyline in which he went crazy, was institutionalized, escaped, and developed amnesia. Foley had wanted the injury storyline to be very serious and generate genuine sympathy for him before his return. The comedy vignettes that WCW produced instead were so bad that Foley jokes in Have a Nice Day that they were the brainchild of WCW executives who regarded a surefire moneymaking feud as a problem that needed to be solved.
Foley returned in the fall of 1993 to save Davey Boy Smith from an attack by Vader. He then proceeded to feud with Vader and other wrestlers managed by Harley Race, Jack's former manager. In one of WCW's most brutal matches of all time, Cactus faced Vader in a Texas Death match at Halloween Havoc. Race won the match for Vader by using a cattle prod on Cactus, knocking him out for over ten seconds. The level of violence involved in this feud caused WCW to refuse to ever again book Cactus Jack against Vader on a pay-per-view. On March 16, 1994, during a WCW European tour, Foley and Vader had one of the most infamous matches in wrestling history in Munich, Germany. Foley began a hangman, a spot where a wrestler's head is tangled between the top two ring ropes, which is usually painful but safe (though dangerous since the ring ropes are not ropes but steel cables in rubber casing). Unbeknownst to Foley, however, 2 Cold Scorpio had earlier complained that the ropes were too loose, resulting in the ring staff tightening the ropes to the maximum. As Foley struggled to pull himself out, he tore off two-thirds of his ear and underwent surgery later that day to reattach the cartilage from the ear to his head, so that a total reconstruction would be possible in the future. Later that year, Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan were scheduled to win the tag team titles at Slamboree in 1994. Foley had to choose between reattaching his ear or wrestling in the pay-per-view and winning the titles. Foley chose to wrestle and won his only championship in WCW. Later on, Foley was frustrated by WCW's reluctance to work a storyline around losing his ear.
WCW also shared a brief co-promotion with ECW during this time in which Foley represented WCW on ECW television as the WCW Tag Team champion. During a promo, Foley spat on his Tag Team title belt and threw it to the ground to appeal to the hardcore fans who frowned upon the mainstream promotions. Although Foley meant no disrespect to the title, Ric Flair and WCW execs were not pleased with this display and Foley was reprimanded.
After leaving WCW, Foley went to the newly formed Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and began a feud with Sabu. Jack then began working the ECW tag team division on teams with Terry Funk, Mikey Whipwreck, and Kevin Sullivan. He had two ECW World Tag Team Championship reigns with Whipwreck while in ECW.
At the tail end of 1994, Foley joined Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) as Cactus Jack, causing Boo Bradley to lose the TV Title. He often teamed with Brian Lee to feud with Bradley and Chris Candido. Cactus Jack then began a crusade to rid Bradley of his valet Tammy Lynn Sytch. He ignited a feud between Candido and Bradley when he accused Candido of having sexual relations with Sytch. Cactus Jack left SMW before the feud was resolved.
In 1995, Foley went to Japan and wrestled in International Wrestling Association of Japan, where he engaged in feuds with Terry Funk and Shoji Nakamaki. Foley, however, soon returned to ECW to feud with The Sandman. Funk returned to team up with Sandman, and during a particularly violent spot, the pair hit Cactus with a Singapore cane forty-six times. Cactus Jack then defeated Funk at Hostile City Showdown 1995. Later, he fought Sandman for the ECW championship. During the match, Cactus Jack knocked Sandman unconscious and was declared the winner. Referee Bill Alfonso, however, reversed his decision on the grounds that the title cannot change hands by knockout.
Returning to the IWA, Cactus Jack began a feud with Leatherface, whom he had betrayed during a tag team match. Foley also continued to wrestle in independent circuits, winning championships on the Ozark Mountain and Steel City circuits. On August 20, 1995, IWA organized a "King of the Death Match" tournament. Each level of the tournament featured a new and deadly gimmick: Cactus Jack's first round was a barbed-wire baseball bat, thumbtack death match, in which he defeated Terry Gordy; the second round was a barbed-wire board, bed of nails match where Cactus Jack defeated Shoji Nakamaki. The final, against Terry Funk, was a barbed-wire rope, barbed-wire and C4 board, time-bomb death match, which Cactus Jack won with help from Tiger Jeet Singh. After the match, both men were ravaged by the wire, and burned by the C4 explosions. Foley later said that he only received $300 for the entire night. After the tournament, he teamed with Tracy Smothers for a quick run with the IWA tag team titles.
Foley then returned to ECW to team with Tommy Dreamer. Cactus began a gimmick where he criticized hardcore wrestling and sought to renounce his status as a hardcore wrestling icon. He said that he was on a mission to save his partner from making the mistake of trying to please bloodthirsty fans. The mismatched partnership lasted until August 5, 1995, when Cactus turned on Dreamer when they were teaming against The Pitbulls. Cactus Jack DDT'ed his partner and joined Raven's Nest, as he wished to serve Raven's "higher purpose." He remained one of Raven's top henchmen for the remainder of his time in ECW. On August 28, Cactus beat the previously undefeated 911. As part of Foley's heel gimmick, he began praising WWF and WCW on ECW television. At first, ECW fans did not even react positively as his departure grew nearer, Foley attempted to shift away from his character and give sincere good-bye interviews. Cactus was booked to face WWF hater Shane Douglas, who won when he put Jack into a figure four leglock that allowed Mikey Whipwreck to hit him repeatedly with a steel chair. Foley's last ECW match was against Whipwreck in April 1996. The ECW fans, who knew that this was Foley's last match, finally returned his affection. They cheered him throughout the match and chanted, "Please don't go!" After the match, Foley told the audience that their reaction made everything worthwhile and made his exit by dancing with Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie. Foley has said that this exit was his favorite moment in wrestling.
Foley arrived in the WWF in 1996 with a new gimmick: Mankind, a tortured soul who constantly squealed (even throughout his matches), shrieked "Mommy!", spoke to a rat, enjoyed pain, physically abused himself (such as by pulling out his hair), wore a mask and lived in boiler rooms; hence, his specialty match, the Boiler Room brawl. Mankind debuted the day after WrestleMania XII, quickly moving into a feud with The Undertaker. This feud continued through King of the Ring, Mankind's WWF pay-per-view debut. During the match, Undertaker's manager, Paul Bearer, "accidentally" struck him with the urn, allowing Mankind to apply the mandible claw for the win. The two then began interfering in each other's matches until they were booked in the first ever Boiler Room brawl, in which the goal was to escape the arena's boiler room and reach the ring to take the urn from Paul Bearer. The Undertaker appeared to have won, but Paul Bearer refused to hand him the urn, allowing Mankind to win, thus (for the time being) ending the relationship between Paul and the Undertaker. While Mankind was managed by Paul Bearer, he referred to him as "Uncle Paul."
Mankind then earned the number one contendership to face the then WWF Champion Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games. Michaels won by disqualification via interference by Vader and The Undertaker. For several years, Foley considered this match his best ever, saying "Sure, at 280 pounds I still looked like hell, but after a brutal cardiovascular training regimen, I was able to go full-tilt for twenty-seven minutes with a smaller, quicker, better athlete than me."
The Mankind-Undertaker feud continued with the first ever Buried Alive match at In Your House: Buried Alive. Undertaker won the match, but Paul Bearer, Terry Gordy (as the Executioner), Mankind and other heels attacked 'Taker and buried him alive. Afterward, he challenged Mankind to a match at Survivor Series, which he won. The feud ended after one more match at In Your House: Revenge of the Taker for the WWF Championship, which Undertaker had won at WrestleMania 13. Undertaker won the match and Bearer took a leave of absence, ending the feud.
Jim Ross then began conducting a series of interviews with Mankind. During the interviews, Ross brought up the topic of Foley's home videos and the character he played in them, Dude Love. Around this time, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels won the WWF Tag Team Championships from Owen Hart and The British Bulldog, but Michaels was injured and could no longer compete. Mankind tried to replace him, but Austin said he wanted "nothing to do with a freak" and resigned himself to facing Hart and the Bulldog alone the next week. Halfway into the match, however, Foley debuted a new persona known as Dude Love who suddenly appeared and helped Austin take the victory, becoming the new Tag Team Champions. Austin and Dude vacated their tag team titles when Austin suffered a (legitimate) serious neck injury at the hands of Owen Hart at SummerSlam. Dude Love feuded with Hunter Hearst Helmsley, as the two competed in a Falls Count Anywhere match. One of Foley's most memorable vignettes aired before the match began, in which Dude Love and Mankind discussed who should wrestle the upcoming match. Eventually, "they" decided that it should be Cactus Jack, and Foley's old character made his WWF debut. Jack won the match with a Piledriver through a table. Shortly thereafter, Extreme Championship Wrestling's Terry Funk joined the WWF as "Chainsaw Charlie," and he and Jack defeated the New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania XIV in a Dumpster match to win the tag team titles. The next night, however, Vince McMahon stripped them of the belts and scheduled a rematch in a steel cage, which the Outlaws won with help from their new allies, D-Generation X.
On April 6, 1998, Foley turned heel when Cactus Jack explained the fans would not see him anymore because they did not appreciate him and only cared about Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon explained to Austin the next week that he would face a "mystery" opponent at Unforgiven. That opponent turned out to be Dude Love, who won the match by disqualification, meaning that Austin retained the title. McMahon, displeased with the outcome, required Foley to prove he deserved another shot at Austin's title with a number one contendership match against his former partner, Terry Funk. The match was both the WWF's first ever "Hardcore match" and the first time that Foley wrestled under his own name. Foley won, and after the match, a proud McMahon came out to Dude Love's music and presented Foley with the Dude Love costume. At Over the Edge, Dude Love took on Austin for the title. McMahon designated his subordinates Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson as the timekeeper and ring announcer, and made himself the special referee. The Undertaker, however, came to ringside to ensure McMahon called the match fairly, and with his presence, Dude Love lost the match and was "fired" by McMahon the next night.
Foley then reverted to his Mankind character, who began wearing an untucked shirt with a loose necktie and feuding with The Undertaker. At King of the Ring, the two competed in the second Hell in a Cell match. In one of the most famous matches in professional wrestling history, Foley received numerous injuries and took two dangerous and highly influential bumps. The first one came as both wrestlers were brawling on top of the cell, and Undertaker threw Mankind from a height of sixteen feet and sent him crashing through the Spanish announcers' table. This event also triggered Jim Ross famously shouting "Good God almighty! Good God almighty! They've killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!". With both men back on the top of the cell, Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind, and a section of the cage gave way. Foley fell through and hit the ring hard. A chair that had been atop the cage also slammed Foley's head and knocked out a tooth as he hit the canvas. He was also knocked unconscious for a few moments from the impact, but he finished the match after waking up. Although Mankind lost, both wrestlers received a standing ovation for the match, and the event is often said to have jump-started Foley's main event career.
Many future matches attempted to replicate some of the spots from this match. In his autobiography Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Foley wrote that he couldn't remember much of what happened, and he had to watch a tape of the match to write about it. The match was voted Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Match of the Year for 1998. Although many fans regard the match as a classic, it has generated controversy as well. Critics charge that the falls in the match were so extreme and they set the bar for further bumps so high that the inevitable attempts to equal or surpass them would be unsafe for the wrestlers involved. Additionally, in his autobiography, Terry Funk wrote that both falls, including the second one through the cage, were planned. Some sources, including Power Slam magazine and Pro Wrestling Torch, reported that Foley denied planning this bump to placate his wife, who was furious with him after the match. Foley said in his first book that his wife cried during a post match phone conversation between the two, and this made Foley strongly consider retiring from wrestling. He also said that after the match, Vince McMahon thanked him for all he had done for the company, but made Foley promise to "never do anything like that again." He also made mention in the book of a rather humorous exchange he and Undertaker had backstage while being checked out by Dr. Pettit, the company's resident doctor. Foley, still somewhat dazed from the concussion he sustained, turned to the Undertaker and asked "Did I use the thumbtacks?", a staple of some of Foley's early matches. The Undertaker looked at him and rather sternly replied "Look at your arm, Mick!", at which point Foley discovered a significant number of thumbtacks still lodged in his arm.
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. The sweatsock became massively popular with the fans, mainly because it was marketed (mostly by Jerry "The King" Lawler during the events) as being a dirty, smelly, sweaty, repulsive, and vile sock.
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 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. Valentine's Day Massacre, which ended without a winner, meaning that Mankind retained the title. Mankind was said to have thrown out his left shoulder early in the match, but showed no signs of it and refused to stop the match. It had to be popped back into place afterwards. 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.
Foley returned from knee surgery as Mankind to win the WWF Championship for the third time at SummerSlam in a triple threat match against Steve Austin and Triple H. It is believed that Mankind was booked to win the championship that night because Austin refused to lose it to Triple H. Triple H defeated Mankind and won the title the next night on Raw. A major feud developed between Mankind and the McMahon-Helmsley regime, led by Triple H, which led to Mankind's reverting to his Cactus Jack persona and facing Triple H for the WWF Championship at Royal Rumble in a Street Fight. Cactus used barbed wire and thumbtacks, trademark weapons from his pre-WWF days, but Triple H won the match after delivering two pedigrees, the second onto a pile of tacks. This feud culminated with a rematch at No Way Out in a Hell in a Cell match, where stipulations held that if Cactus Jack did not win the title, Foley would retire from wrestling. Triple H won, ostensibly ending Foley's career. Foley left for a few weeks but returned at the request of Linda McMahon to wrestle for the title at WrestleMania 2000 against Triple H, The Rock, and The Big Show. Triple H won, and Foley did not wrestle again for four years.
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," cracking lame jokes and making no attempt to appear tough or scary. He also had a knack during this time to have no one spot for his office; rather, Mick would have an office in all sorts of odd places (for example, closets). 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 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. Later in the year, he would make a one-time appearance at Japanese promotion HUSTLE, challenging for the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship against then champion, Toshiaki Kawada, albeit in a losing effort.
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 as a face again and tricked 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 Long Island Press pro wrestling columnist Josh Stewart 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 and quietly left the company.
On September 3, 2008, Foley's agency, Gillespie Talent, 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, in which he also belittled WWE. 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. Afterwards, the defeated Shelley had to put on a Turkey Suit in compliance with the match rules, albeit with much refusal. However, Shelley "flipped off" Foley and proceeded to beat him up. In the aftermath, Mick mentioned that Shelley is 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.
On April 19, 2009 at Lockdown, he defeated Sting to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for his first ever championship in TNA, and his fourth World title overall. Mick did not lose the championship, but Sting became the new leader of the Main Event Mafia by pinning Kurt Angle at Sacrifice. Foley had also stated on Impact! tapings that if he retained the TNA World Heavyweight Title at the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary, he would only put the title up in a match once a year. However, he lost the title to Kurt Angle in the King of The Mountain match at Slammiversary. He received a rematch at Victory Road, commenting he had only submitted once in his career (to Terry Funk, in a spinning toe hold) and swore he'd never do it again. He lost the match when Angle forced him to submit again with the ankle lock.
On July 30, 2009, the 200th episode of Impact!, Foley won the TNA Legends Championship by pinning champion Kevin Nash in a tag team match where Nash teamed with Angle and Foley with Bobby Lashley. At Hard Justice Nash defeated Foley to regain the title, following interference from Traci Brooks.
On the September 24 edition of Impact! Foley turned heel when he attacked Abyss during and after a TNA World Tag Team Championship match against Booker T and Scott Steiner. Foley revealed Abyss as the one who tore up his picture and beat him to a bloody pulp with a video tape and the baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss then challenged Foley to a Monster's Ball match which Foley accepted. At Bound for Glory Abyss defeated Foley in the match. Two weeks later, Foley turned face by turning on Dr. Stevie and saved Abyss from him. The following week he explained that he had played Dr. Stevie all along and had challenged Abyss to a match at Bound for Glory in order to see how tough he really was. On the November 12 edition of Impact! Raven returned to TNA and saved Stevie's future in the company by costing Abyss a match and throwing a fireball in Foley's face.
After this, Foley turned his attention away from Abyss and Dr. Stevie and concentrated on Hulk Hogan's arrival in TNA, appearing to be paranoid about Hogan taking over TNA. On the December 3 edition of Impact! Foley teased another heel turn by booking face Kurt Angle in a handicap match, after Angle refused to give him information on who Hogan is bringing to TNA. At Final Resolution Abyss and Foley defeated Stevie and Raven in a "Foley's Funhouse" tag team match. On January 4, 2010, the day of Hulk Hogan's debut for TNA, Foley was assaulted by the reunited Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, when trying to get a meeting with Hogan. On the January 21 edition of Impact! new Executive Producer Eric Bischoff fired Foley, after claiming to have been attacked by him. On the February 11 edition of Impact!, Bischoff and Foley "talked it over", as Hogan had suggested two weeks prior, and Foley was entered in the 8 Card Stud Tournament at Against All Odds. The match was a No Disqualification match against Abyss, who won the match and advanced. On the March 15 edition of Impact! Bischoff announced that he would be shaving Foley bald as a punishment for trying to help Jeff Jarrett in a handicap match the previous week. At first Foley was seemingly going along with the plan, but at the last second he shoved Mr. Socko down Bischoff's throat, put him on the barber's chair and shaved him bald.
From May 7 to July 1, 1999, Foley wrote his autobiography — without the aid of a ghostwriter, as he proudly notes in the introduction — in almost 800 pages of longhand. The book, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, became hugely popular and topped The New York Times bestseller list for several weeks. The follow-up, Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker than Wrestling, was published in 2001 and debuted at number one on the Times list. Foley has also written three children's books, Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx, Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos, and Tales from Wrescal Lane. He has also authored Tietam Brown, a coming-of-age story which was nominated for the WHSmith People's Choice Award in 2004. Foley's second novel, Scooter, was published in August 2005. His writing has generally received favorable reviews. Foley's most recent book is the third part of his autobiography called The Hardcore Diaries. It highlights his 2004 feud with Randy Orton, his match and later partnership with Edge, and program with Ric Flair in 2006. The Hardcore Diaries also spent time on the New York Times bestseller list. Foley also has a working title, "Crossing The Line" as he announced on an episode of Impact!
One of Foley's earliest acting roles was in 1996. Shortly before he left for Stamford, Foley appeared in Atlanta filmmakers Barry Norman and Michael Williams' short subject Deadbeats as "Bird", an armed robber turned debt collector. One of Foley's first TV guest appearances was as a wrestler on USA Network's short-lived action-comedy G vs E. He also featured prominently in the documentary Beyond the Mat. Foley, as Mankind, also starred in a series of commercials for Chef Boyardee's beef ravioli. He appeared in the Insane Clown Posse vehicle Big Money Hustlas as Cactus Sac, which was basically the same character as his Cactus Jack persona.
In the late 2001, Foley hosted a series of Robot Wars dubbed "Extreme Warriors." He also provided a guest voice for two episodes of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which he portrayed a satirical earthbending wrestler named The Boulder, and provided the voice for Gorrath in the pilot episode of Megas XLR. Foley appeared in an episode of Boy Meets World as Mankind, giving advice to Eric Matthews before giving Eric the mandible claw and an airplane spin. Foley was also a voice in an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch where he was an animated version of Mankind doing a stunt from the ceiling, and later in the same episode he fought and defeated Ernest Hemingway. Foley also had a small role in the 2007 thriller movie Anamorph starring Willem Dafoe.
Foley has frequently appeared on Air America Radio's Morning Sedition, including several stints as a guest host and has appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show. He also hosted WWE's radio show. Foley also occasionally appears on the Opie and Anthony Show. In the summer of 2007, Mick Foley was filmed for the film Bloodstained Memoirs, a wrestling documentary.
In 2009, Foley had a guest voice appearance on Adult Swim show Squidbillies as Thunder Clap, a former pro-wrestler (strongly resembling Hulk Hogan in both appearance and speech), who had recently gone through some tough times, during the Season 4 episode "Anabolic-holic". On August 22, 2009, Foley made his stand-up debut at the Improv in Los Angeles, CA. The event is being billed the "Total Xtreme Comedy show" and also features comedians, Steve Simone, Brad Williams, Bret Ernst and Ring of Honor's Colt Cabana, who is also making his stand-up debut. The money Foley makes from the event will go to Wrestler's Rescue, which creates awareness and helps raise money to support the health care needs of retired professional wrestlers. In October 2009, Foley was guest DJ on E Street Radio, a Satellite radio station dedicated to the music of Bruce Springsteen. On November 19, 2009, Foley made an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart defending the pro-gay rights views of Will Phillips. He showed up again on March 15, 2010 to help correspondent Wyatt Cenac compare politics to pro wrestling, giving speeches for and against the use of the filibuster.
Foley and his wife Colette have three sons and a daughter: Dewey Francis (born in 1992), Michael Francis, Jr. (born in 2001), Huey (born in 2003), and Noelle Margaret (born in 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. For several years Foley visited Washington D.C. based military hospitals on almost a monthly basis and in a Washington Time's article was referred to as a "Legend among hurt troops".. Foley sponsors seven children with ChildFund International (formerly 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 Philippines 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 which was completed in September, 2009.
In the past few years Foley has become involved as a donor and volunteer with RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network), joining their National Leadership Council, a small group of key supporters who have given their time and money to help RAINN eliminate sexual violence. Foley recently announced plans to donate 50% of the advance royalties from his upcoming memoir "Countdown to Lockdown" to RAINN. The other 50% will go toward helping sexual abuse victims in Sierra Leone.
Foley has been outspoken in his support for the Democratic party. During the 2004 election cycle, Foley argued the Democratic point of view in a WWE-sponsored debate against John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who spoke for the Republican side. He was a contributor to Barack Obama's campaign for the U.S. presidency in 2008.
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Michael Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr (born June 7, 1965) is an American author, actor and professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment most recently doing color commentary on its Smackdown! brand. He has signed a short-term contract with TNA.
A tag team specialist, He is a former ECW, WCW and WWE Tag Team Champion, and he is known as "The King of Tag Team Wrestling". He was a part of the "Rock and sock connection" with wrestler The Rock.