By Joseph Wade
The JKWrestling WWE Hall Of Fame Class of 2013 Profiles: Mick Foley.
Mick Foley - Michael Francis Foley, Sr.
June 7, 1965.
Bloomington, Indiana, US.
Michael Francis Foley was born in Indiana in the June of 1965, moving to New York shortly after. In NY he grew up as a lacrosse player and wrestler, alongside famous comedic actor Kevin James, before finally being persuaded to pursue a career in professional wrestling after being inspired by Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka’s high risk style. Foley would begin training formal training in 1983 after years of ‘home video’ stunts which would be a precedent for the career to come.
Between his wrestling debut in 1983 and his signing for WCW in 1991, Foley was a staple of the independent circuit as he formed ties with the likes of Tri-State Championship Wrestling - A forerunner for ECW - and the WCCW which was the early name for World Championship Wrestling. In 1991, Foley got his break in the modern WCW.
Career - WCW
Foley made his WCW debut as Cactus Jack in an attack on then crowd favourite Sting. The resulting feud was on and off until the summer of ‘92 when Jack faced the WCW Champion in a non-title Falls Count Anywhere match as a heel - A match Foley considers to be one of his best. It was 1993 before Foley’s Cactus Jack character was turned face and the result was numerous feuds in the upper mid-card with the likes of Vader of whom he made he began to make his name as a main event hardcore specialist. The feud would see him Powerbombed on to the concrete floor, and see him lose his ear between the steel cable ring ropes in 1994. The “Hardcore Legend” later attended a WCW Pay Per View instead of getting surgery and won his only WCW Title in the process - The WCW Tag Team Championships with Kevin Sullivan. It was during his run as Tag Team Champion that Foley made his first appearance in the new ECW, spitting on his WCW Tag Team belt in an attempt to win over the ‘underground’ audience of the promotion. He’d soon be out of the door as Eric Bischoff’s vision of the company came to fruition and the next step on Foley’s ladder was under the tutelage of Paul Heyman in ECW.
Career - ECW
Foley’s career in ECW was highlighted by feuds with Terry Funk in a relationship which would go beyond the ring and in to the friendship that has aided Foley throughout much of his career and has ultimately led to Funk being the man to induct Foley at this years Hall of Fame. Between the years of 1994 and 1996 Foley would use his time associated with ECW to gain further experience as a performer in Japan. The WWF quickly came calling and Foley was out of Extreme Championship Wrestling, providing one last memorable feud with WWF hater Shane Douglas on his way out.
Career - WWF
Mick Foley’s arrival in the WWF was the debut of another of his characters - Mankind. He’d make his debut shortly after Wrestlemania 12, entering a feud with The Undertaker which would allow him his WWF Pay Per View debut at King of the Ring 1996. The feud would last over 18 months and would include a Buried Alive match and be the pre-cursor for the infamous Hell In A Cell match in which Foley would be tossed from the top of the cell, Chokeslammed through the cell, lose teeth and have numerous concussions. Mankind was over and the career of Mick Foley was now legendary in the eyes of many. All that was missing was his World Title run, and that would come in December of 1998. The Mankind character had just gone through an overhaul which saw his persona move from the psychotic to the comedic and linked him with the corporation and more specifically Mr. McMahon. Their separation caused a Mankind title win to be reversed by the chairman but on December the 29th, while WCW sarcastically claimed “that’ll put butts in seats”, Mankind won the WWF title and changed the tide of the Monday Night rating’s war as the WWF beat WCW for the first time in 18 months. He would lose the belt a month later to The Rock in a No DQ match at the Royal Rumble, win the belt back at Halftime Heat, and then lose the belt one more time in a Ladder match with The Rock. Mankind was a 2 time WWF Champion, and soon became the highest ratings grabber in the history of wrestling in his ‘This Is Your Life’ segment with The Rock in 1999.
Foley formally retired after his 4 way WWF title main event at Wrestlemania 2000 at the age of 35. He’d remain on screen as the commissioner throughout the following years but his appearances would become more sporadic after leaving the role. A match as part of Rock & Sock at Wrestlemania 20, and the following PPV’s hardcore match with then opponent Randy Orton, proved Foley still had it. The Hardcore Legend moved on to the commentary booth which caused a falling out with Mr. McMahon and following a duo of ECW: One Night Stand appearances, and his Wrestlemania 22 Hardcore match with Edge, Foley left the organisation in an attempt to gain more creative freedom and give a boost to Jeff Jarrett’s upcoming wrestling promotion - TNA.
Career - TNA
Foley made his debut on TNA Television on September the 18th 2008, and wouldn’t make his match debut for months. Following months of decent promo’s and the sporadic appearance, Foley began his ascension to the top of TNA and ultimately the TNA World Heavyweight Title. He’d win the belt from Sting (his first televised opponent) in a cage match, as well as attaining the Legend’s title and being a part of the revival of ECW on the brand. His time with the organisation brought about encounters with long-term critic Ric Flair and resulted in a televised match only days before the companies biggest PPV - A decision Foley didn’t agree with. When Foley used the WWE’s official website as a means of promotion for his new book “The Countdown to Lockdown”, the strains on his relationship with the TNA were clear to see. Mick Foley would leave TNA and return to WWE in the capacity he is in now before his eventual call to the Hall Of Fame.
- 3 time WWE champion.
- 8 time WWE Tag Team Champion.
- 1 time WWE Hardcore Champion.
- 1 time TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
- 1 time TNA Legend’s Champion.
- 1 time WCW Tag Team Champion.
- 2 time ECW Tag Team Champion.
- PWI Match of the Year 1998, 1999.
- PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the year 1993.
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