I figured the best way to praise such a man was to write an article on his accomplishments in the ring. With that said, Let’s get it started!
The name is renowned for being the personification of hardcore. A man who was not the most athletic or the most fit in the ring would go on to become a legend loved by fans everywhere. Let’s be honest, Foley was no Bret Hart or Shelton Benjamin, but he took what was given to him and worked with it the best he could in true Foley fashion. While some may label him a “glorified stuntman”, others will name him as one of the toughest SOBs to ever grace the ring.
Foley went out and performed dangerous, near death stunts for the fans who loved him so much. His most famous match being the 1998 Hell in a Cell match against the Undertaker at King of the Ring. Foley would be thrown off the top of the cell approximately 16 ft. through the Spanish announcer’s table. Jim Ross, released his emotions declaring “Good God almighty! Good God almighty! That killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!”. While many men would have simply been carted out ending the match, Foley would not. In remembering the fans, Foley famously rolled off the stretcher carrying him and came back to continue the match. In another extremey famous spot, Foley was chokeslammed through the roof of the cage and landed on a chair. Foley was knocked unconscious but would do the impossible and get up. He continued the match roughly 8 minutes enduring thumbtacks, steel step shots, and more. One of the most famous moments of the match occurring after Foley reversed the Undertaker’s Old School and was leaning in the corner. Foley then looked at the camera and would surprise everyone watching. He smiled. This man who first fell 16ft through a table and another 12 ft onto a chair looked up and smiled. Foley would go on to lose the match but would help solidify his place in the hearts of fans everywhere.
If one doubts Foley’s resilience then one must remember the infamous Cactus Jack v Terry Funk time-bomb death match. The ring was filled barbed-wire rope, c4 barbed wire boards, and more hardcore items. The ring was even rigged to explode at the 10:00 mark. The men put themselves through one of the most grueling matches ever. Both men were ripped apart by the barbed wire and burned by the c4. Each man bled profusely yet still persevered through the match. Foley would go on to state that “looking back…that match in Honjo is probably the performance I’m proudest of.”
Foley was and still is one of the most versatile wrestlers in the business. Mick Foley held four gimmicks over the course of his career: the psychotic Mankind, the lovable Dude Love, the extreme Cactus Jack, and the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley. Each role was played to perfection by Foley as he engrossed himself in the character. Mankind was a disturbed individual who took chair shots, thumbtacks, and tables like nothing. Who could forget the famous “I Quit” match between the Rock and Mankind where Foley took on ELEVEN unprotected chair shots to his head. Foley’s mic skills can be considered some of the best with his ability to change his mannerisms depending on the character. As Mankind he screamed and acted like a maniac. As Dude Love he spoke akin to a hippie and spoke in jive. As Cactus Jack, Foley would simply play an extremely hardcore version of himself with a hint of insanity. And finally Mick Foley would be a fan favorite while playing himself and remembering his accomplishments.
Foley is a man who took the ball he was given and ran with it. He fought and clawed his way to the fans’ hearts and they responded warmly. Foley is a man who would never quit the match regardless of the destruction and injuries that he sustained. Foley put it best when he face the Rock in an ” I Quit” Match: “How does it feel to be in a match that you can’t win and I can’t lose?”
Thanks for reading everybody! Any comments, opinions, criticisms, and questions are welcome in the comment section below.