Foley. The mere mention of the name conjures up engrossing images of disturbia that betray the very idea of professional wrestling being fake. Scripted, yes. Choreographed, sure. But nothing is fake about Mick Foley, for whom poetic soulfulness and grim spectacle were two branches of the same unique tree, whose genius and insanity intertwine without a visible seam.
Today is the 53rd birthday of a professional wrestler who may well be lucky to have made it this far. Severe concussions, burns to the flesh, broken bones, and seemingly miles of scar tissue dot the resume of a man who counters that alarming hull with championship victories, best-selling books, and a legend that will endure long after the day he journeys into the beyond.
Mick Foley’s career has run a vast gamut, entertaining audiences with, at different times, his playfully-dorky sense of humour, his intense soliloquies, his uncanny ability to switch between the roles of underdog and aggressor, and, yes, his inhuman endurance. Whether he’s Cactus Jack, Mankind, Dude Love, or just plain ol’ Mick Foley from Long Island, the mesmerizing immortality is what we remember most.
Let’s take a look back at 10 of Mick Foley’s most wildest matches, the ones in which his legend grew the most.
10. Vs. Shane Douglas (ECW CyberSlam 1996)
If you’ve never seen this one before, it looks really familiar – Douglas handcuffs Cactus Jack behind his back and beats him to kingdom-come with a steel chair. While the assault is not quite as stomach-turning as its WWE doppelganger (more on that one later), it’s pretty brutal stuff own its own merits.
Foley was actually wearing a decent suit at the beginning of the match, having gone to a friend’s wedding earlier in the day. He had on a t-shirt that said “FORGIVE ME, UNCLE ERIC” (referring to Bischoff), doing all he could to play the contemptible anti-ECW fiend on his way out of the promotion. Douglas’ unblocked chair shots (not to mention one from an interfering Mikey Whipwreck that caught Foley square across the face) were one truly-brutal last hurrah for Cactus before his exit three weeks later.