Mick Foley

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"Have a nice day!"

Michael Francis "Mick" Foley, Sr. (born June 7, 1965) is an American actor, author, comedian, voice actor, and professional wrestler. He has worked with every major wrestling promotion in his career, including WWE, WCW, ECW, Ring of Honor, TNA and even a one-off match on an AWA Pay-Per-View, and is currently signed to WWE. He is often referred to as "The Hardcore Legend", a nickname he shares with Terry Funk.

Throughout his wrestling career, Foley wrestled for many different promotions both under his real name and under various personas (which are known collectively as the "Three Faces of Foley" - Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love) and, frequently since about 2001, as just plain Mick Foley. He was the first ever WWF Hardcore Champion, and he also became a three-time WWF Champion (as Mankind), an eight-time WWF Tag Team Champion, a two-time ECW World Tag Team Champion, a one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion, a one-time TNA Legends Champion and a one-time TNA World Champion. 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, returning to a semi-regular schedule. He then left TNA in June 2011, and has since appeared back on WWE television, albeit less frequently.

In addition to wrestling, Foley is a multiple-time New York Times bestselling author. His first book, the 1999 autobiography Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks was enthusiastically well received and well reviewed. He has written a sequel to that book, 2001's Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker than Wrestling which partially goes in depth into the writing of the first book and why he decided to write his books himself instead of hiring ghostwriters and also is about the months leading into his retirement during the Attitude Era. The third part of his autobiography, The Hardcore Diaries, was released in 2007. Foley has also written two novels, Tietam Brown and Scooter, and three children's books.

He was also one of the subjects of the documentary Beyond the Mat, which followed him at the peak of his career. More recently, he appears in Bloodstained Memoirs, another wrestling documentary.

Mick Foley provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Acrofatic: The "Cactus Jack Crack Smash" saw Foley do a running senton from the apron, fairly impressive for a guy his size. Age and injuries eventually took it out of his moveset.
  • Alter Ego Acting: The "Faces of Foley"
  • Always Someone Better: In Have a Nice Day!, Foley frequently mentions that Marc Mero (now considered a very forgettable wrestler) always managed to have more money and more favor with management for a large part of Foley's career in WCW and the WWF. The situation eventually reversed quite a lot...
  • Ambiguously Human: It's not out of the ordinary for the commentators to question if Foley is even human due to the unholy amount of physical punishment he's endured throughout his career. In fact, even Foley himself has questioned how human he really is.
    • And if not human, the fans seem to have a pretty good idea what he might be. A commong sign for Mick simply states "Foley is God."
  • Arch Enemy: The Undertaker and Triple H.
  • As Himself: Did the voice of a Claymation likeness of Mankind on Celebrity Deathmatch.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Jimmy Snuka's epic leap off of a steel cage inspired Foley to eventually enter the industry.
  • Axe Crazy: As Cactus Jack and Mankind; Dude Love was far more lucid.
  • Badass Santa: He's has took on this role while Christmas. Check out this clip.
  • Bait and Switch Comment: Have a Nice Day! relates the following from when he was in ECW and headed to the WWF. The crowd chanted at him "You sold out! You sold out!" Foley responded by getting on the mic.

I have a feeling that a year from now, I'm going to have to look in the mirror and admit in my heart that I sold out...I sold out the Garden, I sold out the Coliseum, I sold out every damn arena in this country!

  • The Berserker: Cactus Jack.
    • To the point where when Commissioner Shawn Michaels wanted to punish the Corporate Ministry by putting them in matches they'd clearly get beaten immensely from, Michaels put Mideon and Viscera in an handicap hardcore match with Cactus Jack (as opposed to Mankind, the character Foley was playing at the time), apparently confident that Cactus Jack was more than enough against two men, one of whom was the Ministry's 500-pound monster heel. He was right. He was oh so very right.
  • Big Eater: Has spent many a night on the road at 24-hour fast food joints, however that also meant he wasn't abusing drugs like many other wrestlers, as told in his latest book.
    • This caused him to have a frame stable enough to survive the big bumps he has taken.
  • Butt Monkey: Al Snow and Test (both Vitriolic Best Buds of his) in his books.
  • Catch Phrase: Three, for the three 'Faces'.
    • Cactus Jack: "Bang, bang!"
    • Mankind: "Have a nice day!"
    • Dude Love: "Oww, have mercy!"
    • And for plain ol' Mick Foley: "Right here! In [city name]!" *goofy grin and thumbs up*
  • Charm Point: His missing teeth, well, for his wife, she was unsettled when he started wearing fake ones for Dude Love.
  • Cheap Heat: Inverted. Foley usually manages to work "Right here, in [city name]!" into a promo, which usually results in what is known as the "Foley Pop". He's also coined the phrase "cheap pop".
  • Chessmaster: His recent angle with TNA revealed him to be this. He managed to work his way into the Network as an executive, a position he used to thwart Hulk Hogan and Immortal at every twist and turn. The best part is, of all the people they expected was screwing them, they never suspected Foley till he revealed himself.
    • Shows it again on May 26th when he revealed he'd manipulated Hogan into believing he'd left the meeting with the Network victorious. After Hogan left, Foley convinced the Network to revive the X Division against Immortal's wishes and turn them back against Immortal.
  • Companion Cube: Mr. Socko.
  • Cool Mask: As Mankind.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Is the main subject of the WWF side of the business in the 1999 documentary Beyond The Mat, chronicling his life in the company from 1997-early 1999, including unseen footage of him in the aftermath of his famous matches with The Undertaker (guess which one) and The Rock (the I Quit Match at the 1999 Royal Rumble, which caused his wife and kids to cry at ringside and leave due to the viciousness of the match)
  • Dirty Old Man: During his time as WWE Commissioner, a couple of segments featuring Foley interacting with the Divas (particularly Trish Stratus) depicted him like this, particularly in provoking catfights between the girls and then watching with a huge grin on his face.
  • Determinator: Oh yeah.
    • For example, in the infamous Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring '98, Foley was thrown off of a twenty-foot-tall steel chain link cell and through an announcer table. The fall was so devastating that he sustained a concussion, spinal damage, a dislocated shoulder and internal bleeding. The EMTs squeezed in to put him on a stretcher and wheel him away, but, you see, this is the part of the match that was planned (well the fall part, not the injuries part). Mick got up off the stretcher and climbed his way back up the cell (faster than before his fall!) to resume the match. After some more fighting, Undertaker performed his signature choke-slam... which accidentally sent Foley through the chain link cell to the plywood ring below, a steel chair following close behind to smash his teeth out of his mouth. (You can see a little white speck in his nose on close-ups; that's his tooth.) Foley was completely knocked out, nearly died, and has no memory of the next few hours...but he got back up and resumed the match, finally ending it after taking two hard falls onto frigging thumbtacks. And then, simply because he refused to be stretchered out twice, he got up and walked back up the ramp to a standing ovation.
      • And then he came out to interfere in the main event, a First Blood match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kane, because that's how the storyline was written and he wasn't going to let a little thing like massive physical trauma and internal bleeding keep him from doing his job. (Of course, this was kind of a massive anticlimax, so you won't really see it in his career's highlight reels.)
    • Comparable to Hell in a Cell was Foley's participation in the IWA Japan King of the Deathmatch Tournament in 1995. During his first match, he got opened up hardway with a punch from Terry Gordy, then took a powerbomb into a bed of thumbtacks, and still came back to win the match. Next match, he bumped on a barbed-wire covered board and a bed of nails before winning. Finally, in the grand finale, he and Terry Funk proceeded to destroy each other in a Barbed Wire Rope, Exploding C4, and Time Bomb Match. What made the match even more brutal was that one of the gimmicks (the ring was supposed to be enveloped by massive explosions at the 10 minute mark) failed horribly, forcing Foley and Funk to take insanely dangerous bumps to save the match. In the end, after three brutal matches, Foley pinned Funk and became IWA Japan's King of the Deathmatch.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Narrowly averted for the Mankind persona, as Mick recounted in his first autobiography. Vince initially pitched the character as "Mason the Mutilator", a name that Mick thought was absolutely dreadful. Mick countered by suggesting "Mankind the Mutilator", explaining that with that name, he could talk about "the evils of Mankind" and the audience would never quite know whether he was talking about himself, or them. Vince not only adopted the idea, but dropped the "Mutilator" part of the name, leaving Mick as, simply, Mankind.
  • Finger-Poke of Doom: This happened on the night he won his first WWF Heavyweight championship. Mick Foley did indeed put a lot of butts in seats.
  • Genius Bruiser: Researches very heavily for his books.
    • Foley also wrote all of his books and, unlike many athletes, does not use a ghostwriter (he actually was given one on his first book, but was unsatisfied with his work). He proudly notes in the introduction to Have A Nice Day! that he wrote the over 700-page manuscript for it in longhand (mostly because his typewriter broke). Also, his publisher was surprised by how long it was - they were expecting under 150 pages.
    • He opens his first book by recalling spending a double-digit-hour plane ride home working on his manuscript longhand. He was so bleary-eyed and punchy from working hard on it that, upon arrival, his wife asked him repeatedly if he had been doing drugs.
  • Happily Married: To his wife Collette for about twenty years now. A real-life Ugly Guy, Hot Wife that has succeeded much to his own admitted astonishment, and it's not even a because-he's-famous example (they met while he was still working the independent circuit).
  • Honorary Uncle: Paul Bearer was Mankind's honorary uncle after betraying The Undertaker and managing Mankind instead.
    • In a related play on the trope, for a short period Mankind considered Goldust his honorary mother.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Foley lived this trope during the majority of his WWE run.

Jim Ross [after Foley is thrown off the Hell in a Cell through a table] AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF!

    • And then he got up off the stretcher, went up top a second time, got choke-slammed through the roof... Jesus, it was carnage.
  • Insult Backfire: When it was announced on WCW that Mick Foley was about to win the WWE championship... things did not go as WCW expected [1]
  • It Will Never Catch On: Take a recycled feud from years ago from the cartoon-esque New Generation era, with an opponent who can't walk due to a foot injury, and attempt to follow up a five-star match featuring Shawn Michaels. This was Foley's first reaction to his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: After Triple H spent a few weeks making Mankind's life miserable, he shed his Mankind persona and reverted to Cactus Jack, triggering an instant Oh Crap from Triple H. Observe.
    • Got it again in his feud with Edge. Edge had been beating down Foley before hand. Foley's reaction? Thanking Edge for reawakening the Hardcore Legend he was and challenging him to an epic Hardcore match.
  • Made of Iron: Part of his character is to take ungodly amounts of punishment and keep going, including a great many things that would normally take other wrestlers out of business for some time. He's also a Real Life example as well; he's suffered a great many legit injuries in a match and continued without quitting. Just look at his Hell In A Cell Match with The Undertaker.
    • The back of the dust jacket for Have A Nice Day! points out every legitimate injury Foley had sustained up to the point of publication. It's quite... nauseating.
    • One of Foley's standard moves, the Hipbuster, was named for the damage it did to him.
    • Dented Iron: There's a reason he doesn't do much wrestling anymore. He also lampshaded this in "The Faces Of Mick Foley" when he said that he particularly liked his hippy-dippy Dude Love character because he didn't get hurt so much.
      • Lampshaded in an interview with Jim Ross, where Jim suggested Foley (as Mankind) enjoyed pain. Mankind responded by asking if having his kids want to play with him but being too hurt to get out of bed was where the fun started.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Foley is often compared to film director Kevin Smith in terms of his approachability and friendliness towards his fanbase. He also donates a large portion of his income to different charities related to sexual abuse and volunteers on RAINN's help hotline.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Over time, wrestlers, announcers and fans stopped referring to him strictly by his preferred gimmick of the moment and simply called him Mick Foley. Watching old clips today, one probably thinks "Mick Foley as [Mankind, Cactus Jack or Dude Love]." This shouldn't be all that surprising though, given the fact that he switched between his three faces often and over time "Mankind" became Lighter and Softer, more like Mick in Real Life.
  • New Age Retro Hippie: His persona of Dude Love.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: His Mankind gimmick was definitely this, especially at the beginning. Often a prime source of....
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Foley is practically synonymous with this Trope.
    • In particular the Hell in a Cell match, which is honestly nauseating to watch. When he was choke-slammed through the cage, he dislocated his shoulder, was knocked unconscious, and had a chair land on his face, causing a tooth to pierce through his lip and lodge itself in his nose.
  • Oh Crap: Mark Callaway (The Undertaker) had a moment of this when Mick Foley fell through the ceiling of the Hell in a Cell and thought that he'd seriously injured or even killed Mick Foley, saying in interviews that all he felt after that happened was "concern" for his fellow wrestler's health.
    • Triple H had one when Mankind revealed he couldn't face him in a match and he had a 'replacement' prepared. This trope occurred when Mankind revealed the replacement, Cactus Jack.
    • When he revealed himself as the Network Executive that had been screwing Immortal over weekly, Hogan and Immortal had a priceless Oh Crap on par with the Triple H example, as Foley had been a thorn in their side before he became their boss.
  • One of Us: History buff, auto-biographical and fiction novelist, roller coaster aficionado, and lover of all things Christmas, wrapped in a human Muppet with a incredible tolerance for pain.
  • Papa Wolf: He's very protective of his children - highlighted by his infamous "Cane Dewey" promo. [2]
  • Pressure Point: His finisher in the Mankind and Mick Foley personas, the Mandible Claw, is said to trigger a pressure point under the tongue, causing paralysis and intense pain. The fact that he wraps his hand in a dirty sock before he does it is just the icing on the cake.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: How did Mick psych himself up for all that insane stuff he pulled? Listening to Tori Amos. I couldn't make that up even if I tried.
    • In one of his later books, Mick mentions being psyched at a chance to meet Tori Amos in real life... only to be horrified when he went through all of his older books and realized he mentioned listening to her music in conjuction with acts of ghoulish violence. Thankfully, her nephew was a wrestling fan and had read said books, so she knew what to expect from him when they met.
  • Running Gag: As Commish, he'd often found the most absurd places to set up his office in the arena.
  • Self-Deprecation: When riffing on one of The Rock's Catch Phrases:

"...and Mankind's dozens (AND DOZENS) of fans..."

You know, you walk around here, you act like a pious, self-righteous sycophant, which is fancy New York Times bestseller's speak for saying you, John Laurinaitis are a kiss-ass.

  • Something They Would Never Say: More like Something They Would Never Do, but during one heel turn (the "Corporate Dude Love phase", if memory serves) he started wearing his false teeth again. His wife was enormously put off by this.
    • A straighter example would be the end of the infamous "I Quit" match with The Rock. Mankind realized afterward that not only was "I quit" something he would never say, but he was actually unconscious when he supposedly said it. He realized it was a recording of him saying it during a pre-match taunt.
  • Stylistic Suck: Dude Love's TitanTron video was full of all sorts of cheesy, obsolete green-screen effects.
  • Stepford Smiler
  • This Means War: In the WWF/E, Cactus Jack became Mick Foley's last resort. DO NOT PISS OFF MRS. FOLEY'S BABY BOY.
    • One of the greatest moments of his career was when he did a TitanTron segment as both Mankind and Dude Love, while Triple H watched, confused, in the ring. When Foley announced that Cactus Jack was back, Triple H looked scared out of his mind. That's how you put someone over.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: As Mankind, he'd curl up at the corner of a ring before a match, rocking back and forth and letting out pig-like squeals.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: He even flats out admits this in his first book.
    • Reality Is Unrealistic: During the infamously bad "Lost in Cleveland" skits, an actress was used to play Foley's wife because the bookers felt people wouldn't buy Cactus Jack's wife being that hot. Colette(his actual wife) didn't think that was funny.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: At the 1999 Royal Rumble event, Foley took ten unprotected chair shots to the head during his "I Quit" Match with The Rock. The Rock wasn't supposed to keep on hitting him, and Mick himself classified the match as "having gotten away" from both of them; i.e. they both got caught up in the drama and neither was willing to end it before the scheduled finish. The Rock didn't apologize to Foley for his actions, and this later became a bitter sticking point on Foley's part, though he said that when he eventually confronted The Rock about it, The Rock thought that he had checked on Foley after the match, and was very upset upon realizing he hadn't.
    • It's easy to see why Rock would think he apologized; in Beyond the Mat, there's footage of Rocky and Mick having a good-natured talk backstage after the match for several minutes.
    • In his second book, Foley admits both did wrong in the scenario but he was more in the wrong. Once The Rock was made aware of the situation, he apologized immediately. Foley was aware of the slight for several months but let it simmer unknown and lead him into bitterness (mostly as fuel for a Face Heel Turn during the Rock 'n' Sock Connection days against the Rock that never materialized.)
  • Unperson: Averted since his jump to TNA, though he isn't the only one, WWE has mentioned many of its stars recently, though Mick was the only one mentioned in a positive light, Michael Cole even shilled for his latest book.
  • Unusual Euphemism: As part of his general Running Gag of making fun of Al Snow whenever possible in Have a Nice Day!, Foley refers to taking a shit as "taking a Snow" and references wiping his "Avatar" (named for one of Snow's many, many failed gimmicks). In fact, Mick says that "Hardcore" Bob Holly is banned from taking part in Mick and Al's insult contests on the grounds that he can't make up an original Unusual Euphemism to save his life.

Bob Holly was actually disqualified for his lack of ingenuity. I mean, why use a common, ordinary word like 'cock', when I could tell Al to 'go fish for my one-eyed, purple-headed, blue-veined trouser trout' instead?

  • What Could Have Been: According to his second book, Wrestlemania XV was booked to have Mankind involved in the main event as part of a triple threat match with The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Reportedly, Shawn Michaels convinced the writers that the Wrestlemania main event MUST be two wrestlers and two wrestlers only. Though Michaels was lobbying for it to be Stone Cold vs. Mankind, Foley was the wrestler who got removed from the main event.
    • Next year, he managed to get into the main event by getting in a FOUR Way Match with The Rock, Triple H, and The Big Show.
    • The street fight the following year at Wrestlemania X-Seven was supposed Mick vs. Vince McMahon, as revenge for Mick's firing at the hands of Vince. Mick didn't feel confident enough in himself to do the match so the angle went to Shane McMahon and Mick acted as special guest ref instead.
    • Despite their incredible feud, Foley and The Undertaker never squared off at WrestleMania.
      • However, if Mankind had been put over Undertaker at WrestleMania (and it's very likely that it could have happened), we would not have The Streak that has been an instrumental part of the past few WrestleManias.
    • Also, Mick was supposed to be the Higher Power that the Ministry of Darkness answered to, but he didn't think he could put on a good match or feud with Austin in his current condition and declined the role.
  • Yandere: For The Rock during the Rock N Sock connection angle.
  • Worthy Opponent: In one interview, The Undertaker was asked who his toughest opponent ever was. He answered Mick Foley, without hesitation.
    • Better example is a Biography Channel program about Foley which had Undertaker interviewed out of character.
    • Terry Funk. They frequently had matches against each other, and even when things got personal, they didn't last that long before teaming up again.
  • You Bastard: The Anti-Hardcore promos in ECW.
  • You Have Failed Me...: After Corporate Dude Love failed to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF title at Over the Edge 1998, Vince McMahon fired Dude Love, causing Mick to revert to the Mankind persona. This is also why the 1998 and beyond versions of Mankind wear a dress shirt and tie.
  1. To be precise, a very large number of viewers switched from WCW to WWE to see Mick get what they considered his just rewards.
  2. Dewey is his oldest son.