Born in Bloomington, Indiana (which I live VERY near to) on June 7, 1965, Mick Foley was a....shall we say, "unusual" child. He discovered at a very early age that he loved pain. He was tormented throughout his school days and felt he never recieved the love & respect that he deserved. While in high school, Mick made a home video of himself wrestling under the name of "Dude Love". Dude Love was a heartthrob, much like Shawn Michaels is today, which filled the void left by the scorn of Mick's peers. On this video, Mick emulated his idol, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, and his jump from the top of a steel cage onto Bob Backlund by leaping from the roof of his house onto an "opponent" lying on a mattress. Somehow, this home video managed to find it's way into the hands of Dominic Denucci, leading to Mick's pro career.
Denucci trained Mick, and "Cactus Jack Manson" debuted on June 24, 1983 with a victory over Kurt Kaufman. Mick never forgot his character of Dude Love, however, and it would be showing up again later in his life.
Cactus Jack appeared in the CWA as a member of the "Stud Stable", and won the tag titles there with Gary Young. The remainder of the Stud Stable turned on Cactus & Young, and they lost the belts on November 7, 1988, to Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden. Cactus & Young dropped a loser-leaves-town match on November 20, leading to Cactus' appearance in World Class.
Upon his debut in World Class, Jack joined Gen. Skandor Akbar and began to team with Zodiac II. They defeated World Class Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett and Kerry Von Erich on May 30, 1989 for the titles, but lost them 10 days later. On August 4, Cactus and Cpl. Braddok defeated Jeff Jarrett and Matt Bourne for a second tag title reign, but this only lasted for one week. Mick left World Class not long after this defeat, and moved up to the "big time" of the NWA.
Cactus teamed with Kevin Sullivan in the NWA, and they battled Abdullah the Butcher & Norman the Lunatic. This tour of NWA was rather uneventful for Cactus, and he left for UWF. Teaming with "Cowboy" Bob Orton against Sunny Beach & Stevie Ray, Cactus appeared on UWF's Beach Brawl pay per view on June 9, 1991, but came out on the losing end of that encounter. It was around this time that Cactus began to garner a sizeable number of fans. He began to use the Double-Arm DDT in 1991, and it was so powerful that it became his finishing move for the next 5 years.
Also in 1991, Cactus feuded with Eddie Gilbert in what was one of the best feuds of 1991. Their brutal feud came to a head when they battled 3 times in one night, once in a falls count anywhere match, once in a stretcher match, and once in a steel cage match. Shortly after these matches, Cactus hedaed to the Global Wrestling Federation in yet another stable, this one being the Boss's Cartel. It included Rip Rogers, Muckan Singh, Scotty Anthony (known to fans today as Raven), and Cactus. Their goals were the tag team titles, but they were unable to capture them. Soon after this, Cactus headed back to WCW.
Cactus debuted as an ally of Abdullah the Butcher, and battled alongside Abdullah, Big Van Vader, and the Diamond Studd (known today as Scott Hall), against Sting, El Gigante, and the Steiner Brothers in what was termed the "Chamber of Horrors". A short feud with Van Hammer was followed by a brutal feud with Abdullah for Cactus. Not long after this feud ended, Cactus began a series of matches with Big Van Vader. It was this series of matches which would change Cactus forever.
In April, Vader powerbombed Cactus on the concrete floor, causing a concussion and amnesia. Soon after this, Cactus disappeared from sight. A series of interviews began involving a search for Cactus Jack. Once he was found living with homeless people, he was discovered to have no recollection of ever wrestling, nor of his family. He returned to save the British Bulldog from an attack by Vader & began another feud with him. This culminated with a Texas Death Match at Halloween Havoc 1993. In Germany, while wrestling Vader, Cactus's head was caught in the ring ropes, and, while freeing himself, 2/3 of his ear was torn off. Rather than have the ear reattached, Cactus returned to the USA for a tag title match.
Cactus and Kevin Sullivan defeated the Nasty Boys for the WCW Tag Team Titles, but lost them soon afterwards. This led to a feud between the two, and Cactus lost a loser-leaves-WCW match to Sullivan. Following this loss, he wrestled in Japan and Tennesee's SMW, as well as ECW, where he was to make the biggest mark.
At the start of his ECW tenure, Cactus had a bloody series of matches with Sabu. Following this, he teamed with a rookie named Mikey Whipwreck and they won the tag team titles from the Public Enemy. Not long after this, Kevin Sullivan came in to ECW, allegedly as Jack's tag team partner, but he eventually turned on him, reprising their WCW feud. He was able to eliminate Sandman from competition for a while due to a concussion, but was later attacked by Sandman, along with DC Drake and Terry Funk. After defeating Funk, he embarked on a series of brutal title matches with Sandman, one of which was a barbed-wire rope match. Although Cactus won this match and was declared ECW World Champion, Bill Alfonso reversed the referee's decision. Cactus was popular with the fans during his ECW stint, until he teamed with Tommy Dreamer & the Pitbulls in August of 1995 and DDT'ed Dreamer. Not long after this, Cactus defeated 911, breaking the giant's unbeaten streak.
He continued wrestling in ECW until April 1996, when he defeated Mikey Whipwreck in his farewell match. After doing the Fargo Strut with Stevie Richards & the Blue Meanie, Cactus cut an interview stating that he was no longer going to wrestle as Cactus Jack...or so we thought.
On Monday Night Raw, the night after Wrestlemania 12, Mankind was set to make his debut. He defeated Bob Holly relatively easily, unveiling a new finishing maneuver, which he called the Mandible Claw. If you haven't seen it before, it involves pressing the index/middle fingers down on the packet of nerves underneath the tongue, causing paralyzing pain. Later in this same show, Mankind ran out during the Undertaker/Justin Hawk Bradshaw match and attacked the Undertaker, setting off a brutal feud. They battled at King of the Ring '96, as well as at Summerslam 1996. The latter was entitled a "Boiler Room Brawl" match, which began in the arena's boiler room and was won by the first man to retrieve Paul Bearer's urn. No holds barred, it was one of the most brutal matches in WWF history. At the end, the Undertaker beat Mankind to the ring, but Paul Bearer refused to give him the urn. Bearer attacked him, then handed the urn to Mankind, turning on his longtime protege.
Following Summerslam, Mankind was declared the number 1 contender to the WWF title, and faced Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games. This match was one of the most brutal, as well as the best, in WWF history. Mankind was defeated, with the Undertaker's interference. Mankind and the Undertaker were set to battle in an "unsanctioned" match that was entitled a "Buried Alive" match. The only way to win was to incapacitate your opponent to the point at which you could put him in a "grave" and bury him alive. The Undertaker won this match, but Mankind got the last laugh, as he and several other heels buried the Undertaker alive. The Undertaker was "reborn" following this match, leading to another showdown between him and Mankind. The Undertaker won this match, all but ending their feud. At the Royal Rumble '97, Mankind was one of the last 10 men in, and began to battle with his old rival Terry Funk. They eliminated each other, but continued to brawl on the floor.
Mankind and Paul Bearer's newest protege, Mankind's old nemesis Vader teamed up to battle the WWF tag team champions Owen Hart and the British Bulldog at Wrestlemania 13. Mankind applied the Mandible Claw to the British Bulldog, but Owen & Davey Boy kept the titles. The Undertaker won the WWF title at this same event, paving the way for Mankind to recieve a title shot at In Your House: Revenge of the Taker. He was pinned, but his manager was burned in the face by the Undertaker. At the next In Your House, Mankind defeated Rocky Miavia in what was all but a useless filler match.
Mankind was profiled in a series of interviews with Jim Ross, talking about his history as Cactus Jack, and basically what I've talked about in this biography. This was the beginning of Mankind's face turn, and he was pushed to the King of the Ring tournament. Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated him after a Pedigree through a table, setting off a brutal feud. They battled at In Your House: Canadian Stampede, ending in a double countout. Neither man was satisfied, however, so they continued battling throughout the arena and out into the parking lot.
Not long after this, Mankind, who had been lobbying to be chosen by Steve Austin to be his tag team partner, was attacked by Austin. The next week, Austin was to wrestle with a mystery tag team partner for the WWF Tag Team Titles. This partner turned out to be none other than Mick Foley, but not as Mankind, as his old persona of Dude Love! Dude and Austin won the tag team titles, and held them until In Your House: Ground Zero, when they were forced to relinquish them due to an injury to Austin. At Summerslam, however, Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley wrestled in a cage match. During this match, Mankind dropped an elbow on Helmsley...FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE! The crowd was stunned. This signaled the virtual end of Mankind, as he wrestles as Dude Love more now.
On WWF Raw from Madison Square Garden, Dude Love was to wrestle Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a Falls Count Anywhere match, but he came on the TitanTron saying he doesn't do that style of match, but knew someone who did. When he made this statement, Mankind walked out and sat beside him. He said that he didn't wrestle those kinds of matches either, but that he too knew someone who did. As he said this, out walked none other than CACTUS JACK, who proceeded to defeat Helmsley in a brutal, brutal match.
Later, on Raw, Dude Love was assaulted by Kane. The next week, Mankind requested a match with Kane at Survivor Series. When this was denied by Commissioner Slaughter, Mankind slapped him with the Mandible Claw. Mankind eventually secured an "un-sanctioned" match with Kane, where, despite a strong showing by m' main mandible, Mankind, Kane eventually defeated him.
Soon after his confrontation with Kane, Dude Love was brutally attacked by the New Age Outlaws, breaking his ribs on a table. The next week, as Mankind, he was locked in a freezer by the Outlaws. This was the final straw, and his mind finally snapped, releasing the persona of Cactus Jack once again. In his return as Cactus Jack, Foley brought along some "help" against the Outlaws...Chainsaw Charlie, also known as TERRY FUNK!
Cactus & Chainsaw terrorized the Outlaws for the next several weeks. This culminated in a match between the two teams on Raw. This was a brutal brawl that ended with Chainsaw moonsaulting onto Road Dog...with CHAIRS STACKED ON TOP OF HIM.
This was far from the end of this feud, however. Merely the next week, during a scheduled match between Chainsaw & Cactus - which was set merely because they enjoy pain - Chainsaw & Cactus both ended up in a dumpster (after Cactus elbowdropped Chainsaw from the TitanTron into the dumpster), allowing the Outlaws to run out, shut them inside the dumpster, and push it OFF THE EDGE OF THE RAMPWAY! This 10-foot drop caused what appeared to be a serious injury to both Foley & Funk. Both returned that same week, and wrestled at In Your House: No Way Out in the 8-man tag team main event, teaming with Steve Austin & Owen Hart against Hunter Helmsley, the New Age Outlaws, and Savio Vega (a last minute replacement for the injured Shawn Michaels). At one point in the match, Cactus was wrapped in barbwire, and pummeled by the other team.
Cactus & Chainsaw, now referred to as the "Hardcore Legends", continued to stalk the Outlaws, bashing in their car window with ball bats and stringing Road Dog up by his ankles, among other attacks. The Outlaws fought back, and a Dumpster match was set for Wrestlemania. The way to win was to put both members of the opposing team inside a dumpster and shut the lid (similar to a casket match).
At Wrestlemania, the Dumpster match turned into an all-out brawl, as it was expected to. At one point, both Cactus & Badd Ass were knocked off a ladder, over the ropes, into the dumpster. The two teams eventually brawled to the back, where Cactus placed both Outlaws on a forklift. Chainsaw then used the forklift to place them inside a second dumpster, then shut the lid and lowered the forklift on top, trapping the Outlaws inside. Chainsaw & Cactus had apparently won the tag titles!
However, the Outlaws found a loophole. They protested that, since they were placed in a second dumpster, the match should be thrown out. The officials decided to compromise, and a cage match between the Outlaws & the Hardcore Legends was set for Raw is War. Partways through, Degeneration-X came out, with their newest member, X-Pac, and made their way inside the cage. They helped the Outlaws defeat the Legends, handcuffing Chainsaw to the ring and beating Cactus brutally. The next week on Raw, Cactus came out and gave a very intense interview. He stated that, during the cage match, he came to a decision. Due to the fans' chanting of "Austin! Austin!" as he was being beaten by Degeneration-X, he was going to make sure that the fans "won't see Cactus Jack for a long, long time."
The next week, Steve Austin challenged Vince McMahon to a WWF title match, and Vince accepted. Before the match could come off, however, Dude Love made his return to the WWF, halting the match and attacking Austin. The following week, Dude was shown to be McMahon's "corporate champion" that Austin refused to be. Dude was pushed to the WWF title shot at In Your House: Unforgiven, where he lost a rather good match to Austin.
Following this loss, Dude was berated by McMahon for the loss. He was eventually given a second chance, and was told to beat his longtime friend, Terry Funk, to earn a second title shot. He did, in one of the most hardcore matches in Raw's history. For this second title shot, this time at In Your House: Over The Edge, the deck was completely stacked against Austin. McMahon was the special guest referee, and his "lieutenants" Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco were the ring announcer and timekeeper, respectively. Austin won this match as well, after Dude blasted McMahon with a chairshot.
After this defeat, Foley was told that "his services were no longer needed" by McMahon, but this turned out to be a ruse. Mick's longtime nemesis, the Undertaker demanded a WWF title shot on this same Raw. McMahon told him that he could earn one by defeating his brother, Kane. During this match, Mick made his return, but this time as MANKIND, costing Undertaker the loss.
Soon after this, a Hell in the Cell match was set between Undertaker and Mankind for King of the Ring. 2 weeks prior to King of the Ring, a tag team battle royal to determine the top contenders to the WWF tag titles was won by Mankind and his new ally Kane.
At King of the Ring, Mick put on what may have been the best match of his career, with some of the most hardcore bumps he's taken in his WWF tenure thus far. Early on, he was thrown from the TOP of the Cell, through the Spanish announcers' table!!! (why is it always the Spanish announcers?) Amazingly, he was still alive after this, and ended up back on top of the cage again, where he was chokeslammed THROUGH THE ROOF. Later in the match, thumbtacks were brought into the ring, and Foley was backdropped and chokeslammed on them, ala IWA. Foley was eventually tombstoned and pinned, but the mere fact that he LIVED was amazing.
Mick returned the next week on Raw, battling "Kane" in what was scheduled to be a triple threat match for the #1 Contender spot to the WWF title. "Kane" easily defeated him, then ripped off his mask to show that he wasn't Kane, he was the UNDERTAKER! The next week on Raw, Kane and Mankind challenged the New Age Outlaws for the tag team titles, and defeated them after D-Lo Brown interfered. A rematch was set for that night, which went to a no-contest after interference from both the Nation and dX, along with the Undertaker and Steve Austin.
Mankind and Kane faced the team of Steve Austin and the Undertaker at In Your House - Fully Loaded, and lost the tag team titles to them in a hard-fought match.
The final chapter in the Mick Foley story has yet to be written, so look out, because you never know when Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack, Dude Love or Mankind) may try to kill himself next!
Credit goes to the "I'm Hardcore" Mick Foley Tribute Site for this bio.!