Wayne's World: Dude, Love is for all Mankind! Bang, Bang!
Nov 22, 2012 - 7:50:42 AM
Welcome back one and all to the column that knows firsthand how good quiet time is once five children are tucked away in bed, my name is Wayne and you are now entering my world. To start off today I have a confession to make, I flaked out on doing the 30-day challenge for you guys this month. Don’t get me wrong, I was all pumped to do them but after getting feedback from a few readers all saying they had had enough of reading them, well I decided that the challenge was not something I should be doing. However I did start to work out what my answers were for the topics of each day and one name seemed to pop up quite often, that name was Mick Foley.
To say I am a fan of Foley would be a major understatement, just ask any member of my family who my favourite all-time wrestler is and without hesitation they will emphatically tell you Mick Foley. Now I hear all of my regular readers trying to work out how a guy who is a fan of the more technical side of wrestling, regularly citing Bret Hart, Chris Benoit and Daniel Bryan amongst his favourite wrestlers of all time and constant parts of his dream matches, could have the Hardcore Legend trump them at the top of the list. Well sit back and take note because I am going to explain why I think Mrs Foley’s Little Boy is the greatest wrestler to have ever graced the squared circle.
I didn’t start out as a fan of Mick; in fact I didn’t even know who he was until I had been watching for more than 5 years. It wasn’t until I was able to start watching Raw regularly when I was about 15-16 (1998-1999) that I found out about him, this was about the time that he was feuding with The Rock. This feud is easily up there as one of my favourite feuds of all time, the chemistry that these two men had together was phenomenal and it nearly always made for excellent viewing. Not many men can hang with The Rock when he is cutting promos on them but Mick gave as good as he got and held his own against the great one. One of the best examples of this has to be the This is Your Life segment that Mankind threw for The Rock.
It was not just their promos that were phenomenal though, there matches were just as great. The other day I re-watched the documentary Beyond the Mat (if you have not seen this doccy before I highly recommend you do, you owe it to yourself as a wrestling fan) with the wife and my eldest son Zac and seeing the footage of their famous I Quit match from the 1999 Royal Rumble (easily my favourite PPV of all time) that was shown had me begging for more. Every I Quit match I have seen since then I have compared to this match and none have ever lived up to it, this match was just that damn good. In fact I even enjoyed the Empty Arena match from half-time in the Super Bowl that year that has been panned so many times.
While I was watching the Mankind/Rock feud unfolding I was also still doing what I had always done and was watching videos of past PPV’s and through them I solidified my fandom of who at that time I only knew as Mankind. For all those early years of my viewing it was The Undertaker who held the spot as my favourite wrestler and he only finds himself relegated to a close second now because of Mick. Through going back into those older PPV’s I found another great feud the one between Mankind and The Undertaker but more importantly I found my favourite match of all time.
The match I am talking about is of course their Hell in a Cell match from King of the Ring 1998. Having both my favourite wrestlers compete in my favourite speciality match would have been enough to have clinched that spot but they even went beyond that and made it impossible to ever be beaten in my eyes. The more I hear about the match, the more respect I have for everyone that was involved in that night. The punishment Mick took that night was damn near suicidal yet he still got back up and finished a very respectable match, walked from the ring without aid from a stretcher and even got involved in the next match.
So many great moments happened in that match that it will never be forgotten. That first fall was just plain ridiculous and should not have been something that even crossed their mind to attempt, let alone do. The sight of that fall is etched into my brain (thanks WWE for the endless replays) and to this day I still don’t know how the hell he ended up getting up. But get up he did and he went back up to the top of the cage once again, and fell back to earth once more. Even with these two massive moments and with all the other brutality that happened in the match, from the cell structure to the thumbtacks, it is the camera shot of Mick sitting in the corner of the ring smiling like a lunatic with a tooth sticking out of his nose that is easily one of my favourite wrestling images of all time. That shot just seems to sum up the whole match for me, hell it just seems to sum up Mick for me, that dude is just plain crazy.
My fandom just grew and grew from there and my respect for the man increased along with it. His was the first wrestling autobiography I ever read and to this day is the only one which I have read on more than one occasion. I bought his DVD as soon as it came out all those years ago and have watched it numerous times. There is just something about a man who would put his body on the line like he did for my entertainment like that yet still seem to be for all intents and purposes seems to be a very nice guy. Honestly I have virtually never heard a bad thing said about him by anyone who knows him.
One thing though that always ate at me about me being a Foley fan was that no matter how many times I heard mention or saw clips of his famous King of the Deathmatch win from 1995 I had never seen it. I can remember constantly checking E-Bay for copies of it on DVD but I could never justify paying $50 for a single DVD that was coming from Japan which I probably couldn’t understand (in fact I think it may not have had commentary at all). Then one day I happened to find a cheaper version, which even had English commentary while I was at my Dad’s place one day and conned him into buying it for me.
To tell the truth everything I had heard about that day had not done it justice. The matches involved in that tournament were brutal (especially the ones that Terry Funk was in, but I digress) and lived up to the title of Deathmatch. The image of the bloodstained Foley holding up the trophy at the end, totally soaked in blood, is easily on par with the tooth image from the Cell match as my most favourite wrestling image. The picture just sums up what Mick would do to put on a show for the paying fans, the torture he would put his body through to send everyone home happy.
Like I said back when I was talking about The Rock it isn’t just about his wrestling he can also cut a mean promo too. There is just something in the way he speaks that just makes you pay attention. I have to use his anti-hardcore speeches from ECW as an example of what I mean, if you have not checked these out before I recommend you do. The most famous of these would have to be his “Cane Dewey” speech where he had seen a sign in the crowd which said Cane Dewey (Dewey being his 5-year old son at the time) and turned that one sign into a promo on why Tommy Dreamer should renounce his hardcore ways and leave ECW for WCW.
I could go on and on about all the different things about Mick over the years that have made me a fan of his. I could continue to talk about the things I have already talked about like his tendency to destroy his body for our pleasure, his unique voice and way he delivers a promo (you all saw it first hand when he delivered against CM Punk just a few weeks ago) or the fact that he seems to be an all-round good bloke. I could also go on to talk about other things like his ability to make whoever he is working with look like a bigger star, or his many great vignettes such as his debut as Mankind where he talked to his pet rat. Maybe I could go on about how each of his Faces of Foley were so unique and helped make him even more watchable, be it comedic or serious and how something as simple as pulling a sock from his trousers was something special. Even simple character traits like pulling his hear out to avoid pain or punching himself unconscious to avoid tapping out or the fact that he was the first holder of my favourite title belt of all time, the Hardcore Title, honestly my list goes on for a long time.
With Mick’s favourite time of year, Christmas, just around the corner I find one of my families favourite moments creeping up with it. For on Christmas Night, not long before my kids are ready for sleep, I pull down my copy of Mick Foley’s Christmas Chaos and give a joyous reading of the story keeping everyone entertained. Now with his new Christmas book out I was hoping to get it but I find with my current status of unemployment I find I may not be able to afford it but the old story still brings a lot of joy to my kids’ faces and that’s all that matters. The fact that Mick brings my family together is just the icing on the cake of why he is my favourite wrestler of all-time.
Now I know a lot of you reading this have other favourite wrestlers and I would love to hear who and why so please feel free to leave me feedback telling me. I would also like to hear other people’s reasons why Foley was good or for those out there why he was not. Well that’s it for today so until next time, Have a Nice Day!
Thanx for reading,
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