Eight top moments from the epic career of Mick Foley

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 30: Professional wrestler Mick Foley participates in Wing Bowl 23 on January 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 30: Professional wrestler Mick Foley participates in Wing Bowl 23 on January 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The name Mick Foley is synonymous with hardcore wrestling, but perhaps it should be synonymous with so many other facets of celebrity, as over the years he has more than broadened his horizons. No doubt he changed what hardcore wrestling is and in the process, he changed the sport of professional wrestling from what it was into what it eventually became. Without Mick Foley, the business as we know it would not exist. So in honor of that and the man himself, here are five top moments from Mick Foley’s career.

Do you like the hardcore matches you’ve been seeing on AEW TV? Well, they’re only wildly popular because of this man and his contemporaries…specifically Terry Funk and even Vader. It can be argued that Mick, Vader, and Funk were the main wrestlers instrumental in bringing that Japanese style made popular in Atsushi Onita’s Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW) to America.

Fans of the promotion will never forget Onita’s match vs. Terry Funk… no ropes exploding barbed wire time bomb deathmatch.

Onita himself, Mick, and Funk were willing to go that extra step in territories dominated by stars like Ric Flair, who doesn’t believe in hardcore wrestling at all and is vehemently against that style of pro wrestling, as he has stated in the past, and don’t worry, as we’ll get to that in the piece.

Regardless, Mick Foley made a niche for himself in a business dominated by men with 22-inch biceps and shredded abs. The only problem was, that he had to sacrifice his body in ways no other wrestler really had to, and believe me, the sport is dangerous enough.

Throughout his career he has amassed many epic moments in the industry and believe it or not, they didn’t all happen in WWE.

Originally this list was supposed to be five moments from his career, but I couldn’t keep it at just that, as his career is full of too many epic moments, so I cheated and offered up eight, and believe me, even that is nowhere near enough.

8. His entire run in TNA/Impact

After a sort of difficult period in WWE, he would go on to work for TNA. In WWE he had been given a job as an announcer and analyst, but he stated that the position came with some frustrations in the creative department, so in 2008 he let his contract expire.

His run in TNA was criticized by many but I absolutely loved it because we saw Mick wrestle again, which had been a while…his last significant run in that department had come in the form of his feud and ultimate partnership with Edge. We’ll get to that in a wee bit on this list, though.

But his run in TNA doesn’t get enough love so I figured I’d start the list with his time there in a general capacity.

7. Mick Foley vs. Edge at WrestleMania 22

In many ways, it can be argued that Mick Foley pushed Edge in ways he had never been pushed. By this point, Edge had definitely accomplished a lot, but this match took him to that next level…a level he needed to reach.

It can be argued that that grit factor that now Edge is known for came from his time feuding and ultimately joining forces with the likes of Mick Foley.

The lengths to which both men went during this match is somewhere WWE superstars never go anymore, which is what holds them in a class all their own…as well as others from their era.

6. One Night Stand 2006

After feuding with Edge, Foley would come to appreciate his former foe and the two would go on to face Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, and Beulah McGillicutty (Dreamer’s real-life wife) at this event set in place to honor the former ECW.

The match we were given was a violent work of art and showed shades of the old ECW through and through. The match blurred the lines between fact and fiction, much in the way the old ECW did in the mid to late nineties. The confrontation Foley and Funk had on Raw on May 15, 2006, was a prelude to what would be coming and it was awesome, to say the least.

5. Have a Nice Day!: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (His writing career)

As stated in the introduction to this piece, Mick Foley should be known for a heck of a lot more than just his pro wrestling career. He is an accomplished comic, the sweetest and one of the kindest gentlemen you’re likely to meet, as I can proudly say I have met him.

He kindly signed my copy of the book—his first book—and he is instrumental in my choosing a career to put pen to paper, even if he doesn’t know it. One of my earliest influences for sure.

I’m a fan of his whole bibliography, as he’s written many books. Tietam Brown, his foray into fiction, is genius, plain and simple.

4. Calls Out Ric Flair at ROH (2004)

Ric Flair once referred to Mick Foley as a “Glorified stuntman” in his book. Well, Mick would have his revenge and call out the legend in a promo that has gone down in history for fans of pro wrestling and ROH fans overall.

Mick’s time in ROH was significant to fans of the smaller promotions, especially those frustrated with the direction of WWE at that point. His time in ROH occurred between 2004 and 2005; all the while he made sporadic appearances for WWE still.

The moment in ROH not only legitimized Foley once again to fans of the smaller promotions, but it legitimized ROH, which at the time was only about 2 years old, having been founded in 2002…a big moment if you think about it; thus its placement on this list.

3. Cactus Jack vs. Vader at Halloween Havoc in a Texas Deathmatch (1993)

This match was so brutal that WCW refused to ever book the two again. (Eventually, they would though.) Even the commentators, Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura were so shocked at what transpired in that match, that they had hardly anything to say as the match continued to get underway. Talk about awkward.

But still, Texas Deathmatches today are the way they are in part because of what these two men did on that fateful night in New Orleans.

2. Kawasaki Dream Event put on by the International Wrestling Association of Japan (IWA) on August 20th, 1995

The event was held outdoors at Kawasaki Stadium and to this day, the event showcased many violent matches…many believe the most violent matches put on in pro wrestling history. Mick’s matches are also regarded as being exactly that…the most violent of his entire career, and that’s saying something, dear readers.

1. Hell in a Cell match vs. The Undertaker at King of the Ring -1998

I wrote an Undertaker list a few days ago and I didn’t include it on that list as one of Taker’s epic moments because I knew I’d be writing this one and really, as much as the match belongs to Taker as well, it has to be classified as Mick’s moment. I mean come on…as much as he sacrificed in that match!

Here’s some of what Mick Foley had to say in 2020 on the match, as well as his thoughts on today’s WWE roster and if they can match that moment:

"“Well, I mean that was the most memorable match… I wouldn’t say, I mean; I think on a lot of levels the superstars have had that much better matches inside the cell. But it’ll be tough to top that as far as being memorable. But I know that each WWE Superstar who steps in there has put a lot of thought trying to create memories that fans can rely on to for long time…”Via Mick Foley /thesportsrush.com"

Not only did he fall off of the cage and onto a table, but he fell through the cage and sustained a massive amount of injuries. The moment has been documented over and over again; a testament to why it’s such a huge moment in the realm of pro wrestling.

Next. Kenny Omega has to be involved with NJPW x AEW’s Forbidden Door in some fashion. dark

More than anything though it’s a testament to how dedicated Mrs. Foley’s baby boy was to the sport of pro wrestling and his fans. We appreciated every moment.