On Saturday, April 6, 2013, three-time WWE Champion, New York Times best-selling author and Hardcore Legend Mick Foley will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame … right here, in New York City’s Madison Square Garden!
The beloved WWE Superstar who famously hitchhiked from upstate New York to MSG to watch his boyhood hero Jimmy Snuka battle Don Muraco in a Steel Cage Match is the first inductee announced for the Class of 2013. (TICKETS AVAILABLE SATURDAY AT 10 A.M. ET.)
A New York native, Foley grew up on Long Island in the 1970s, fantasizing about one day becoming a charming and attractive WWE Superstar known as Dude Love. His sports-entertainment career took a very different path, though, as he grew to become Cactus Jack, a lawless maniac from Truth or Consequences, N.M., who put his body through unspeakable trauma in the pursuit of mayhem.
Foley gained national attention in WCW in the early ’90s where his physical wars with Vader and Sting earned him repute as one of the genre’s most exciting brawlers. (MORE ABOUT FOLEY vs. VADER) But it was in the macabre underworld of Japanese Hardcore Matches that the madman became a cult hero. Sports-entertainment fans across the globe traded grainy VHS tapes of Foley battling sadistic opponents in rings littered with barbed wire, broken glass and even C4 explosives. By the time he reemerged in the American wrestling scene in ECW, the videos had turned him into the most dangerous grappler on the planet.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross helped bring Foley into WWE in 1996 where he was reinvented as Mankind, a demented sociopath who lurked in boiler rooms and hid his scarred face under a leather mask. Mankind was every bit as reckless as Cactus Jack — perhaps even more so. That was made clear at 1998’s King of the Ring event where he was thrown from the roof of the Hell in a Cell and plummeted 20-feet through an announce table below in what was the single most shocking visual in sports-entertainment history. (WATCH)
Somewhat unexpectedly, Foley’s willingness to sacrifice his body for entertainment’s sake endeared him to WWE fans. With that, the twisted, frightening Superstar revealed himself as a goofy, intelligent lug who wrote the tender, best-selling biography “Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks” and set a ratings record when he hosted a hilarious version of “This Is Your Life” with The Rock on Raw in 1999. (WATCH) On the emotional night when Foley realized his childhood dream of winning the WWE Title, it felt like a victory not just for Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy, but for the entire WWE Universe. (WATCH)
Mick Foley retired from full-time competition in 2000, although he would return to action on multiple occasions over the next decade — most famously to battle Edge in a blistering Hardcore Match at WrestleMania 22. (WATCH MICK FOLEY'S HARDCORE MOMENTS) Still, Foley has stayed busy, performing standup comedy, publishing multiple books — most recently with the children’s holiday tale “A Most Mizerable Christmas” — and leading a team into battle at the 2012 Survivor Series. But The Hardcore Legend’s unique legacy as a Superstar who was somehow dangerous, goofy and intelligent all at once was cemented long ago.
Want to be in attendance when Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy joins the WWE Hall of Fame? Tickets for the Induction Ceremony go on sale to the general public this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. ET, and will be available at the MSG box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, various Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Ticket prices range from $50 to $150.