This Mick Foley And Vader Match Led To One Of The Most Infamous Injuries In Wrestling

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Mick Foley is known as one of the toughest wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots. From falling off the top of Hell in a Cell and being Speared through a flaming table to being Pedigreed on thumbtacks, there was no pain Foley couldn't endure while inside the squared circle. He even lost a body part.

In 1994, Foley — competing as Cactus Jack — faced off with Vader in Germany. During the contest, Foley would run towards Vader near the ring ropes. The near 450-pounder moved out of the way. That's when, according to Foley, disaster struck.

"I launched myself into the ropes and prepared to catch my head and neck between the second and third ropes, sail my body over, and using precise timing and my own body's momentum, twist the second rope over the third," Foley wrote in his autobiography "Have A Nice Day" (via Pro Wrestling Stories). "Unbeknownst to me, 2 Cold Scorpio had wrestled in the evening's first match and had complained that the ring ropes were too loose ... so the German roadies had tightened the cables to the maximum; there was no give on the ropes at all. Instead of the normal pain that I had long ago accepted as a consequence of this exciting move, I felt as if my neck was in a vice. The ropes were squeezing the sides of my neck, and I was quickly passing out ... I felt like I was going to die right there in the Sporthalle in Munich ... I began screaming -– and I do mean SCREAMING -– for help."

Soon after being tossed back inside the ring by Vader, Foley would lose a part of his body.

Mick Foley Lost His Right Ear That Night in Germany

According to Foley, while he was in agony in the ring, he felt blood dripping down his ear and knew something wasn't right.

"This struck me as strange ... I mean, as many times as the backs of my ears had been laid wide open, they had never really bled," he noted in his autobiography. "They are made up mostly of cartilage, after all. I climbed into the ring, and the match continued. 'Nice juice, huh?' I said to Vader as he set me up for a monstrous forearm to the head. I blocked his third forearm and threw a blow of my own. When this happened, a fan's videotape clearly shows something falling off the side of my head."

According to the "Hardcore Legend," Vader apologized to Foley after the bout and rode with him to the hospital, where Foley would endure a lengthy surgery.

"I underwent a four-hour operation during which all the cartilage from the missing ear was removed and placed in a man-made pocket an inch above my remaining lobe. By doing this, the cartilage would remain vital for a reconstructive operation somewhere down the road," he wrote.

Foley may have had a lot more dangerous hardcore moments after the incident in 1994, but thankfully for him, the rest of his anatomy stayed intact, even if they took a lot of punishment.

Vader's Point Of View Of The Incident

Every time a competitor steps inside the ring, they never know what to expect. In an interview with "THE HANNIBAL TV" in 2017, Vader recalled his prospective of the infamous incident in Germany.

"It was caught in the cables, and it tore off," he said. "My hand did rip it off finally, but it was already partially torn. I just tore it off the rest of the way ... At first, I was shocked. Foley didn't blink an eye, so I'm like, 'Sh*t. Is he gonna stop, or what are we gonna do? He just lost his ear.'"

According to Vader, Foley never thought about stopping the contest. "The funny part is Mick's going, 'Hit me man, hit me' ... so I hit him, and whatever was left of that ear just flew," Vader said.

The WWE Hall of Famer also recalled the reaction of the official in the contest because of what he said to the referee when he tried to give the "Hardcore Legend" his ear back. "There's blood everywhere, and the ref went over. He looked and saw where the initial part of the ear fell off, and he went to grab it," Vader claimed. "He came up to the both of us and goes, 'Here's your ear Foley!' I think I kicked the ref in the stomach and said, 'Drop it. We'll get it later. We're in the middle of a match. What do you want us to do with that damn ear?!'"