Freddie Prinze Jr. Praises Mankind As An 'Attraction,' Recalls Classic WWE Promo

Using various outlandish personas, WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley won over countless fans throughout his WWE career. Actor and former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. is one of those many fans. On a recent episode of the "Wrestling With Freddie" podcast, Prinze praised Foley's run as Mankind in the mid-to-late 1990s.


"Just about everything they did with Mankind should have failed," Prinze said. "The fact [is] that they pulled it off at such a high level with this dude — and credit to him, because the stories and writing are ridiculous. ... It's important people understand how fine a talent Mick Foley was."

Prinze stated that Foley might not have been able to carry a Hollywood movie with his acting. However, pro wrestling requires an entirely different skill set, and Foley was able to get the audience to relate to a masked villain in a completely unexpected way.

"How the hell do you feel sorry for a serial killer with a Leatherface mask on?" Prinze asked. "But he did at the highest level, to where he came off vulnerable and scared and meek, and he just needs a friend and he looks the way he looks. To me, there are very few attraction wrestlers, ... but the one that was the most fun ... was always Mankind."


Mankind on the mic

While Foley is well-known for his risk-taking style in the ring, it can easily be argued he shined just as much while speaking. Prinze recalled one particular Mankind promo that sticks out in his memory to this day.


"That promo he did in the bowels of that arena with the rat — it was Jim Cornette's pet rat," Prinze stated. "His voice, even in that promo — he's not trying to scare anybody. He's just explaining what's going to happen."

The promo Prinze was referring to aired in the lead-up to Mankind's 1996 debut. It features the character's patented mix of near-whispering to screaming, mixing eloquence with on-the-surface instability. Over the next several years, Foley would continue to take the character to great heights, both literally and metaphorically, and eventually would capture his first world championship as the character.

Foley primarily competed as Mankind from 1996 until 2000, with some occasional appearances from alter egos Dude Love and Cactus Jack. From early 2000 until his retirement, however, he began wrestling as Jack, and then under his real name — Mick Foley. His Mankind run is best remembered for his Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker, his Empty Arena match title victory against The Rock, and his brief partnership with The Rock, known as The Rock 'N' Sock Connection.


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Wrestling With Freddie" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.