Mick Foley is one of the few professional wrestlers to find success as three distinct characters, famously performing as Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love during WWE’s Attitude Era. Foley says one of his in-ring personas holds a special place above the others.
“I love being Cactus,” Foley said during an appearance on Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show. “At the time I was doing it, I enjoyed being Dude Love for two months during the ‘Summer of Love’ [in 1997]. But when November rolled around and I was still dancing in the ring, I was like, ‘Oh. This character has run its course’. But I love being Dude Love on Cameo videos. It’s the hokiest. Dude has reinvented himself as a lounge singer. So, I do birthday songs. (Foley sings badly) So I love doing it.
“But if I had to pick one I would pick Mankind,” Foley continued. “Latter-day Mankind. And the reason is – I didn’t realize it at the time but that latter-day Mankind character was really connecting with people who didn’t feel like they fit in. So it was kind of a sense of – a source of – we’re supposed to take people’s minds off their problems and entertain. But it took me years to find out that people were connecting and felt a kinship with this guy who didn’t quite fit in but found a way to become a big deal anyway.”
Mick Foley shed his characters for his comeback run in WWE in 2004, wrestling under his real name. Foley says that run included his favorite match from his career, against Randy Orton at Backlash in 2004.
“Coming back after four years of not having a single match and teaming up with The Rock the month before, at WrestleMania, it just didn’t feel like I took my best swings,” Foley recalled. “And like, there’s nothing wrong with failing as long as you give it your best shot. And I did not feel like I gave it my best shot at WrestleMania [in] 2004. So I came back a month later and took my swings and I’ll dare say I connected. So that was my favorite match because not only was it, I thought, a great match but one that meant a lot to me on a personal basis.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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