Monday, January 14, 2013

Hall of Fame: Foley is Good!

The 3 Faces of Foley
Cactus Jack, Dude Love, Mankind 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

Even though it hasn't officially been announced on Raw, the WWE has let the cat (or sock) out of the bag with the announcement of the first inductee into the Hall of Fame this year.  It's none other than Mick Foley.

Personally, I think this is a good call by the WWE for a number of reasons.  Obviously, Foley is worthy of the honor.  It makes sense to induct the legend in his own backyard at Madison Square Garden.  Foley has no doubt had a Hall of Fame career.  He went places in the business very few have.  I'm not going to review his resume for you, as if you're a wrestling fan (and most likely you are) you already know Foley's list of accomplishments.

Cactus Jack vs. Vader
Photo courtesy: WWE
I remember Mick Foley's early days as Cactus Jack and even Cactus Jack Manson back in his days in CWA, World Class Championship Wrestling, and the remake of UWF.  I really took notice of him when he entered WCW and began feuding with the likes of Van Hammer (why?) and Sting.  He and Abdullah the Butcher formed a creepy alliance before Jack finally turned face to feud with Vader and team with Max Payne.

Foley falls
Photo courtesy: WWE
Arguably though Foley's star rose significantly upon signing with the WWF.  When he first entered as Mankind, I had no idea he'd excel the way he did.  A couple of personal favorites for me, most notably would be the 1998 King of the Ring Hell in a Cell match with the Undertaker.  The toss from the top of the cage and through the Spanish announce table is a spot that is forever burned in my brain. He literally put his life in the Undertaker's hands that night and luckily it paid off.  JR's emotion that night helped to sell what was already one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen at a wrestling show.

Foley didn't give up though, as that was in the opening minutes of the match.  He climbed back to the top, only to be choke slammed through the top of the structure.  Again, when most guys would have been carried away, Foley came right back to fight the good fight.  He came up short in the end, but earned the admiration and respect of fans everywhere.

Foley wins the gold
Photo courtesy: WWE
Another one of my favorite Foley moments came when he won the WWF title from the Rock the first time around.  It was an unexpected surprise (despite the spoiler given by WCW Nitro)  Foley proved he was the go-to guy in the company.  Sure his body was starting to turn against him, but Foley's years of toiling had paid off.

I'm stoked to see this year's HOF ceremony at Madison Square Garden, and seeing Foley go in as a first ballot candidate will be a true pleasure.  As his book title suggests, Foley is Good!

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