Jim Ross (commentating): Deranged. That's the word most often used to describe Mankind. The path of carnage that he has carved through the World Wrestling Federation has made Mankind one of the most feared and hated superstars in the WWF. What makes a man love pain so much, that he willingly mutilates his own body? Over the next few weeks I'm going to take you on a different kind of oddysey. A 26 year journey of a young boy named Mick Foley; boyhood dreams turned into a living hell...
Jim Ross: What do you think the biggest misconceptions are that the WWF fans have when as it relates to Mankind?
Mankind: That I'm a bad person. Jimmy, there's plenty of good reasons to hate me, I just don't want people to hate me for untruths, and partial truths, and rumors. You see when I was a kid I played cowboys and indians. Now who were the good guys? The cowboys coming over the hill, to rape, pillage innocent women and children? I was always the indian kid, in that I always stood for the underdog. If that makes me a bad person, standing up for what I believe in, then I guess you got me dead to right, I'm a bad man.
Jim Ross (commentating): Mick Foley wasn't like the other boys. He embraced physical pain as friend and companion.
Mankind: I was eight years old, at Minnesocke elementary school, playing a game of kill the guy with the ball. Which may even be an Olympic sport these days. And in chasing one of the other students, I made a leap for his legs, and the back of his foot kicked me in the lip. And I didn't know what happened, I knew it hurt Jimmy, I knew it hurt bad. But all of a sudden people started looking at me in a different way, like there was something wrong with me. I looked down at my Chicago Bears, back in the day when they were two and twelve in the waining days of Dick Butkis, on my Chicago Bears white sweatshirt suddenly turned red. And children were running from me, scared, and I was bleeding and I was in pain...and I was loving it! Because I felt like I had finally found something that I liked that I could do better than everybody else...handle pain. Someone said "Ah that's just vampire blood" and then saw the open wound, from which the blood was flowing. I still got that shirt Jimmy, and I remember thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could do something in my life...where I can do this all the time. Get that attention every night. Stock brokers can't do it. Teachers can't do it. The President of the United States can't bleed for a living!!" But pro wrestlers can. It's the first time that I realized that I had a calling in life and I followed it right down the line. That's all I wanted to do. My brother and I watched them all...Chief Jay Strongbow, Bruno Samartino, the Valiant Brothers... that's what we wanted to be. Then I broke his nose by backdropping him into his bedroom wall and Mom said no more wrestling. But she didn't say no more dreaming.
Jim Ross (commentating): Mick Foley continued to pursue his dream, but he paid a heavy price. The emotional scars of a strange childhood are still evident.
Mankind: You know I want to tell my son, when he gets to be fifteen. Not to be the guy, eat strange things. I never exactly brought it upon myself...other people in their cliques, for lack of a better word, they would gang up on me because I was different, because I acted different, because I looked different. They were throwing worms at me, Jimmy, little wiggly worms they were throwing at me. Bending down in atheletic class, doing my hurdler's stretch, and there was a bombardment of worms being thrown at me. So what do you do to retaliate me, do you throw the worm back? Seven or eight people? It's not the fact that they were hurting me, they were wounding my pride. They were looking at me like I was garbage. So I picked up the largest specimen, Jimmy, and I sucked it down!! To show them that there attempts to hurt my pride would not be successful. I thought, Jimmy, that I had shown them. But then sure enough, the story became exaggerated, as everything in life does, and it no longer became "Well Mickey Foley ate one worm because some kids were picking on him", it became "Mickey Foley eats a plate full of worms every day" Do you think I got many dates after that Jimmy?
Jim Ross: Probably not.
Mankind: Do you think girls wanted to kiss a boy who had worms on his breath? I'm a good kisser! But I never got the chance to show it!! What am I gonna do, practice on myself Jimmy? I never had the chance to show the world that I could love and be loved. Because they ruled me out because I had a strange appetite for strange thing. I'm not gonna say that I didn't accept money to eat other strage things, but the fact is the damage had been done and I went through my entire high school days without date number one! You don't think that scarred my soul? Well maybe you're not looking deep enough.
Jim Ross (commentating): Next week we'll look deep into Mankind's scarred soul. He'll share his unfulfilled boyhood dream to become Dude Love, a wrestler not unlike Shawn Michaels. Also Mick Foley's disturbing physcological evolution, including his years as Cactus Jack.
Mankind: I was the death match champion and I had the ability to make people sick!!
Jim Ross (commentating): Later tonight, we'll look further into the psyche of Mankind. Last week we told you about the strange childhood of Mickey Foley, a young with a niche for pain and an appetite for worms.
Mankind: I picked up the largest specimen, Jimmy, and I sucked it down!!
Jim Ross (commentating): On the surface, young Mickey Foley was just like the other boys. He even played high school lacrosse, but Mickey played goalie without the benefit of pads.
Mankind: Losing the chest protector was not enough, and I began to tempt fate, tempt certain pain even more. I removed my protective cup. And, Jimmy, I'm not going to say I didn't pay the price one May morning, because I did, I went down like I'd been shot. I remember the girls field hockey team watching me, as they strapped ice packs to my affected area and shipped me off in an ambulance. The doctors said that it would be at least three weeks before the swelling would go down and I could go back to school. But even though my testicle was the size of a grapefruit, I made it back to school the next day!! It was the only time in my high school years that I remember girls looking at my genital region. I considered that the greatest day of my high school days!!
Jim Ross (commentating): In the next hour, we'll take you back to October 17, 1983, Madison Square Garden. It was a defining moment in a young man's life.
Mankind: It took just about all the money I had in the world, but I got a front row seat. And I saw the move that would change my life...
Jim Ross (commentating): There is no simple explanation for why a man becomes deranged. From childhood, Mickey Foley's affection for pain made him different. Despite coming from a loving and caring household, he was not at home. Mickey Foley was searching for a place to belong.
Mankind: It was 1983 in upstate New York where it might be a nice place for a lot of boys, but not Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco were in a cage in October. Madison Square Garden, that's where I wanted to be!! I didn't want to ride horses along a field. I didn't want to fish for trout in a stream. I wanted to be where the blood and guts were, Jimmy. So I put out my thumb, Jimmy, and it took sixteen or seventeen hours, but I made my way to the Garden. It took just about all the money I had in the world, but I got a front row seat, and I saw the move that would change my life...when Jimmy Snuka came off the top of the cage. I saw people stand up, and I saw people cheer, and I knew that I wasn't the only person who's life was changed in that arena. I realized, Jimmy, that I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to hear people cheer for me for some act of bravery that I commited. I wanted to hear, see people's emotions. I wanted to see children cry out of love for me and the things I could do inside of the ring. That's my first time in Madison Square Garden and my parents weren't there. I did it just about like I've done everything else in my life, all by myself.
Jim Ross (commentating): That's when Mickey Foley developed an alter-ego. A superstar with the athelicism of Jimmy Snuka and the sex appeal he so desperately wanted in high school.
Mankind: I made a movie when I was eighteen. About myself, maybe as a type of escape, where I was a wrestler. And it's strange, the first time I ever met Shawn Michaels, you know him.
Jim Ross: Oh yes, very well.
Mankind: He looked at my scarred and battered body. He didn't know me, but he knew the legend of who I was before. He said, "Is this the way you always visioned yourself?", looking somewhat down on me. And I said, "No, you know, the strange thing is I always imagined myself being you." And he said to me, "The champ..." I said, "No, I mean, the girls, the jewelry, the tattoos, the love." So in my movie, I was not Mick Foley, I sure as hell wasn't Mankind. I was Dude Love.
Mankind: And during the corse of the movie, dating back to my experience in Madison Square Garden, I decided I was going to do something heroic. I was going to do something to make people cheer for me. So I ascended up onto my friend's roof, and I dove off.
Jim Ross (commentating): Ironicly, Dude Love gave Mick Foley his first break. It became an underground hit and somehow wound up in the hands of wrestling great Dominick Dinuche. Dinuche admired Mick's guts more than his skill and took him under his wing. Every weekend for the next two years, Mick traveled 800 miles round trip. Eating and sleeping in the back seat of his '79 Ford Fairmont, still hoping to realize his dream.
Mankind: I knew I wasn't ready to be Dude Love yet. I never wanted to be Cactus Jack. I figured, here is a horrible name for a horrible wrestler. And by golly, as soon as I get the ability, then I'll get that heart tattoo on my chest and I'll put those earrings in, and I'm gonna get the girls. It never really worked out that way did it Jimmy?
Jim Ross: Not quite.
Mankind: I guess nature didn't cooperate with me. Cactus Jack was supposed to be around for three months. He stayed for eleven years.
Jim Ross (commentating): Next week, Mickey Foley becomes Cactus Jack. Eleven years in a sadistic sub-culture of nails, barbed wire, and bombs. A lost soul still searching for a place to belong.
Mankind: I walked out the first time I saw barbed wire strung up in place of ring ropes. I said, "I'm finally home!! Mrs. Foley's little boy is finally home!!"