Foley, 56, worked as three different characters during his WWE in-ring career: the deranged Mankind, the fun-loving Dude Love, and the hardcore legend Cactus Jack. As Mankind, Foley wore a leather mask and harmed himself by pulling his own hair out.
Speaking in a “WWE Biography” video on A&E’s YouTube channel, Foley said it took a while for him to adjust to Mankind’s unique look.
“I loathed it, I hated this mask,” Foley said. “I remember after my first match I just whipped it off as fast as I could, and then I started taking to it. I started residing in the boiler room for a few hours before each match. I wore it for hours before my matches. By the time it finished, it smelled so rank that I was just putting some Vicks VapoRub [medicine to fight colds] on my moustache and heading out to the ring by pulling it out as my music was playing. In those formative years, yeah, I really tried to get into the character. I wore it almost all of the time I was backstage.”
Mick Foley mostly performed as Mankind in WWE from April 1996 to January 2000. He famously appeared as all three of his WWE personas, known as “The Three Faces of Foley,” in the 1998 Royal Rumble.
Mick Foley on the importance of Mankind’s mask
Former WWE executive Jim Ross has previously spoken about Vince McMahon's belief that Mick Foley would be a failure in WWE.
Foley, who was hired by Ross, said the Mankind mask played an important role in him joining the company.
“This was the key to my hiring,” Foley added. “A lot of care went into making this. It was actually form-fitted for my face. There’s a little bit of foam rubber in there to make it a little more comfortable.”
Foley was one of the most popular WWE Superstars in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The three-time WWE Champion joined the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
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