The hardcore legend had three personas in the company during his active days known as The Three Faces of Foley. The first was Mankind, followed by Dude Love, then Cactus Jack. Each one had a unique personality and wrestling style. Foley was more successful as Mankind, holding the Hardcore, Tag Team and WWE Championship while donning the gimmick.
During his recent appearance on Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show, Mick Foley said Mankind was his favorite because the character connected with people who didn’t feel like they fit in.
“I love being Cactus,” Foley said. “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. 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 on his match with Randy Orton at WWE Backlash in 2004
At WWE Backlash 2004, Mick Foley, as Cactus Jack, faced Randy Orton in a hardcore match for the Intercontinental Championship. The WWE Hall of Famer regards it as his favorite match of his career.
Mick Foley reflected on the bout, stating that it meant a lot to him on a personal level.
“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.”
Mick Foley's battles with Randy Orton helped solidify Orton's status as The Legend Killer. Their feud was a classic tale of the older generation versus the new. Mick Foley took up the part of the sympathetic, underdog veteran who still had some fight left and played the role to perfection. Meanwhile, Orton was the brash upstart who had no respect for the hardcore legend. The two superstars had spectacular chemistry together and their matches helped showcase some of the best work of Mick Foley's legendary career.