Mick Foley is one of the most beloved WWE superstars in history and a certified Hall of Famer, and rightfully so.
Foley jumped into the spotlight during the Attitude Era thanks to his three personas; Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love.
His propulsion into the heart of WWE fans came near the end of 1998 and the start of 1999 after two iconic events in sports entertainment history, 1998's Hell in a Cell when he was thrown from the top of the cell to the commentator table below by The Undertaker, and a January 1999 episode of RAW when he won the WWE title, switching the Monday Night Wars in WWE's favour.
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All three personas of Foley's are loved today by fans, but originally, Vince McMahon was not a fan of Cactus Jack.
Foley said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated that the WWE boss didn't like Cactus Jack originally, but eventually changed his mind, allowing more people who weren't exactly the typical WWE type to become stars in the company.
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He said: "Mr. McMahon, you see, was not a Cactus Jack fan. But, following a notable first year in a leather mask as Mankind, Mr. McMahon had a change of heart, and not only gave Cactus Jack the occasional opportunity in WWE, but built up the Cactus character to be my toughest and wildest incarnation of all.
"It was if he was admitting to me, and whoever out there was watching, that he just might have missed the boat on that Cactus Jack guy after all!
"In so doing–in allowing a guy who (in his opinion) didn't look like a star, Mr. McMahon just may have opened up the possibility that other unlikely prospects might find a home, and stardom inside the WWE.
"Maybe, just maybe, the lesson learned from the Cactus Jack experiment helped open the door for future WWE Superstars such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Kevin Owens–all of whom flourished in what would have been seen as a very unlikely environment a generation earlier."
So the next time you watch Kevin Owens compete on SmackDown Live, or relive past memories of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk competing in the ring for WWE on the WWE Network, just remember that it was Cactus Jack that helped get them to those spots in the first place.
Would you like to see Mick Foley have one more match in the WWE? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here! Check it out via this link. https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/gms-wwe-podcast-all-the-fallout-from-wwe-payback
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