Mick Foley/Submitted

By Noah Velasco | April 15, 2022

Mick Foley experienced concussions, the loss of multiple teeth and a piece of his ear, a surgically repaired knee four times, 351 stitches and broken bones.

He truly earned the name “Hardcore Legend.”

A World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Famer, Foley is returning to Arizona to share anecdotes from his storied career as part of his Nice Day Tour at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy on Wednesday, April 20.

Foley stops by the state where he defeated Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson back in 1999 in Tucson. The two brawled throughout the Tucson Convention Center for the championship belt. Foley won the match and defeated Johnson for the second time and cites it as one of his cherished memories from Arizona.

The Nice Day Tour was created to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Foley’s 1999 autobiography “Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks” before the COVID-19 pandemic derailed his plans.

With the current climate improving, Foley returned to the road.

“I just thought it’d be a nice way to let people know I’d be bringing those stories that they read in their childhood to life on stage,” Foley says. “It’s been great to see so many happy faces. It’s really nice to be out there. The crowds have been really responsive.”

Growing up, Foley was inspired to become a professional grappler after watching Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka wrestle at Madison Square Garden.

Gaining notoriety in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), he wrestled under the persona Cactus Jack, a brutish and vicious fighter who often used dangerous items like thumbtacks, barbed wire and other weapons in the ring. He continued with Cactus Jack throughout various professional wrestling organizations in the United States and Japan.

Foley eventually made his way to the WWE, even though Chairman Vince McMahon wasn’t a big fan. That led to the Mankind moniker and his dark, creepy and deranged personality who performed extreme stunts. His third character, Dude Love, was workshopped by Foley as a teenager. The character was a laidback and groovy hippie with breezy lingo. Together the three formed the “Three Faces of Foley.”

Foley is infamous for a moment in a Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker. The Hell in a Cell match remains one of professional wrestling’s most dangerous matches, as the two combatants fought inside a 16-foot, five-sided steel cage surrounding the ring with no disqualifications.

The 1998 match between Mankind and The Undertaker began with the two climbing to the top of the cage. On top of the cage’s roof, they threw punches and swung steel chairs before creating one of WWE’s most iconic moments.

After getting pummeled by The Undertaker, Mankind stumbled toward the edge of the cage. The Undertaker then glanced at the announcer’s table below before throwing the 300-pound Mankind through the table and onto the concrete floor.

Backstage staff pleaded with Foley to stop the match as he was getting carried off on a stretcher. To the audience, commentators and staff members’ surprise, within 5 minutes of the fall, Mankind stepped off the stretcher and quickly climbed back on top of the cage to meet his opponent.

Again the two brawled and again Undertaker threw Mankind through the roof of the cell and slammed hard onto the mat. The Undertaker won the match.

“I was lucky I had really good chemistry with all the top stars in the attitude era worked,” Foley says. “I worked really well with Undertaker.”

By the end of the match, Foley sported missing teeth, multiple stitches under his lip, a dislocated jaw and shoulder, a concussion and a bruised kidney.

This was one of many stunts Foley performed throughout his time as a professional wrestler.

“I was drawn to that theatrical element and the idea of taking people for a little emotional ride,” Foley says.

He also recalls a stop at Wrestlemania 22 when Cactus Jack competed against fellow Hall of Famer Edge in a hardcore match that featured barbed wire, thumbtacks and a flaming table.

Insane stunts defined Foley’s career. Because he wasn’t the strongest or most athletic grappler, he turned to wicked acts to make up for it. Foley adopted and embraced it.

Foley feels he deserved more recognition for a 1996 boiler room brawl against The Undertaker. The match highlighted Foley’s unorthodox style of using props and the surrounding environment to methodically attack his opponent.

“That would have been great if it was shot as a cinematic match. So, I consider that my unloved stepchild of matches,” Foley says.

The Nice Day Tour includes tales such as these and other in-depth behind-the-scenes stories from his time in the ring. Foley said he believes his appearances generally attract those families with his career. Those not in the know enjoy it as much — if not more.

“Well, if they’re not familiar with me, chances are they’d only be seeing the show and buying a ticket for their significant other, but I do try to make it a lot of fun for the nonfans. They almost always have a much better time because they’re expecting wrestling stories,” Foley says. “But I think I tell interesting stories that are you know, wrestling stories, but also little stories about life.”

Mick Foley

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20

WHERE: Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, 5350 E. High Street, Phoenix

COST: Tickets are $30 and $75

INFO: az.houseofcomedy.net