I don’t know how many other people out there also love pro wrestling AND Tori Amos, but since Mick Foley’s[1. I know him best as Mankind, so others my age may find that a familiar touchstone as well.] article about how Tori Amos changed his life was pretty much tailor-made for someone like me to enjoy on a lazy Saturday, I thought I’d share. I kinda love that it was also another wrestler (Maxx Payne) who introduced her music to him, and it is my firm view that lines like “my aim that night was to have the best barbed-wire match ever” improve any article they appear in. I don’t want to spoil the ending here, but you’ll find out how Foley’s repaid Tori for the inspiration she’s been to him, and it’s really rather heart-warming.
Wikipedia’s Mick Foley entry is, by the way, rather good reading, because the detached Wikipedia writing style only makes the ridiculous pro wrestling storylines it describes even more hilarious. Samples:
- “Foley began a hangman, a spot where a wrestler’s head is tangled between the top two ring ropes The spot is usually painful but safe (though in WCW the danger factor was raised slightly because their ring ropes were not actual ropes, but elevator cables encased with rubber). Unbeknownst to Foley, however, 2 Cold Scorpio had earlier complained that the ropes were too loose, resulting in the ring staff tightening the ropes to the maximum. As Foley struggled to pull himself out, he tore off two-thirds of his ear and underwent surgery later that day to reattach the cartilage from the ear to his head, so that a total reconstruction would be possible in the future. Later that year, Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan were scheduled to win the tag team titles at Slamboree in 1994. Foley had to choose between reattaching his ear or wrestling in the pay-per-view and winning the titles. Foley chose to wrestle and won his only championship in WCW. Later on, Foley was frustrated by WCW’s reluctance to work a storyline around losing his ear.”
- ”Although conventional wisdom holds that the Hell in a Cell match was responsible for Foley’s rise to main event status, live television crowds did not initially get behind Mankind because of the match. Foley decided that crowds might respond better if Mankind were more of a comedy character, and so he became less of a tortured soul and more of a goofy, broken down oaf. While Vince McMahon was in a hospital nursing wounds suffered at the hands of The Undertaker and Kane, Mankind arrived to cheer him up. Having succeeded only in irritating McMahon, Mankind unveiled a sock puppet named Mr. Socko. Intended to be a one-time joke, Socko became an overnight sensation. Mankind began putting the sock on his hand before applying his finisher, the mandible claw, stuffing a smelly sock in the mouths of opposing wrestlers. The sweatsock became massively popular with the fans, mainly because it was marketed (mostly by Jerry "The King" Lawler during the events) as being a dirty, smelly, sweaty, repulsive, and vile sock.”