... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

545: Mick Foley, Cactus Jack

Mick Foley, Mankind - to me he'll always be Cactus Jack. My favourite wrestler since I can remember, around 1990 when he entered WCW as Cactus Jack, a heel monster to feud with Sting, the blond-haired big-money babyface at the time. He immediately provided everything I hadn't known I was looking for in a wrestler; a dark aggressive character, as good on the microphone as he was at bleeding, taking bumps, and being hit full in the face legitimately with a snow shovel by a Nasty Boy (twice in two minutes – here and here).

Sadly his time in WCW was fairly short, and I was soon to grow out of wrestling anyway. Years later, in the late 90s I again fell in love with the sport, the art, the entertainment of wrestling, and Mick Foley was now in WWF as Mankind. A heel monster who gradually changed into a human Muppet, by turns terrifying, death defying, electrifying, exciting, touching, hilarious. In all my years of watching wrestling I have never seen a more highly skilled performer.

Upon entering WWF he made these interviews in which he tells his genuine life story, but in the first incarnation of the character of Mankind; a jaded, disturbed, paranoid, self-harming monster. His improvised performance is mesmerising; Mick Foley is far far better than he need be to be a professional wrestler. As a result he was given free-reign to develop his own character, improvise interviews, and plan the course of both his matches and his career – a rare privilege in an industry dominated by steroid-addled, brain-damaged, meat-heads.

During the course of his career he has been key to many of the best matches, bumps, interviews and "bits" I have ever seen.  He has lost teeth, blood, and even an ear.  He has gained countless scars, cuts & burns, even the odd title or two.  To this day I am still the proud owner of a Cactus Jack, Wanted: Dead t-shirt.  Anyway...

This is that interview.

This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the King, Bedford, and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
-Henry V, Shakespeare

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