Mick Foley Explains Why He Hated The Mankind Gimmick

Mick Foley as Mankind poses in ring

WWE Hall Of Famer Mick Foley gained worldwide fame after debuting in WWE as the deranged Mankind. However, he has now revealed one thing that made him hate the character.

Before signing with WWE in the spring of 1996, Mick Foley had built his reputation as the ‘Hardcore Legend’ through his time wrestling as Cactus Jack in Death Matches of Japan, ECW, and even brutal bouts in WCW. One of the most infamous incidents of his career happened during a European tour with the latter company when he lost his ear during a match with Vader.

However, when he joined WWE, Vince McMahon wanted him to do something different from the gimmick he had crafted over years. Instead, the WWE Chairman asked him to don a leather mask and become Mankind.

During a recent interview on Talking Tough, the former WWE Champion opened up on why he hated the Mankind character.

“I hated that character because the mask was so… It really constricted my breathing, you know? With the leather underneath the nose. I needed as much oxygen as I could suck in anyway. But it came about because Jim Ross was a big advocate of mine, and Mr. McMahon was never interested in me.

Foley went on to explain that McMahon didn’t think he “looked like a star”, but eventually gave in and hired him on the condition he cover up his face.

“He thought I didn’t look like a star. And finally, my name came up in 1995, in the fall, he slammed it on the table, and he said, ‘Alright, I’ll bring him in, but I’m covering up his face.’ And that’s how I got my foot in the door, and luckily, as time went by, he kind of found out I had an interesting real-life story to tell.

“So, I was able to inject a lot more realism into that character and it really was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

Mick Foley would go on to have an incredible run in WWE that saw him in feuds against top stars such as The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and The Rock. During his time in the promotion, he also became a three-time WWE Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.