Mick Foley Recalls Initial Thoughts When WWE Pitched “Mankind” Character

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WWE Hall Of Famer Mick Foley has reflected on the origins of his legendary Mankind character.

Foley had enjoyed success around the globe by the time he put pen to paper with WWE in 1996. Foley himself has suggested previously that Vince McMahon was reluctant to sign the risk-taking former WCW World Tag Team Champion but relented after persistence from the WWE Head Of Talent Relations at time, Jim ‘J.R’ Ross.

In a recent interview on WWE’s Official YouTube channel, Foley reminisced about his first impressions when the character of Mankind was pitched to him by Vince McMahon and noted his surprise that the company would attempt to place him under a mask:

“I still remember my first meeting with Mr. McMahon, when he showered me a piece of artwork that was on the table. I thought that it was artwork designed for a new character for Max Payne.

It looked like The Man In The Iron Mask, the Alex Dumas story later portrayed in the motion picture by Leonardo DiCaprio. It was probably an hour into our talk before he showed me that illustration and said it was for me.

My first thought was, won’t this cover up my facial expressions? Mr. McMahon said, ‘It’s going to augment them.”

Mick Foley Explains Early Approach To Mankind Character

The mysterious and seemingly deranged character of Mankind would be a significant switch from Foley’s previous Cactus Jack persona, but the ‘Hardcore Legend’ has revealed that he felt a commitment to making his new in-ring identity as different as possible was the key to making Mankind a success:

“At the end of those conversations, I thought, I’m going to give this a try.

Not only a try, I’m going to put everything I have into this character and I’m going to try and make it as different as I can from Cactus Jack.

There will be a little carry over in the move set, but I’m going to have him speak differently, act differently, walk differently, feel differently.”

Foley would go on to overwhelming success as Mankind, immediately embarking upon a feud with The Undertaker upon his debut. Memorable skits with the likes of The Rock would follow alongside the Long Island native lifting the WWE Championship on 3 occasions en-route to a 2013 induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame.

H/T: WrestlingHeadlines for the above transcription