Monday September 22, 2014


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WWE Hall of Famer coming to Brandon

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Mick Foley

Mick Foley is known for having many faces – from fun-loving party animal Dude Love to the hardcore brawler Cactus Jack to a demented psychopath in Mankind. But on Feb. 18, the wrestling legend will show his goofier side when he stops by The 40 in Brandon on his national “Tales from Wrestling Past” tour.

Mick’s accomplishments in the ring are extensive: in WWE, he was the first-ever Hardcore Champion, an eight-time Tag Team Champion, a three-time WWE Champion and, in 2013, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Foley says that the same thing that drew him into wrestling also drew him into doing one-man shows: a drive to entertain a crowd and make them feel emotion.
His love for wrestling in particular began when he attended an event in 1983 that featured a steel cage match between Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Magnificent Marco. During the match, Snuka jumped off the top of the cage, something unheard of at the time.

“I took careful note of the reactions of the fans,” Foley recalls in a
Journal interview. “There was just this joy among these 20,000 strangers who felt like they were suddenly part of a community, like we all realized we’d seen something special.

“On certain nights when my show’s going really well, I’d like to think that there’s that same feeling of community, and that the audience feels like they’ve not just seen a guy telling stories but have been part of something special.”

Near the twilight of his decades-long career in wrestling, Foley penned a memoir, Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. The book debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List on Nov. 7, 1999 and reached #1 a month later. Mick Foley the writer was born.

He would go on to write nine more books – three more memoirs, four children’s books, and two contemporary fiction novels.

The wrestling icon says that, for him, writing was a natural progression from wrestling because it tapped into his enjoyment of telling a story. “We (wrestlers) tell stories in the ring with our bodies and our expressions. I found that I enjoyed telling those stories on the written page as well.”

But Foley says writing differs significantly from being in the ring, in that there’s more “instant gratification” when performing live – something shared with his one-man shows – whereas penning a book is a more “solitary process” where he has to wait for word back from readers that they enjoyed his work.

But a professional wrestler writing his own autobiography was, and still is, a rare occurrence. “It seemed utterly ridiculous to the publisher,” recalls Foley. “I remember breaking the news to the publisher that I didn’t think our relationship with the ghost writer was working out, and that I thought I could do a better job myself. I was met by stunned silence.” Foley gave those publishers a chance to read some early parts he’d written.

They loved it, and a multi-time best-selling author was born.
For the last four years, Foley’s career has evolved once again – this time into the world of comedy.

“Doing these little live shows has become my creative outlet,” he explains. “It’s what I loved about telling stories on the written page combined with the rush of getting reactions from a live crowd.”

The WWE Hall of Famer admits that most of his fans are still unaccustomed to seeing him in a live comedy setting. “This is what happens every night: people show up having no idea what to expect, and then I hurdle over their bar of low expectations,” jokes Foley. “You won’t catch me bragging about much… but it’s a good show. I put my heart into it, so I’m not a guy going through the motions… I try to make it more than just a series of stories; I try to make it an overall experience, so that when people leave they feel they saw something special.”

While Foley expects most who attend the show to be wrestling fans, he says that sometimes it’s those who were brought along to the show by their spouses or significant others that enjoy the show the most. “They admit that they had no idea what to expect. They really weren’t counting on having a good time, and they like it!” He says that he “strives to create a warmth in the audience” to offset the show’s sometimes-gruesome subject matter. “I know that some of the show’s material deals with some pretty rough injuries, so if I don’t create that warmth, then it’s a shock-and-awe show, which I have no interest in doing… I feel personally responsible for sending every person going home feeling like the time and money they invested was well worth it.”

Foley’s comedy show will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at The 40. Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased at The 40.

For more information, call 204-727-3800 or visit


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