A finishing move in the world of wrestling is crucial. Something that can make or break a pro wrestler, often the coolest looking moves don't click, while something as goofy as "The People's Elbow" becomes iconic. Each wrestler has a different method to their madness when landing on their signature, match ending match up. In this new series, "Making A Finisher," Fightful.com will go in depth with wrestlers as they explain their moves, discuss how they were developed, who took it the best, the worst, why they stopped doing some of them, and the psychology behind them.
Recycling is good for the wrestling environment, too.
Mick Foley made the Mandible Claw famous two decades ago, and extended its life with the aid of a dirty sock. However, it's back in the fold and being utilized as a finishing move by "The Fiend," Bray Wyatt. Upon his return at WWE Raw Reunion, Foley handed it off in a way, as Wyatt delivered the signature hold to the man who introduced it to pro wrestling in 1996.
When speaking with Fightful about the spot, Foley said he was happy with how the segment turned out, and is glad to see his legacy being continued with the move being adopted.
"Well, let’s assume I didn’t hear and he did take it, and I have only the aftermath to judge it by. I was really impressed by it. I went back and I saw it on video. I thought it was really impressive. I thought I was in my own monster movie there. The fact that he has continued to use it, I think is a nice way to acknowledge the stuff that I did. And I’m happy that it’s there. I love when people use [my stuff]. I do. Even if it’s just a characteristic, a way of sitting, whatever. I think everyone likes to know they had some impact on the generation that followed," said Foley.
The idea of a wrestler's moves being passed on isn't always something that is taken so well. We've seen Taz express his discontent for wrestlers "taking" his moves, while Trish Stratus has told Fightful in the past that she sees it as an honor. Count Foley among the latter, although he doesn't necessarily think every characteristic from every one of his moves should be brought along for the ride.
"I do like it. The one thing that used to drive me crazy was I was actually at a WWE show, I think I was on the show a few years ago, and Wade Barrett—everyone’d say 'Wade, don’t do that. It’s not good for you, structurally speaking.' He would actually not just drop the elbow, but would do “Bang! Bang!” before he did it. And our announcers wouldn’t acknowledge it, and I’m like “I’m in your Hall of Fame! He’s saying ‘Bang! Bang!’ It’s crying out to be acknowledged!” Everyone likes to be acknowledged," said Foley.
The idea of shoving your fingers down someones throat to incapacitate them isn't something that generally comes to mind when in a bout, but served Foley well. As wild as it may seem, the dirty sock may have actually sanitized the move, as it helped provide more of an illusion, without literally having to shove digits in the mouth of an opponent. Despite the seemingly revolting nature of the move, Foley told us it only took one person to make the move okay for the rest of the roster.
"It was, I think Undertaker set the precedent where if it was okay for Taker then who else was gonna—there were a couple of people along the way thought it had like a pornographic imagery. I was like, I never really—I mean, I borrowed that move from Dr. Sam Sheppard. So, it’s not like I invented it. He was the gentleman upon whom the Fugitive TV show, followed by the movie was based. And it seemed a much safer route than the dropping an elbow on the concrete. Especially at house shows," said Foley.
You can see our full interview with Mick Foley above, and keep up with what's new in his world by checking out his official website, which has a full list of his upcoming events!