Vince McMahon didn't want to hire Mick Foley but once he realized how charming Mick Foley could be, he did not want to be responsible for Mick Foley's reckless abandonment inside the wrestling ring.
It has often been said that Jim Ross had to convince Vince McMahon to sign Mick Foley and that Vince thought it would be a learning experience for Jim to have his heart broken when Mick Foley ultimately did not work out as a WWE Superstar. Of course, as the story goes, Mick Foley would go on to become one of the most impactful WWE Superstars of all time, working closely with Vince McMahon on numerous occasions.
When asked what he first thought of Cactus Jack prior to Mick Foley coming to WWE, Vince McMahon did not mince his words.
“I thought it was kind of degrading to our product. I thought he didn't have any talent. I thought it was déclassé,” said Vince McMahon on the Mick Foley Biography on A&E Network.
Eventually, Mick Foley would win over the boss and Vince McMahon would admit that Mick Foley is charming and had an ability to connect with an audience that very few did.
“Mick always had that connection with the audience and I never really saw before he came here. I thought, ‘Boy, We’re never going to hire that guy,’ but he did. He had that connection and very few people have that.”
By June of 1998 when Mick Foley climbs the Hell in a Cell structure to promptly get thrown off by The Undertaker at King of the Ring, Vince McMahon has developed a relationship with this performer, and now, he feels personally responsible for Mick Foley’s well-being and while Mick Foley had done many crazy stunts before that, none of them were under the watchful eye of Vince McMahon.
“Everyone was freaked out, including me. This was too far. This was like, wait a minute. You've set yourself on fire in Japan or whatever he did, but this was moreover on my watch," said Vince.
Of course, Mick Foley would continue the match and eventually fall through the Hell in a Cell structure and later, through thumbtacks. After the match, Mick Foley recalls that Vince McMahon told him he appreciated everything he had just given to the industry but to never do it again. Of course, Mick Foley would fall off of the Hell in a Cell structure a year-and-a-half later at No Way Out in 2000.
Eventually, Mick Foley's hard work would pay off when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 in Madison Square Garden. Coming a long way from Vince McMahon deeming him a degrading performer to the industry.
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