Wrestling legend Mick Foley takes the stage at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre next month, with his one-man show, Hardcore Legend: An Evening with Mick Foley.
His multi-faceted career has seen Foley turn from three-time WWE champion to two-time New York Times number-one best-selling author to his present incarnation as sole-proprietor of his one-man stage show. Showcasing his trademark blend of wildness and warmth, and combining the humour fans loved from his books and in-ring “promos,” with the intensity of his most famous matches, the show is by turns uproariously funny, simply surreal and surprisingly sensitive — a full-course meal for the senses, including Q&A and meet and greet — all done with the use of just one, solitary F-bomb.
One of the cornerstones of WWE’s meteoric rise in the late ‘90s, Mick Foley earned the nickname “The Hardcore Legend” for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. Already a respected veteran for his 11 physically punishing years wrestling under the name Cactus Jack, Foley’s career soared to new heights in WWE as “Mankind,” a character Foley claimed was inspired by a combination of reading Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and listening to the music of Tori Amos.
As Cactus Jack, Foley won the 1995 “King of the Deathmatch” tournament in Yokohama, Japan, and continued wrestling, despite the amputation of his right ear, in a match against Vader in Munich, Germany in 1994. As Mankind, Foley was a three-time WWE champion, but is best known for his epic and brutal battle with The Undertaker in 1998’s “Hell in a Cell” match, during which he was knocked unconscious after falls both off of and through the 16-foot cell structure. Despite the injury, Foley finished the match — with one of his front teeth lodged in his nose.
With his in-ring retirement looming, Foley penned his own memoir (by hand, on 700 pages of notebook paper) and shocked the literary world when the book, Have a Nice Day, hit number-one on The New York Times best-seller list in October 1999. The book remained on the Times list for 26 weeks. A follow-up, 2001’s Foley is Good hit number-one on The New York Times list as well. Foley has published a total of 10 books: four memoirs, four children’s books and two novels.
After speaking at some of the United States’ most respected colleges and universities, Foley decided to take his verbal skills into the world of spoken-word and comedy and made his headlining debut in 2009, before a sold-out crowd at the world-famous Hollywood Improv. He has since performed at both Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the two largest comedy festivals in the world, has headlined tours of the U.K., Ireland and Australia, and performed for American service-members in the Middle East and South Korea.
Foley’s acting credentials include 30 Rock, and Boy Meets World and he was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary Beyond the Mat. He has done voice work on Squidbillies and Avatar: the Last Airbender. His list of guest appearances includes The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and several appearances on Today. He was featured in a 2010 story on ABC’s World News Tonight for his work as an online volunteer with RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization.
Hardcore Legend: An Evening with Mick Foley is Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $37.50 each, available through the Ticket Seller box office at 3800-33rd St., online at www.ticketseller.ca or by calling 250-549-SHOW (7469).