Mick Foley is a few french fries short of a happy meal. The train stops just a bit short of the station ramp, and his brain has seen more barb wire than Pamela Anderson's arm, but Cactus Jack is one hell of a winner in my book.
Let me tell you why...
Back in the day, when Cactus Jack was toiling in the WCW, I and my buddies were rabid WCW wrestling fans, I had an encounter with Cactus Jack. It was right about the time that Dusty Rhodes was still cool, and Ric Flair was in his prime.
It was also a time when jobbers existed for extended periods of time, and they became fan favorites on occasion. While Foley was no jobber, he was known to lose on plenty of occasions back then. Usually that job included blood if it was a house show so he was always a match to look forward to for our warped testosterone charged teen-aged brains.
This was back in the day when house shows were very common, and the old WCW used to come to Greensboro, North Carolina every other month it seemed at a minimum. Yes, this was the same Greensboro, North Carolina that lays claim to the birth of the Four Horsemen though some would argue that fact.
At a time when Flair, Dusty, Arn Anderson, Nikita Koloff, Magnum TA, and others were at the pinnacle of the WCW wrestling world, Cactus Jack came to bleed for them and others. He always found a way.
At one of these house shows, I got the honor of meeting Cactus Jack, as well as Mick Foley.
Me and a couple of my buddies was sitting by the popcorn stands scoping out some chicks that were standing across the way. I had my Member's Only jacket on, and my mullet haired buddies were looking as good as they could look with those haircuts. After making no inroads at all with the chicks, we decided to go back to our seats.
As we turned to go, I caught a glimpse of a large man coming from the arena floor area and walking over to the pay phone. After a moment or two of staring, I realized that it was in fact, Cactus Jack himself.
I jabbed my buddies and told them who it was, and they turned and verified that I was not losing my mind. Here was Cactus Jack, talking on the pay phone out in the causeway. He was in his street clothes, and looked like any other Joe among the crowd at the time. He had his hair back in a pony tail, and the tell tale stitches across his forehead.
He turned for one moment and acknowledged us standing there. We kept our distance and kind of acted as though we were unaware of him. Our attempt at being cool was kind of funny, really. We went back to checking out the chicks again, and occasionally looked over to the phone to see if he was off yet so we could ask for a graph.
My buddies were whistling at these chicks over and over, and really acting like morons and ruining any chances that we might have with them.
On one of the times we looked back over to see if he was still on the phone, he was gone. Damn! We missed him...Then suddenly from just over our shoulders and behind us, we heard "Bang! Bang!"
Foley had snuck up behind us and scared the shit out of us. Every one of us nearly jumped out of our skin. Foley started laughing and you could tell he got a big kick out of that. He started introducing himself and dutifully signed a couple of autographs for us. Oddly, nobody else even seemed to know who he was, and pretty much left us alone.
Then he made mention of the fact that he had been watching us trying to get some tail, and that we really were clueless. He asked if we wanted some help. Of course we said sure, and wondered what in the world he might do.
He said to follow him and not say anything. He walked over to that group of girls and said, "Hi, I am Cactus Jack, and me and my friends want to take you down to the dressing rooms. I am wrestling later tonight, and I could let you gals meet some of the other wrestlers."
The girls jumped at the chance and we all headed down the tunnel. Immediately, we got to introduce ourselves and make a little headway with the girls.
When we got downstairs, the first person we ran into was Ric Flair himself. He was dressed in jeans and t-shirt and I remember thinking how different he looked up close. The scars were evidence of his many battles. Foley introduced us as his "cousins" to everybody.
All the wrestlers were really cool, and they all took the time to talk for a few minutes.
When it came time for the show to start, Foley said that he had some seats reserved for people that did not get to come. That was what he had been on the phone trying to work out. He asked if we wanted to take the seats. Needless to say, we did as they were right at ringside. Each of the six of us sat ringside that night.
Foley's match was second on the card that night, and he jobbed to a young Barry Windham. As usual, Foley bled though I don't think it was in the script. He just had a cut that got opened. Then again, Cactus Jack always had to bleed.
When the match was over, Foley came over and gave each of us some of his gear. Wristbands, a necklace of bones, and the strings from his boots among other things. I got one of the wristbands, and it had a couple drops of blood on it.
It sits on my mantle, in a plastic display case. It may seem a strange thing to display, but it meant something to me. Cactus Jack, who was not Mankind or Mick Foley yet, had taken the time to get to know us. He asked about my family, my future, and if I was staying out of trouble.
You could tell that he was a good man, especially looking back on it as a man now.
So, Cactus Jack (he will always be Cactus Jack to me), if you are out there and reading this, I want you to know that you made a young man very happy that night.
Not only did you let me have a brush with greatness, but you also scored me a hot chick...my future wife.
And we love Cactus Jack.
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