As you will see in this post I read Mick Foley’s first autobiography earlier this year and enjoyed it very much to the point that I ended up on YouTube watching old matches from the 90’s and early 00’s, reliving my younger years of playing WWF games on the PS1. Having been offered the chance to read this follow-up which covers the next year or so following the release of Have a Nice Day! and fills in any gaps I instantly accepted.
In a similar manner to his previous book Mick Foley/Mankind/Cactus Jack shares various anecdotes and opinions on the classic – and not so classic in some instances – matches he has played over his many years in professional wrestling. Further to this he also tells the reader of how he decided to not have a ghostwriter compose his book and instead sit on planes, sofas and dressing room floors, writing the entire 5-600 page book in longhand. And what a journey it appears to have been. Mick Foley’s writing is book in-depth but also funny and lighthearted and has the ability to pull in readers who take very little interest in wrestling these days. It’s also displayed that he’s very much a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and visiting theme parks. Maybe he should have instead been called “Nuclear Jack”.
The first three quarters of the book focus on Mick Foley himself and the journey towards becoming the commissioner for WWE, whereas the final quarter, which could have been a book itself, is a study on the stigma (mostly from politicians and over-protective parents’ groups) that wrestling is an extremely violent sport which could encourage viewers to attack others because they think it’s a safe thing to do. Within this study Foley makes comparisons between wrestling and kids’ films like Home Alone which is shown every Christmas and laughed at by children and adults alike. He notes that while wrestling is performed by professionals who, despite there being pain, know how to cause this pain safely, Home Alone has scenes in which the burglars step on nails, slip on ice and get whacked in the face with irons, all of which could cause significant and, sometimes, permanent damage.
The study is extremely interesting and really gives an insight into certain subjective opinions on wrestling. Even if wrestling isn’t your sort of “thing”, this study is still worth a read. And so is the book for that matter.