In his best selliing book, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Mick Foley went into great detail about how WCW butchered his career over and over again. He went into great detail about a series of skits known as “Lost in Cleveland”, which has in turn led to many requests for it to be covered here at WrestleCrap.
I vaguely remembered the skits. And now that I in the midst of recapping them, I wish that vague recollection is still all I had! Nah, they’re not that bad. Well, then again, actually, they are that bad and much, much worse. Which makes them funny, of course.
A bit of a history lesson for those unfamiliar with the happenings preceding this storyline. Cactus Jack was finally getting a bit of a push against the monster known as Big Van Vader. Vader wasn’t the watered-down wimp Hulk Hogan (and later the WWF) turned him into – no, he was a vicious beast at the height of his career. A lethal combination of strength, size, and agility, Vader brutalized opponent after opponent during his reigns as WCW Champ.
During a broadcast of WCW’s flagship program, WCW Saturday Night, Vader tackled the challenge of Cactus Jack. The match was brutal, and ended with Vader powerbombing Cactus on the concrete floor. Cactus blacked out and had to be helped to the back. It was a brutal attack, with great visuals, and since Vader had already ripped Jack’s ear off in a match in Germany, it seemed that a major feud wherein Jack sought revenge was just weeks away, and was sure to make tons of money.
Well,, that’s what SHOULD have happened.
Instead, WCW fans discovered a whole new world of pain.
Some time after Jack was powerbombed, WCW began showing vignettes of a bogus news reporter named Catherine White who was searching of Cactus, who no one had seen since the match with Vader.
One of the homeless folks was a con artist by the name of “Swampy”, who led the daffy reporter to Jack’s secret hideout.
And so we come upon Jack, giving the homeless insight on his life at sea.
Yes, on his LIFE AT SEA.
You see, Mick Foley was no longer Cactus Jack, but rather a sea farer who had drifted ashore. He had no idea who Cactus Jack was, of course, because he had AMNESIA.
But, amnesia or no, Cactus was a babyface. In fact, he was able to convince Swampy that he was better off working for a living than drinking (maybe he should have talked to Jake Roberts)…
…and he also repaired little children’s bicycles (and whatever you do, you MUST listen to this sound bite, which may be the funniest thing I’ve ever heard).
White decides, for whatever reason, that she should make Cactus remember who he really is. So she recruits Cactus’ wife Colette and his son Dewey.
Of course, WCW felt that Cactus’ real life wife was too attractive, so they hired some frumpy woman to play her instead!
This led to Colette running away in tears, Dewey in tow.
So what happened? What was the exciting conclusion, you ask? Well, Cactus made a surprise return at a Clash of the Champions special, and attacked Vader. You see, this whole thing was just a big set-up all along, and Cactus only pretended he had amnesia to get inside Vader’s head!
I only wish I had amnesia, and could never remember this angle ever again.
Catherine White: “This is Catherine White, reporting for WCW. Believe it or no, our newfound friend Swampy did give us a call – collect. So now we’re back here in Cleveland, being led to an encampment where we’re told Cactus Jack – missing for weeks – has taken up residence.”
Cactus Jack, waxing philosophical: “And so I’ve lived most of my life on sea, I’ve learned that life on land is very much the same. Oh, some would say, ‘No Matey, it’s very different. Out there on the ocean your horizons are unlimited, while here on land you can see only as far as the next rise.’ And while it’s true that from a crow’s nest you can see farther than most of us will ever see, from a clear horizon every point looks the same.”
Cactus Jack (as wooden as he possibly can be): “Here you go, Jenny – she’s an old vessel but she’s seaworthy again. Should be clear sailing on that paper route of yours.”
White: “Colette, it’s safe – bring Dewey.”
‘Colette’: “Jack…Jack, we’ve missed you!”
Jack (sounding less and less enthused all the time): “I’m sorry…I don’t know you. I wish I did.”
Bang Bang: “I hope you learned some wrestling moves working for the WCW, cuz if you don’t get out of here, you’re going to need ’em!”
Jack (sounding almost catatonic at this point): “Now now, Bang Bang…keep an even keel. Don’t go raising your colors just because you don’t like the cut of her jib.”