Ladies and gentlemen, Mick Foley has re-entered the building. Despite physically not being what he once was, yours truly is truly glad to see Mick back to his old brawlin’ ways once again on Monday Night Raw. As Mick’s probable “last hurrah” and final chapter unfolds presently on WWE TV, I figured what better time to go back to the beginning of the Foley legacy. Before the world knew Mankind. Hell, before the announcers even knew how much he weighed or how to say his name right. So without any further ado I bring to you, from Boston, Massachusetts, weighing in at 147 lbs, this week’s Jobber Of The Week…Nick Foley.
During the 80’s, many anonymous, bald, and out of shape enhancement talents would enter the various arenas for WWF TV tapings, get squashed a few times in an evening and leave and be just as quickly forgotten as they were defeated. Being able to be showcased jobbing on national TV sometimes didn’t matter what your skill level was. Sometimes it was just your location and who you knew. In the summer of 1986, Vinnie Mac was preparing for a TV taping at the Providence Civic Center. In need of a few bodies, he made a call to noted ex-wrestler turned pro wrestling trainer Dominic DeNucci. Foley would soon be on his way to the big time.
Despite only officially having wrestled one pro match in his life, Foley, along with DeNucci’s crew of green wrestlers (which also included a young Shane Douglas) would arrive at the arena for their moment in the sun. Imagine Foley’s surprise when he found out he would be teaming up with former WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion Les Thornton to go against then tag team champs the British Bulldogs. Known then as Jack Foley (taking the name from his dad), his dream night would soon turn into a nightmare. It started with Davey Boy no-selling any offense poor Jack had. Would he have any better luck against the Dynamite Kid? Well, an analysis of Dynamite’s offense that night was less like a PWI match summary and more like a police report about a violent assault. After damn near getting his jaw broken from a clothesline and a near decapitation from a top rope suplex, Jack’s second pro match would come to a painful conclusion.
Even more fun would be in store for “Jack Foley,” as a second night of tapings took place in Hartford the following evening. It was there in a match against the Killer Bees where the physical transformation into the man we know and love today would begin. Teaming with veteran jobber Terry Gibbs, Jack would take a brutal backbody drop that would result in knocking out his two front teeth that Dynamite, doing his best Issac Yankem impression, had so kindly loosened for him the previous night.
More TV taping high-jinx would ensue. There was a quick squash against Hercules that would see the ring announcer Mel Phillips state that the over 230 lbs Foley (which Phillips pronounced “Fay-ley”) weighed 147 lbs. And here you thought Zach Gowen was the skinniest wrestler in WWf/WWE history.
And who could forget his battles against Kamala? In the first one, poor Jack would make his exit from the ring on a stretcher. It appears this incident caused young Jack to become so frightened of Kamala that he changed his identity to that of Nick Foley from Boston to avoid him! It wouldn’t matter though, as the newly christened “Nick Foley” would end up facing Kamala again. In a match that would make S. D. Jones proud, the Nickster would be disposed of in all of 27 seconds by the Ugandan headhunter. Soon after, Nick Foley would disappear, presumedly to spend eternity rooming up on the road with Tom Stone, Frank DeFalco, and the Black Knight.
Destiny however has a funny way of playing out. After defying the odds, becoming WWF champion and a best selling author, Foley showed that no matter how far and impossible the journey is, it is possible to make it to the top.
Even for a toothless, 147-pound youngster from Boston named Nick.