Once upon a time, there were no best-selling books for Mick Foley. No world championship title reigns. No Chef Boyardee Beeferoni commercial cameos. And certainly, a gig hosting Robot Wars on TNN was all but a fantasy to Mrs.Foley’s baby boy. Fifteen years ago, before Mick struck it rich in the wrestling game, he was best known for one thing. Being a magnet to -and attracting – THE worst imaginable tag-team partners ever. Over the next few weeks, we’re gonna be taking a special look back at the early days of Foley, as we count down Cactus Jack’s all-time worst enhancement-talent partners. We start the countdown off with this week’s JOTW, and Foley’s #3 all-time worst partner, Rick Fargo.
It was December of 1989. A young Foley, then known as Cactus Jack Manson, arrived at WCW’s Center Stage Saturday Night tapings for his big try-out match. Upon arrival, he noticed he would be facing WCW’s top team at the time, the Steiner Brothers. Surely Mick had to be exited about that. His first national television match, debuting against the champs, the Steiners. Well, he probably was exited until he saw who he was going into battle with – one Mr.Rick Fargo. Fargo had been a mainstay of WCW’s programs at the time, faithfully losing week in and week out. Now, while Rick’s won-loss record was ummm… a little questionable, he certainly looked like he would mesh well with Cactus Jack. He wasn’t the prototypical WCW jobber of the time, IE:chubby with a bad mullet. He was tattooed, looked mean, and in a short and stocky way, almost resembled a clone of Chris Benoit.
As the match started, the Steiners wasted little time welcoming Cactus to the big time. Rick in particular introduced himself by first trying to break his jaw with a stiff clothesline, and then a series of pimp slaps to the face. After a few minutes of punishment, Manson had had enough and made the tag to Fargo, thus beginning….
THE WORST NIGHT OF RICK FARGO’S LIFE!!!!!
He entered the ring and there they were. The Steiners. They continued the rough assault on Fargo. In fact, Rick and Scott were so stiff on their opponents that day, it made OJ Simpson’s domestic violence record seem like a sappy Danielle Steele romance novel.
As if getting physically pounded by the Steiners wasn’t bad enough, it was time for an ego bruise. Fargo got tossed outside the ring, where he got manhandled by two youngsters who accompanied the Steiners to the ring that day. Say, is that a young Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin?!?
After getting hit in the head with the title belts by the future Team Angle, Fargo was tossed back into a ring, and finally pinned and taken out of his misery. He and Cactus Jack had come up short against the tag champs, but the post-match compassion Manson was showing to his fallen ally looked like it was the start of some championship team male-bonding.
Or not. Angered by his disappointing partner, Cactus sucker punched him. The two went to blows for a minute, until Jack got the best of his now ex-partner, and threw him outside and onto the exposed concrete floor. What happened next? Well, to paraphrase Neil Armstrong, with the national spotlight shining directly on Cactus Jack Manson for the first time, he took “One small step for Manson. One giant leap for Mankind.”
Jumping off the ring apron and unto a fallen Fargo some fifteen feet away, Foley made his introduction to the world as a madman of the wrestling scene. He also became known as a man who didn’t like to have his partners let him down. Needless to say, it was the first and last time Fargo ever teamed up with Cactus Jack. Fargo never got a chance to get any in-ring revenge. He came close though, as he was penciled in as a replacement for an absent Mil Mascaras to face Jack at the Clash Of The Champions: Texas Shoot Out. However Mascaras finally showed up, and Fargo was left off the card. He stuck around WCW for the early 90’s, as well as some appearances in Florida. The last time he was seen was in WCW in 1996, when he teamed up in a losing effort with a pre-Prince Iaukea, Mike Hayner.
That infamous day in December of 1989 with Rick Fargo served as Mick Foley’s introduction to the majority of the world. But before he could go on to achieve tag-team glory as one half of the Rock-n-Sock Connection, he was forced to continue his jabroni tag-team partner “Tour of ’89.” Be here next week as Foley’s #2 all-time worst partner is revealed, as well as for exclusive comments from an interview I did with Mick about his bumbling, enhancement-talent partners of days gone by.