Mick Foley has opened up about why Vince McMahon was not a fan of his in the beginning. The former Monday Night Raw general manager has said that the WWE chairman did not like his Cactus Jack gimmick that he used at WCW from 1991 to 1994, before heading to ECW, Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Japan.
The WWE Hall of Famer was allowed to use the gimmick as McMahon had a change of heart after seeing the former have a successful first year as Mankind after making his debut in the company in 1997. He has won the WWE Championship three times using the gimmick. Foley has also worked as Dude Love besides Cactus Jack and Mankind at the federation.
"Mr. McMahon, you see, was not a Cactus Jack fan," Foley told Sports Illustrated. "But, following a notable first year in a leather mask as Mankind, Mr. McMahon had a change of heart, and not only gave Cactus Jack the occasional opportunity in WWE, but built up the Cactus character to be my toughest and wildest incarnation of all. It was if he was admitting to me, and whoever out there was watching, that he just might have missed the boat on that Cactus Jack guy after all!"
Foley also talked about how his push may have opened doors for stars such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Kevin Owens.
"In so doing – in allowing a guy who (in his opinion) didn't look like a star, Mr. McMahon just may have opened up the possibility that other unlikely prospects might find a home, and stardom inside the WWE," Foley said.
"Maybe, just maybe, the lesson learned from the Cactus Jack experiment helped open the door for future WWE Superstars such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Kevin Owens – ll of whom flourished in what would have been seen as a very unlikely environment a generation earlier."