My aim that night was to have the best barbed-wire match ever.

There was only one problem: I was terrified. This is a normal human response to the very abnormal prospect of being dropped head first, neck first, and, yes, even balls first on jagged metal barbs. How exactly does a gentle, caring man (me) transform himself into a willing participant in such a barbaric spectacle? I needed to find some kind of inspiration in a hurry.

I looked out the dressing room door and saw the Japanese preliminary wrestlers taking down the ropes, beginning the process of putting the barbed wire around the ring. The wire they used was the real stuff: cold and uncaring, capable of tearing flesh in a hurry. I knew I had about 30 minutes before the wiring process was completed—a half-hour to undergo a drastic mental transformation. I took out my battered Sony Walkman and, after great deliberation, bypassed the obvious hard-rock selections. Finding solitude in a far corner of the frigid backstage area, I saw a cloud of my own breath as I pressed the play button. “Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens/ Wipe my nose, get my new boots on.”

–Mick “Mankind/Cactus Jack” Foley, on the music of Tori Amos, at Slate. (There are plenty of things I regret about the two years I spent following pro wrestling as a middle-schooler, but reading Foley’s memoir Have a Nice Day: A Tale Of Blood and Sweatsocks twice isn’t one of them. In that book, the article above, and nearly every other available outlet, he seems like a supremely decent guy.)

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One Comment on “My aim that night was to have the best barbed-wire match ever.”

  1. […] couple weeks ago I posted the clip for Plumtree’s “Scott Pilgrim,” a few days after I had linked to a piece by Mick Foley (the beating heart of early-2000s pro wrestling), and missed the obvious connection between the […]

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