The Walking Dead actor – who has played Negan on the zombie horror series since 2016 – is clearly a big fan of the Hardcore Legend, and he admitted to taking ‘a move or too’ from the barbed wire baseball bat-wielding wrestler.
On Monday, he wrote: ‘Happy damn birthday to the one and only @realmickfoley a man who not only inflicted pain, but took loads of it… and I loved watching. May of borrowed a move or two.
‘Big love to you sir, best to you and to @NoelleFoley HAPPY BIRTHDAY big man! (sic)’
It seems there is definitely a mutual love between the two, as Foley himself – whose weapon of choice was simply called Barbie – suggested Negan took on mantle with Lucille.
He replied: ‘Thank you Jeffrey! Many a fine performer has borrowed a move from me – but Negan made that bat iconic! Thanks for taking barbed wire mainstream!’
The 55-year-old star wasn’t exaggerating when he mentioned the punishment Foley has taken over the years.
Back in 1994 during WCW’s European tour, the now-Hall of Famer was battling Big Van Vader and a routine move with him caught up in the ropes resulted in his ears getting split at the back.
He rolled back into the ring, and his opponent actually grabbed and ripped off his right ear, which was then handed to the ring announcer by the referee.
Incredibly, the match continued and that night has gone down in wrestling infamy, and Mick popped on Facebook in March this year to share a photo of himself after the match, covered in blood where his wear used to be.
He wrote alongside the snap: ‘March 14, 1994: Munich, Germany… Sometimes things just don’t work out like you hoped. Thanks for celebrating this special Annivers-ear-y with me!’
The former world champion – who has wrestled as Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love during his influential career – has suffered a lot of pain in the name of entertainment over the decades.
Last year, he opened up on the lasting physical and financial impact of his legendary Hell In A Cell match with The Undertaker at King of the Ring back in 1998.
He exclusively told Metro.co.uk: ‘Yeah, I would say Hell In A Cell – I think it may have shortened my career. It was definitely the point from which I believed in my own mortality, so everything was different following that cell match.
‘I don’t have any regrets – I have some small regrets about things I did later in my career. But no, I don’t regret starting that match on top of the cell.’
The match itself was full of memorable moments, including Foley – wrestling as Mankind – being thrown off the towering cell, and slammed through the roof to the mat far below.
‘Things did not work out like I’d have hoped,’ he admitted. ‘The cell collapsing when I was chokeslammed still has fallout for me!
‘I just paid $425 to remove my bottom flipper – which are false teeth which were knocked out in that cell – and I’ll have to pay $15,000 or so to get those teeth fixed.’
The Walking Dead season 11 is set to premiere on August 22 in the US on AMC.WWE airs on Mondays (Raw), Tuesdays (NXT) and Fridays (SmackDown) on BT Sport.
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