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Mankind

Athlete

In 1996, Foley signed a contract with WWF and, this time, the WWF did not use Foley as "enhancement talent". He was shown several designs for a new character—a man with a leather mask and chains. However, WWF said that it was too dark and only left the mask. Foley arrived in the WWF in 1996 with a new gimmick and perhaps his most famous personality: Mankind, a mentally deranged schizophrenic who constantly squealed (even throughout his matches), shrieked "Mommy!", spoke to a rat named George, enjoyed pain, physically abused himself (such as by pulling out his hair), wore a mask, and lived in boiler rooms; hence, his specialty match, the Boiler Room Brawl. Mankind's finishing move was the mandible claw nerve hold, which involved sticking his fingers in his opponent's mouth. Later in his career, Mankind began covering his hand with a dirty, smelly sock before applying the maneuver. His catch phrase was "Have a nice day". The original name that Vince McMahon had for Foley was "Mason the Mutilator", but Foley thought that Mankind would be a better name and McMahon changed it. On the April 1, 1996 edition of Raw is War, the day after WrestleMania XII, Mankind debuted and defeated Bob Holly, quickly moving into a feud with The Undertaker. The two then began interfering in the other's matches until they were booked in the first ever Boiler Room brawl, in which the goal was to escape the arena's boiler room and reach the ring to take the urn from Paul Bearer. The Undertaker appeared to have won, but Paul Bearer refused to hand him the urn, allowing Mankind to win, thus (for the time being) ending the relationship between Paul and The Undertaker. While Mankind was managed by Paul Bearer, he referred to him as "Uncle Paul". Mankind then earned the number one contendership to face the then WWF Champion Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games. Michaels won by disqualification via interference by Vader and The Undertaker. For several years, Foley considered this match his best ever, saying: "Sure, at 280 pounds I still looked like hell, but after a brutal cardiovascular training regimen, I was able to go full-tilt for twenty-seven minutes with a smaller, quicker, better athlete than me". Foley would later state he preferred his match with Randy Orton at Backlash 2004.

In 1996, Foley signed a contract with WWF and, this time, the WWF did not use Foley as "enhancement talent". He was shown several designs for a new character—a man with a leather mask and chains. However, WWF said that it was too dark and only left the mask. Foley arrived in the WWF in 1996 with a new gimmick and perhaps his most famous personality: Mankind, a mentally deranged schizophrenic who constantly squealed (even throughout his matches), shrieked "Mommy!", spoke to a rat named George, enjoyed pain, physically abused himself (such as by pulling out his hair), wore a mask, and lived in boiler rooms; hence, his specialty match, the Boiler Room Brawl. Mankind's finishing move was the mandible claw nerve hold, which involved sticking his fingers in his opponent's mouth. Later in his career, Mankind began covering his hand with a dirty, smelly sock before applying the maneuver. His catch phrase was "Have a nice day". The original name that Vince McMahon had for Foley was "Mason the Mutilator", but Foley thought that Mankind would be a better name and McMahon changed it. On the April 1, 1996 edition of Raw is War, the day after WrestleMania XII, Mankind debuted and defeated Bob Holly, quickly moving into a feud with The Undertaker. The two then began interfering in the other's matches until they were booked in the first ever Boiler Room brawl, in which the goal was to escape the arena's boiler room and reach the ring to take the urn from Paul Bearer. The Undertaker appeared to have won, but Paul Bearer refused to hand him the urn, allowing Mankind to win, thus (for the time being) ending the relationship between Paul and The Undertaker. While Mankind was managed by Paul Bearer, he referred to him as "Uncle Paul". Mankind then earned the number one contendership to face the then WWF Champion Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games. Michaels won by disqualification via interference by Vader and The Undertaker. For several years, Foley considered this match his best ever, saying: "Sure, at 280 pounds I still looked like hell, but after a brutal cardiovascular training regimen, I was able to go full-tilt for twenty-seven minutes with a smaller, quicker, better athlete than me". Foley would later state he preferred his match with Randy Orton at Backlash 2004.

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