WWE legend Mick Foley reveals how Santa Claus and rush from the crowd help with wrestling heartbreak

Foley has candidly opened up on mental health in wrestling (Picture: WWE)

WWE icon Mick Foley has opened up about how he dealt with the low points of a storied career in wrestling – and when it came to an end.

Like any star who has a real passion for the business, it’s never an easy ride with injuries, creative setbacks, losing jobs and eventually hanging up your boots for good, but the Hardcore Legend has used the energy of live crowds and Santa Claus himself to keep his chin up.

Speaking to exclusively to Metro.co.uk as part of the Tag Me In United campaign, he said: ‘When I get out there [for my spoken word shows] and I’m on the stage and I’m getting laughs or cringes or the occasional happy tear, I feel very much like I did when I was in the ring.’

Beyond the buzz of an audience, Mick also has the festive season to thank for his own good cheer, especially as he dons Father Christmas’ red hat and coat each year as one of the big man’s special helpers.

‘The early December portrayals of a certain historical December character – I love doing that as well,’ he smiled. ‘Although I don’t have the beard growing out this year, I’ll a way, hopefully, to play a part in that world as well.’

Despite being known to generations of wrestling fans as Jolly old Saint Mick, the former world champion knows all too well the trials and tribulations of a career in an at times volatile business.

‘I tell aspiring wrestlers – if they’re really serious about it: Be prepared, because the chances of getting hurt physically are really high,’ he admitted. ‘And the chances of getting hurt emotionally are 100%. You get your heart broken over and over.’

And Foley – who infamously lost an ear in the middle of a match in Germany and is still paying physically and financially for his brutal 1998 Hell In A Cell match with The Undertaker – understands more than most the passion that goes into wrestling.

However, he admitted there is part of him that’s actually jealous of people who don’t share the same intense love for the artform because they’ll find it much easier to walk away.

#ATLANTA GA

100% of ticket sales from my DECEMBER 5 show will be donated to @namigeorgia

ALL 120 tix are VIP/M&G to raise $ for #mentalhealth and #SuicidePrevention pic.twitter.com/CEtuEEeSVH

— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) October 13, 2021

‘I kinda envy the people who get in because somebody tells them they can make some money at it, and that way if they don’t make money they don’t leave feeling their lives have been uneventful,’ he candidly explained.

‘Whereas the people who love it, they’d do anything to love it and when their time’s up, it can be really, really difficult to find something in life that makes them feel the way they did when they were in the ring.’

With this level of passion and understanding, it’s fitting that Mick is helping lead the charge with the Tag Me In initiative, which sees wrestling’s larger than life stars opening up about their own struggles while letting fans know they’re not alone.

Christy Hemme called him up to ask him to get involved following the tragic death of Daffney Unger, and Mick was happy to do his bit after already working with organisations like Suicide Prevention.

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‘It’s the type of thing where we’re much bigger than the sum of our parts. We put ourselves together, we can be really a strong front,’ he said.

‘I think seeing a collection of wrestlers together letting people know that they’re not alone is way more effective than having one or two of the guys doing a public service announcement.’

He added: ‘I think everyone knows someone who has been affected by suicide. If you’re in wrestling, you probably know a handful of people who have made that decision… So, when Daffney passed, it seemed like a great way and time to get involved.’

For more information, head to tagmeinunited.com.

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