Mick Foley has revealed that a controversial figure was responsible for him adopting the Mandible Claw.
The total disregard that Mick Foley had for his own body and willingness to do whatever it took to get the desired response from a crowd is the stuff of legend.
While fans always point to his falls from and through Hell in a Cell and numerous blood-soaked battles as proof of this, he was throwing caution to the wind before he ever entered a Death Match or the WWF.
During Foley’s run in WCW as Cactus Jack, one of his signature moves was an Elbow Drop from the ring apron to the floor. A move which is hard enough on your body in 2022, let alone three decades ago when the only thing between you and the concrete floor was a wafer-thin mat and goodwill.
With this in mind, in 1992, Foley was looking to adopt a new finishing move which would take some of the strain off his body. Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, Foley is Pod, available early on AdFreeShows, the WWE Hall of Famer revealed that it was Jim Cornette who suggested he use the Mandible Claw instead.
“I didn’t create it. [The Mandible Claw] I brought it back at the suggestion of Jim Cornette. [He] Probably gave it to me in 92, I was like Jimmy man, you know, this elbow is a tough thing to do on house shows shows and plus you got to either accept the count out or roll a guy in.
I did like, there was one match, an enhancement match I had and I looked unconquerable, this is 1990 at that point, I dropped an elbow from the apron went over the guardrail. I pulled it in and, you know years later, it’d be like well, ‘he dropped an elbow over over guardrail, I just saw RVD do moonsault off second rope over there,’ you know, but for its time span, especially, you know, at my size to come over and drop the elbow over the guardrail, then throw the guy back over the guardrail, roll him in, and then I caught him with a bow and arrow cradle and brought him back to the pin.
So it’s like, I’ve just always barbaric stuff and then I lose, I win with a technical wrestling move, which just added a little layer to that that character, but I looked like unconquerable there. And that was 1990 but when I was predominantly known for losing. Man, I needed something I could do that wasn’t going to have me dropping elbows all the time. Corny brought up the idea of the Mandible Claw laid out the history of Dr. Sam Shepard upon whom the TV show and the movie The Fugitive was based. And I pitched it to Watts. He shot it down immediately and I tried tell him it was a nerve hold but he wasn’t interested.
When I brought up Vince, I think he said well, ‘why wouldn’t someone bite your fingers?’ I explained it to him anatomically, it goes underneath the tongue nerves. Your thumb pushes up on the nerve. I said nothing about it. It’s very visual. I said I can’t think of another hold except the Cobra Clutch where you have both the face of both the perpetrator and the victim in the same frame.
And I sold him on that idea that, you know, I was always very camera conscious. And he, I don’t know if he approved it right away because at that time, especially in the second or third meeting, I was pitching a lot of ideas, and he was doing a lot of writing. So I didn’t know how much of it would come to fruition.”
Although Foley retained his Elbow Drop to the outside, the Mandible Claw became an important part of his character and later even incorporated ‘Mr Socko.’
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