Dirty dozen: Mick Foley's 12 wildest matches

Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk - Barbed Wire Bunkhouse Match: IWA Japan Duel of the Wilds, Jan. 8, 1995

In the midst of a successful ECW career, Mick took his Cactus Jack persona to a new company in Japan called the International Wrestling Association. It was in The Land of the Rising Sun that Foley, Terry Funk and others revolutionized hardcore wrestling.

“In some ways, this is the match I’m proudest of,” Foley said. “The things that Terry Funk and I did to each other willingly would be illegal in most countries in the world. We did them because we firmly believed this match, which was only witnessed by about 150 people live — but would be seen by about half a million in the magazines within a few days — was going to help build the foundation for further growth of IWA.

Despite it happening 18 years ago, the memories are still vivid — as are the scars.

“Terry hip-tossed me onto a flaming chair and I’ve still got the faded skin from that. But it’s one of those matches that I remember every single thing about, including the pre-match preparation,” Mick recalled. “It was the first time I turned to Tori Amos for inspiration and I was so highly motivated by the time I hit the ring, my goal was to have the best Barbed Wire Match of all time.”

Foley can even remember the last words he heard before he left the locker room for the life-altering encounter.

“I remember Tracy Smothers said, ‘Cactus, promise me you won’t do anything crazy out there,’ ” the former WWE Champion said. “And I turned to him like that was the most bizarre request imaginable and said, ‘I can’t do that.’ We were going to tear the house down no matter what.”