Never-before-seen Superstar sketches from the WWE Vault

Mankind and Dude Love

When Mick Foley arrived in WWE in 1996, he was largely known throughout the sports-entertainment world as Cactus Jack. Mr. McMahon, seeking to capitalize on The Hardcore Legend’s reputation for the extreme, rechristened Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy as a deranged masked mutilator. But before Foley took all mankind by storm, he was originally going to be known as “Headcase” – at least according to the concepts that we uncovered.

After Mick’s childhood creation Dude Love became something of a myth among his fans, WWE arranged to bring this face of Foley to the ring. But first, he needed a redesign. These sketches reveal that tie-dye and peace signs were always a part of the Dude’s colorful look, but that famous pair of white boots was originally a much less groovy shade of black. And that scrapped denim vest? We’re still singing the blues about that one.

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BONNANZIO: “They wanted to disguise who he was and Mick was open to do anything and he really wanted to show off that ear that was torn off. It was supposed to be that he went crazy and went off the deep end because [Mr. McMahon] didn’t want Cactus Jack. He wanted a whole new [persona]. The original concept was to have straightjacket on him. For Dude Love, once we had the logo, the WWE merchandise department helped to get one of the manufacturers to do tie-dye for him. It was a pleasure to work with Mick Foley. He was just fun and really creative and so willing to do anything.”