Cactus Jack is the name that Mick Foley decided to take when he started his career in professional wrestling. It was supposed to just last a couple of months, until Foley was good enough to become Dude Love, but, well...shit happens sometimes. (See Dude Love for more information on that tangent.)

Mick's friends back in East Setauket, New York used to refer to Foley's father (Jack, duh) as "Cactus Jack", because when he was supervising athletic events at Ward Melville High School, he'd stand motionless against a wall for hours on end--like a cactus. When Foley needed to create a character to wrestle as, Cactus Jack was just the first thing to pop into his head.

And thus, Cactus Jack, hailing from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, was born.

Foley wrestled as Cactus Jack for the first decade of his wrestling career, taking the character first to the independent leagues and then to World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and Japan.

When Foley entered the World Wrestling Federation he became known as Mankind (see the Mankind node if you're interested as to why).

A year later, Vince McMahon decided to let Foley introduce Cactus Jack. So, Cactus debuted at Madison Square Garden on one hot summer night on Raw is War in 1997, as a way to decisively end his ongoing feud with HHH.

That, indeed, is how Cactus Jack came to be used in the WWF--most of the time he was Mankind, occasionally he was Dude Love--but when a feud needed to be ended, they brought in Cactus Jack.

Foley also finished his career as Cactus Jack, wrestling his last few matches in early 2000 as Cactus against--ironically enough--HHH.

For more information about Foley's career in general, see Mick Foley.

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