He’s kind of a big deal. Over the years, Mick Foley has put together one of the greatest careers in the history of professional wrestling. With an incredible amount of classic matches and an even longer list of amazing moments, Foley is one of the best of all time. That being said, everyone has influences and Foley recently talked about one of his biggest.

Foley recently appeared on the “Ross Report” to talk about Jimmy Snuka. As he’s mentioned several times over the years, Foley was at Madison Square Garden in 1983 when Snuka dove off the top of a cage to crush Don Muraco, inspiring Foley to become a wrestlers. Foley had the following to say about Snuka’s inspiration (transcript courtesy of Wrestlinginc.com):

“Without Jimmy, there’s no me. There’s a me, there’s a Mick Foley, doing something somewhere, but that feeling being brought out of me, being in the Garden and feeling the emotion. And then, having this moment in time captured that I remember as clearly today as when it took place over 30 years ago. And know that I wanted to make people feel that same way, I don’t know if, as much as I loved the [professional] wrestling business or just the wrestling show, I didn’t know it was a business at the time, I don’t know if there’s anything else that would have made me feel that way.”

As much as Foley loves Snuka, he doesn’t quite make Foley’s Mount Rushmore of wrestling:

“Oh man, that’s such a tough one to say. I don’t know if Snuka would be on there. I don’t know. He [has] never been on there before. He’s definitely my favorite. I don’t know if he makes that unless you widen Mount Rushmore. I go with Terry Funk. I think you have to put Ric Flair up. I’m going to put Tom Billington on there. I thought he was out of this world.

“Yep and fourth guy, maybe you put ‘Stone Cold’ up there as a guy who brought in this new era of wrestling. But you couldn’t go wrong with 100 different names. Do you know what I mean? I’d love to have Harley Race up there, The Rock, and some other guys. Yeah, Tommy Billington, he was an amazing worker.”

I hope that Snuka’s legal issues don’t overshadow his influence on the wrestling business. Snuka inspired a lot of wrestlers over the years and the high flying style was one of the biggest changes for someone Snuka’s size. You don’t see that kind of inspiration or a moment like the cage dive every day and it’s not likely to happen again.

What is your favorite Snuka moment? Who is on your Mount Rushmore of wrestling? Let us know in the comments below.


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