Human pin cushion Mick Foley brings #NiceDayTour to Pittsburgh Improv for a night of storytelling | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Human pin cushion Mick Foley brings #NiceDayTour to Pittsburgh Improv for a night of storytelling

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham

On Nov. 25, World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer and perpetual open wound Mick Foley will bring his humorous, painful, and engaging stories of his #NiceDayTour tour to the Pittsburgh Improv.

The tour commemorates the 20th Anniversary of Foley’s No. 1 New York Times bestseller Have A Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, which chronicles his life from a childhood fan of the sport in the ’80s through his rise as one of WWE’s premier talents and features tales from Foley’s time as a 20-year-old training with former pro wrestler Dominic DeNucci. 



“I’m really excited to bring a Pittsburgh-themed show here. And I’m really enjoying talking about Dominic and that early time in Freedom [Pa.]. It’s going to make for a great show.” 


The show has been well-received by wrestling fans as well as people who aren't familiar with the mayhem that takes place within the squared circle, according to Foley. (And I'm not going to second guess a man who willingly flew off a 20-foot steel cage onto a table at Civic Arena.)

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
“It’s really rewarding on a nightly basis to see people in the crowd who are there sometimes against their will in a show of love and respect for their significant other. People go out of their way on a nightly basis to tell me that they were not wrestling fans but really enjoyed it.”

Much like professional wrestling itself, Foley’s show isn’t just about the bumps, bruises, and being body-slammed onto a bed of thumbtacks. It’s a performance that features once-in-a-lifetime stories delivered by a master narrator.

“The real-life stuff was always more interesting than the stuff we were portraying in the ring. I consider myself more of a storyteller than I was a competitor,” Foley says.

It's exactly that love of a good story that drew him to the sport and kept him chasing a dream which offered early rewards of head-splitting matches with little-to-no pay, peanut butter-sandwich dinners, and month-long intestinal distress from drinking bad water abroad.

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham

“There are these moments in wrestling. For me it was Jimmy Snuka coming off the top of the cage in Madison Square Garden in 1983. I looked around and saw people hugging and grown men crying and I vividly thought to myself that one day I wanted to make people feel the same way I did that night.”

But just because Foley has had his teeth knocked out and ears ripped off, literally, that doesn't mean he's immune to pain.
“On those rare occasions where I don’t seem to be winning over the nonfan, it really hurts. I really look forward to seeing those people at shows and seeing their smiles as they realizing they’re having a much better time than they anticipated.”

So if you go to #NiceDayTour this Monday, remember that the man in the decrepit leather mask who jams sweat socks into his opponents’ mouths has feelings, too.      

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