Mick Foley's Gruesome Ear Injury Is an Unforgettable Moment in WWE History

What happened to Mick Foley's ear? The former professional wrestler, best known for his time in WWE, lost part of his ear during a match.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Jun. 14 2023, Published 2:57 p.m. ET

A part of Mick Foley's right ear is missing.
Source: Getty Images

Mick Foley suffered countless injuries throughout his professional wrestling career. From losing many teeth to being thrown off the top of a cell and through a table, many WWE fans recall the Hall of Famer putting his body on the line each and every week without a care in the world.

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But perhaps the worst and most grizzly injury of Mick's career occurred during a WCW (now WWE) European Tour in 1994 during a show in Munich, Germany. Cactus Jack — Mick's ring name at the time — had a match against the late great Big Van Vader, and let's just say things took a turn for the worse when his ear fell off.

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What happened to Mick Foley's ear?

On March 16, 1994, while on tour in Germany, Cactus Jack and the late Big Van Vader had one of the most notorious matches in pro wrestling history. Vader told Cactus he couldn't wrestle too much because of a bad arm injury, so the latter took it upon himself to do most of the work.

During the match, he began the dreaded hangman move. Neither wrestler was aware that the ring ropes (in this case, elevator cables wrapped in a rubber casing) were drawn extra tight, so Cactus Jack's neck got legitimately caught, and he could barely move.

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"The ropes were squeezing the sides of my neck, and I was quickly passing out," he described the horrific experience in his memoir, Have a Nice Day. "I felt like I was going to die right there in the Sporthalle in Munich."

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"I began screaming — and I do mean SCREAMING — for help." Mick said that if the pressure continued on his "carotid arteries," he could've suffered "brain damage and even death."

Cactus eventually freed himself, but his ears were split and bleeding. When he re-entered the ring, he began trading blows with Vader, who soon reached up and grabbed Cactus's right ear and ripped it off. The wrestlers continued the match as the referee picked up the ear and handed it over to the ring announcer.

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"I underwent a four-hour operation during which all the cartilage from the missing ear was removed and placed in a man-made pocket an inch above my remaining lobe," the wrestler revealed in his book. "By doing this, the cartilage would remain vital for a reconstructive operation somewhere down the road.

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What is Mick Foley's net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mick Foley's net worth currently stands at $14 million. Most, if not all of his wealth derives from his wrestling career. Nevertheless, Mick also racks in serious cash from his writing career. He's a multi-time New York Times best-selling author, having written five memoirs, four children's books, and two fiction novels.

Mick also has a few acting credits to his name, appearing in projects like Squidbillies, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Peanut Butter Falcon. He also made appearances on Family Feud and Celebrity Wife Swap.

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