Mick Foley is one of the most hardcore WWE Superstars to ever set foot in the squared circle. Known variously as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind, Foley was one of the then-WWF’s biggest stars during the so-called Monday Night Wars against WCW, which took place at the height of wrestlings popularity in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Thumb-tacks, barbed wire, and falls off 20-foot high steel cages were the norm for Hall of Famer Foley, but one thing that fans remember more than anything else is “Barbie,” a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.
Fans of both wrestling and The Walking Dead have long speculated about whether Foley’s trademark weapon was the inspiration behind the villain Negan’s own barbed-wire-covered baseball bat, Lucille. Now, star Jeffrey Dean Morgan has hinted that is was. Here he is wishing the Hardcore Legend a happy birthday:
“Happy damn birthday to the one and only @realmickfoley a man who not only inflicted pain, but took loads of it… and I loved watching,” Morgan wrote on Twitter. The actor also sent his best wishes to Foley’s daughter Noelle, an Instagram influencer and massive fan of the Walking Dead.
Retweeting Morgan’s comment, Foley said that the character of Negan had “made that bat iconic” and thanked the actor for “taking barbed wire mainstream!”
The Walking Dead author Robert Kirkman has never confirmed the inspiration behind Negan’s baseball bat. The character first appeared in 2012, long after Foley had made the weapon legendary in the world of wrestling. Like Lucille, Foley’s barbed-wire bat served as a source of psychological intimidation, striking scripted fear into his opponents.
While the in-universe origin of Lucille is well documented, we could definitely have seen Negan sitting down to watch some ECW before the zombie apocalypse. Perhaps somewhere out there in the world of the Walking Dead, Cactus Jack himself survived with Barbie, just waiting for the ultimate showdown with Negan!
Meanwhile, things aren’t looking good for Negan in the first images released from the Walking Dead‘s final season. The Walking Dead returns for its eleventh and final season on August 22!