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Mick Foley Recalls Working With André The Giant In All Japan Pro Wrestling

February 24, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
WrestleMania 3 Andre the Giant Image Credit: WWE

On a recent episode of Foley is Pod, Mick Foley talked about getting to work with the legendary André the Giant near the end of the latter’s life. Read some of the excerpts:

On getting to wrestle André for AJPW: “I wrestled him, three or four times for All Japan Pro Wrestling. There’s a video out there. André travelled with the Japanese, he was the only foreigner who did. Maybe there were others, but I know on our trip, he was the only one who did. Even the Funks rode in the gaijin bus. But André travelled and dressed with the Japanese. So at the house shows, you couldn’t see him [before the match]. So it would be me and another guy against André and somebody like [Mighty Inoue]. Guys who had been stars, and knew their role when lower on the card.”

On the respect Japanese crowds showed André: “It was great. They weren’t great matches by any means, but you just kinda listened, and react more than you are acting. When it came time for him to drop that big elbow, this is where the respect the Japanese crowd is such a thing of beauty. Because they’re reacting to kind of what they… they know that what they’re seeing doesn’t look that great and paying tribute to it with their reaction. Andre, he wouldn’t so much drop an elbow as he would go down to like an ankle, and then an outer knee, and then a hip, and then the rest of his body would land on you. And it still hurt! It still took the wind out of you.”

On the honour of being able to work with André: “So while they weren’t great matches, they weren’t horrible. And it was such an honour. How many guys of my era can say they worked with him? Really, it was the guys in his last WWE run with the quick thirty second matches with Ultimate Warrior. And here I was, able to wrestle him in ’91 when he was on his last legs.”

If using any of the above quotations, please credit Foley is Pod h/t 411mania for the transcription.