These days in WWE, we’re seeing some superstars honor legends of the Attitude Era by incorporating their finishing moves into their own in-ring arsenal. Kevin Owens has been using the Stunner for a while now, which was popularized by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the 1990s. The latest performer to follow the trend, however, is Bray Wyatt, who’s adopted Mick Foley’s Mandible Claw.
Wyatt debuted his new finishing move in a segment with Mick Foley in July’s Raw Reunion episode. While Foley was cutting a promo in the ring, the lights went out and Wyatt’s new persona, The Fiend, appeared to give the legend a taste of his own maneuver.
The segment represented a strange passing of the torch moment between Foley and Wyatt, as it would seem that the Hall of Famer approves of his old move being used by his younger counterpart.
In an interview with Wrestling Inc., the hardcore legend revealed that he’s noticed several young superstars paying homage to him. He also noted how Wyatt has been honoring him for years prior to him adopting his move.
“Now you have guys like Bray, who told me years ago, ‘Look, I’m doing something in a rocking chair,’ because he had gotten a rocking chair from an interview that I did for Randy Orton. You see it a little bit with Aleister Black and the rocking, and Su Yung, and Rosemary, and I love it; Sami Callihan doing the cactus driver.”
Some wrestlers like their finishing moves to be exclusive to them. Foley doesn’t appear to feel that way about his submission maneuver, though. In the interview, he also said that the move belongs to Wyatt now.
“I feel for Bray because you want a finishing move that you can do to anyone at any time. The Mandible Claw… is something that is all [Bray’s] now.”
Foley went on to talk about how he appreciates Wyatt, and the legend doesn’t appear to be holding any grudges about the attack either.
Foley is an outspoken fan of the product, and he wouldn’t have chosen to put Wyatt over so prominently if he didn’t approve of him using his move and carrying the torch.
Despite being very different to Foley’s characters, Wyatt boasts similarities in many ways. Like Foley before him, he portrays a split personality gimmick that stands out as menacing and odd. If any wrestler can continue Foley’s legacy in an admirable way, it’s Wyatt.