To many pro wrestling fans, Noelle Foley is still the distraught little girl who was just barely tall enough to look over the front-row barricade at the 1999 Royal Rumble while her dad, Long Island’s own Mick Foley, was losing the WWE Title to The Rock in an “I Quit” match.
The scene was captured for the documentary “Beyond the Mat,” and 17 years later she still gets asked about it.
“It’s really funny because on Twitter people will be like, ‘You’re the girl who was crying when your dad got hit with the chair,’ ” she says with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘Thanks for reminding me.’ ”
That little girl is now a 6-foot, 22-year-old who has embarked on yet another emotional squared-circle journey — learning to be a pro wrestler herself.
Noelle, her father and the rest of the Foley family are starring in “Holy Foley,” a reality show based on life in the Foley family’s Smithtown home. It premieres at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, on WWE Network, immediately after the SummerSlam show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Noelle’s wrestling training is definitely a thread that runs throughout the series, but I think the theme is the unique daughter-father bond and a different but very loving family, just on the right side of dysfunctional,” says Mick Foley, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 and is now the general manager of “Monday Night Raw.” “We somehow make it work.”
Foley and his wife, Colette, have three other children, sons Dewey, Hughie and Mickey, in a home that includes a year-round Christmas room to go along with what Noelle calls her brothers’ “rhyming Disney Christmas theme” names.
That lighthearted atmosphere gets challenged a bit in “Holy Foley,” as Mick helps train Noelle for a career in wrestling at a time when the bar has been raised on in-ring performance by female WWE Superstars like Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. Mick notes that in a recent interview with Shane McMahon on WWE Network, McMahon spoke of not getting pats on the back from his dad, WWE chairman-CEO Vince McMahon.
“I was probably too free with the pats on the back,” Mick Foley admits of bringing up Noelle, making it all the harder when he had to morph into a tough trainer instead of a doting dad, which Noelle admits brought her to tears a couple of times.
But they’re both thrilled with the experience overall, and while Noelle’s future in wrestling is still a secret, she is embracing the limelight of her pop’s profession.
“The first time they showed our commercial was at WrestleMania on the big screen,” Noelle said about the event earlier this year at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. “I was like . . . I can’t believe this is really happening.”