I guess the first thing I should say before I go off on anything this week is that I will not do the letter column this week. I have received many interesting emails and I hope to continue to receive more as we go into next week but my topic matter this week in my opinion just had too short of a shelf life to delay it. I guess this column is just like every wrestling event you go to where the card is subject to change. This week I want to talk about the new TNA World Champion Mick Foley. You see when you ask some people to describe Mick Foley in one word they will use words like inspirational, hardcore and amazing yet after this weekend I could only truly describe how I felt about Mick Foley in one simple word…whore…you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
Before I go further I have to say I don?t know Mick Foley but from what I hear from those who know him or have had the chance to meet him he is a spectacular human being. According to those individuals the heart and compassion this man possesses is truly unparalleled and I believe those people to be saying the truth. However my current outlook on the man is still the same I truly believe himself to be a prostitute of the highest degree as far as the wrestling business is concerned. I guess I am going ahead with this because it is no secret that Mick Foley pays attention to what is written about him and I don?t want to feel like this is a personal attack on him since that’s not what I have been given this forum for. So to anyone that feels that this is disrespectful I don?t intend for it to be that way. I too am a Mick Foley fan but at the same time I am also a columnist with a responsibility not to sugar coat things for the talent that I admire in this business. Mick Foley is an individual in and out of wrestling that I have great admiration for but I have to take him to task.
I want everyone to step inside the time machine with me to February 27, 2000. To anyone that is a buff of the business you will recognize this to be the date of the No Way Out 2000 PPV and even more importantly the date of what was supposed to be Mick Foley’s swan song in an epic Hell in a Cell encounter with HHH. It can be argued that Mick might have never been hotter than he was at this particular time of his career and it was probably due to the fact that he was receiving a bit of a resurgence as the man who will forever be known as ?The Hardcore Legend? was sort of slumping a bit and being reduced to a comedy act who pulled a sock out of his pants. Injuries from over 20 years of diving onto concrete, getting hit with steel chairs and leaping off of cages were slowing Mick Foley down and well he was at a point where he was just getting by. Like a true artist and make no mistake about it while some talent are just wrestlers Mick Foley is truly an artist he saw that his best work was behind him but felt he had yet to truly paint his masterpiece. So with newfound determination he sought to get himself where he needed to be to make his swansong memorable and it was. There were many sad people who could not believe that Mick Foley had indeed retired. I can?t tell you how many people I knew back then who were sure somehow he was going to win and hold the WWE title if only for just a day just not to retire. However we were wrong and he lost and he did indeed retire and we took him at his word because Mick Foley was not like everyone else to us. He was human; we saw he had a family and we saw how much he cared for them and vice versa and well we wanted him to be able to be the same family man that we saw without losing his faculties for our pleasure. We took him at his word because this man who spilled his guts out in what may be the most influential book of this generation of wrestlers said he didn?t want to be a prostitute who came back 3 months later as if nothing ever happened. He did not want to be a whore.
Now let’s fast forward a bit to March 20, 2000 Monday Night Raw. We were treated to what we believed before this night to be the main event of Wrestlemania and found out immediately following this match that for one night only Mick Foley would return so that he could main event a Wrestlemania and fulfill a dream of wrestling under his own name for the title. Mick would later come out and say that when he made his initial 3 months statement he did not lie because he actually came back in 3 weeks and we of course laughed and forgave him instead of holding him to the standard that we would hold anyone else. Why? It was really simple. We liked the guy, we wanted him to have his moment and if it was truly just a one night only comeback well we couldn?t begrudge him that could we? After all what was the likelihood that he was going to make a one night only come back and win the title? So we let him have his match in what I will always feel was one of the worst Wrestlemania main events of all time and we let him go out once again on his terms even though he had already previously went out on his terms and we bid him farewell as he went off and into the sunset. Mick would later write in his second book Foley is Good that he was happy being retired and he felt pressured to come back by Vince McMahon and didn?t want to take a chance on being sued and at the same time felt truly honored to be considered to be in the main event of Wrestlemania . He would later state in other interviews that he was in fact retired and was true to his word and didn?t want his fans that originally paid for the No Way Out show to feel betrayed. I can?t speak for anyone else but I believed him and had to really tip my hat to a guy who went out the way I felt he wanted to go out and would never come back. What a novel concept someone who retires and actually stays retired.
Let’s hop back in that time machine to May 15, 2000. If my memory serves me correctly I believe that was the day Mick Foley came back into WWE as WWE Commissioner and speaking for myself only I have to say I was genuinely happy for him. You see while some are of the opinion that Mick Foley politicked his way to a main event push in the WWE I don?t think anyone can say that after he broke that glass ceiling he wasn?t one of the most entertaining characters in professional wrestling. So I was happy he was back because while I wouldn?t get ?The Hardcore Legend? I would still get the unique entertainment of Mick Foley and while he was Commissioner it was great. He may have been one of the best if not the best to serve in an authority figure gimmick and he helped prove that you don?t have to be a wrestler to have value to a wrestling company. In Mick’s short time as Commissioner he helped elevate stars such as Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle simply by appearing on camera with them and it was a great moment for me personally as a fan to see someone who could still theoretically go in the ring give up that spot and take time out so that others can shine and do what he could to help others shine. It was that unselfishness that made Mick Foley successful as a wrestler in the ring and we hoped that it would carry on in his supposed post wrestling career.
Of course as the saying goes ?All good things must come to an end? and Mick Foley’s tenure as Commissioner was a short one as he left the company in late 2001 and seemed to embrace the thought of trying to show that he was more than a wrestler. Having already penned 2 children’s books Mick wanted to see if he could perhaps get the same recognition as a legitimate novelist as he did as a professional wrestler and well I rooted the guy on as I was a big fan of his writing. Sure it was his memoir he got acclaim for writing originally but it takes great skill to tell any story even if it happens to be your own. So he went and set out and wrote Tietam Brown. I can?t give any real opinion on Tietam Brown as I have never read it but those who have that I know have told me it wasn?t a half bad read but it didn?t catch on the way it was hoped (although Mick has said that there was genuine interest in making it a full length feature film) and Mick found himself coming back to WWE initially just to promote the book and soon found himself in the role of being Co General Manager of Raw in late 2003. At first I was very happy after all General Manager or Commissioner it was all the same role to me and I thought we were going to somewhat go back to the good old days of 2000-2001. That feeling was short lived however as Mick soon got involved with Randy Orton. The program that ensued between them was great and you could argue that Mick Foley is the one who helped Orton get to that next level and without him we may not have the Randy Orton that we enjoy today. Due to the fact that many missed him and also because as stated before the matches that came out of this program were great we once again forgave Mick and took him at his word that he was retired and was doing something for the business and not for himself. After all Mick Foley is not a prostitute and heaven forbid you wouldn?t dare to call him a whore.
The retirement would not last though as Mick Foley would once again attempt to gain literary praise with Scooter and once again found himself on WWE TV in an attempt to sell his book. We tried not to think anything of it but at this point the routine was already pretty well known it was just a matter of time. Mick would once again return to the ring at the inaugural Taboo Tuesday in a special attraction match where fans would vote for which ?Face of Foley? would face Carlito. We excused it because we felt it was just a special attraction match and mostly a ?Ha Ha? event. We figured it wasn?t serious so we wouldn?t take it seriously and wouldn?t consider doing the match a violation of Mick’s word. After all Mick Foley wasn?t a prostitute, he wasn?t a whore he was simply giving back to us?right.
The wheels sort of came off the retirement bus after that as Mick Foley would come back on a part time basis in 2006 to feud with Edge. His reasoning at the time was he never had a Wrestlemania moment. Once again fans in a attempt to identify with him forgave him for it and tried to understand it and supported him. Of course a ?Wrestlemania moment? turned into a comeback of sorts as Mick would turn heel and unite with Edge to participate in the second ECW One Night Stand in 2006 his reasoning would be to help the ECW brand get off to a good start. Well how can we get mad at Mick after all he only wanted to help the business succeed? There was nothing after all in it for himself or that would make him the same prostitute and the same whore he decried 6 years previous. He then entered into a program with Ric Flair but his reasoning according to his book for doing so was that he saw the potential in the angle to elevate Melina afterwards and hoped that the company would do more for her later on as he saw potential in her. After the program with Flair he disappeared again but by now we all knew it was just a matter of time?but that doesn?t make Mick Foley a whore does it?
He would again return to the ring. This time almost out of nowhere to wrestle in the ?Championship Challenge? at Vengeance in June of 2007. The lure of the ring seemed too much to shake and the man who in my opinion had nothing to prove and in his mind did not want to be remembered as a prostitute just couldn?t stand to see himself away from it. What happened to the Mick Foley who didn?t want to take a chance and get seriously injured in the ring? What happened to the Mick Foley who wanted to step aside so that someone else could ascend and be given the chance he was given? What happened to the Mick Foley that didn?t want to make his kids cry again like he did during the 1999 Royal Rumble in a scene that was well documented in Beyond the Mat? It’s very simple folks?he never existed. He was a mirage?no scratch that! He was an idea, a fantasy someone that we wanted to believe was true because in his heart of hearts Mick Foley believed it to be true and we believed in Mick Foley.
We would make the mistake of believing in Mick again when he went to the Smackdown announce booth. Surely he would leave well enough alone right? After all what more could you do but announce at this point? Maybe Mick enjoyed the challenges after all and maybe that’s why he kept coming back to the ring after claiming that he was done. This would be a challenge for Mick and he would rise to the occasion and enjoy instant success as an announcer and all seemed right with the world until Vince McMahon opened his big mouth and screamed. At this point Foley a proud man in his own right didn?t feel he deserved to be treated that way and fled to TNA. He would do the authority figure bit again but of course once again it was a matter of time before he was back in the ring and now the unthinkable has happened and he is now the World Champion.
It’s funny how certain things change your perspective on other things. After all Mick Foley has been doing the same song and dance for 9 years now and while its bothered me it never really upset me and I think that’s because I felt he never really did anything to hurt a company. In his mind it was probably meant to help the company. He never really had what I felt was a truly intentional selfish moment in wrestling until last Sunday and I am hurt by it. Mick you said you wanted to help TNA but how does this help TNA? The whole point of the Main Event Mafia angle was to elevate the younger stars and yet when all is said and done it gave those older stars some new life and helped create the unlikeliest of World Champions in you. I thought you were an inventive person, a creative person and above all else a wrestling fan at heart who wanted to see business progress and succeed and yet in the end you proved to be no different from any of those that came before you who were out for their own personal glory. Marks for their own success. You became that which you detested and objected to becoming 9 long years ago?a whore.
I am still trying to figure out how this is for the betterment of TNA and for the wrestling business as a whole as while you are enjoying this title reign it appears that two of TNA’s so called young lions who were supposed to be elevated Samoa Joe and AJ Styles are now back to wrestling each other. Which is exactly what they were doing 4 years ago and you can call me foolish and lord knows I am not psychic but it almost seems as if your latest transitional reign as World Champion is being set up to give the title back to Jeff Jarrett a man who we have been trying to get away from as champion for years. Way to contribute Mick, way to keep things progressive. It was a few years ago where I remember you becoming upset when Brian Gerwitz had informed you that behind your back Paul Heyman had referred to you as a whore. You felt at the time it was unjust and were even more insulted that this was done behind your back. Well Mick it was right on the nose and here I am out in the open for all to see?you?re a whore.
Of course you can get it all back. Go ahead and walk away Mick. Go be a husband to your amazing wife Collette. Enjoy the teenage years with Dewey and Noelle and all that is to come with little Mickey. There is nothing more to prove and right now your current role in wrestling is not a help but a hindrance to progress. I was never one of those fans with the ?Foley is God? sign but I always thought ?Foley is Good? now I think ?Foley was Good? and soon I will think ?Foley is just plain embarrassing? don?t let it happen Mick you can walk away while there is still time.
I guess there is nothing else to do on that note but wrap this week up. Once again I am sorry to postpone the mailbag column and hope to get to it this week. Considering the column I gave you this week I hope you are not disappointed. Of course there is still time to get in on the mailbag column and you can do that by sending me a email of your thoughts, questions or ideas to email@example.com or you can do the same at http://www.myspace.com/wrestlingrumbling I have read some really great emails and see that you will make my choices very difficult as far as which ones to print here. So that’s it next week I will try to do better and until then I am out.