Between The Ropes
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
WQTM 740 The Team – Orlando, Florida
Archived online at BetweenTheRopes.com
Mick Foley joined Brian Fritz on the November 14th installment of Between the Ropes to chat about his current role within WWE, offering advice to wrestlers breaking into the business today, his thoughts on future literary projects, and many other topics.
Although Mick would love the opportunity to attend the amusement parks in Orlando, Florida on WrestleMania 24 weekend with his family, the hardcore legend doesn’t foresee himself taking part in an actual match during wrestling’s premier event of the year. “I really doubt (that I’ll be wrestling). I was lucky – I had a couple chances in 2000, 2004, and 2006 to be a big part of the biggest show of the year, and so I don’t even suggest these things anymore. The thing with Edge came about – I think it was somebody else’s suggestion. But when I go and have an idea in mind, I don’t even look at WrestleMania, because I figure everybody’s looking at â€˜Mania. I’m kind of like the clean-up guy; I’m like the Backlash guy to do something after the big show.”
Foley appreciates the wonderful moments he experienced during his career, and says he doesn’t feel an overwhelming need to appear in an on-camera role at WrestleMania, although he does enjoy being on the show. “I definitely had my â€˜Manias and a lot of other opportunities. And don’t get me wrong, I would have been happy if my name had been chosen (to square of with Umaga at WrestleMania 23) – and I guess my name was up there. But I think the feeling was that they wanted to go with somebody to get some longevity out of that spotlight, and Lashley was going to be a regular and I wasn’t. But I enjoyed this WrestleMania. Maybe it wasn’t my best WrestleMania, but I really did enjoy it, because I got to hang out for the first time all weekend as fan. I had a book out, I had a couple book signings, I went to Austin’s movie premiere, I went to the Hall of Fame, and it was a good weekend. I saw the show, I hung out with a bunch of the guys, I got to talk with Bret Hart. So, all in all, it was a very good weekend for me, and I would not be hurt at all if I had a similar weekend this year.”
Foley discussed his current position with WWE as a part-time performer. “I don’t mind it. The only frustrating thing is … you know what, I had this match at the June Pay-Per-View, I think it was a five-way – can you count all five guys? There was Orton, Booker, Me, Cena … there was a fifth guy in there somewhere. And it wasn’t an all-time great performance on my part, but it wasn’t horrible, and it was a Pay-Per-View main event. And I thought, â€˜You know what? If I never wrestle again, that’s not the worst thing in the world.’ But now, I can’t live the rest of my life when people say, â€˜What was your last match?’ And I’ll say, â€˜Well, I wrestled Coach with a leprechaun as the ref.’ So, I’ve got to do something, and when you ask about my role, I’m not sure what it is. But, I know the company really appreciated … I went to China on short notice, when I really didn’t have to, and I volunteered for a couple of months to go down and talk to a lot of the guys in training following the problems that we had with the Benoit tragedies in June. So, I really had some things that I wanted to say to the younger talent. So, even if I don’t wrestle, I feel as if I’m still doing productive things when I’m there – or even when I’m not on the air; behind the scenes, I feel like I’m helpful in some ways.”
Mick elaborated on his trips to OVW and Florida Championship Wrestling to speak with WWE developmental talent. “I think part of the problem guys have had – and this is really a multi-faceted problem we have with some of these guys dying young – I think it’s a pretty big puzzle and everybody’s gotta figure out where their pieces fit. I think guys have to come into it with a little more realistic expectation of what they can expect to receive. And in so many cases, guys talk about being in the middle of the card or the bottom of the card, and that’s really kind of a â€˜glass half-empty’ approach, because I’ve tried telling people, â€˜Do you know how many guys or women would kill to have any spot?’ In a weird way, I woke up and I had this analogy out of the middle of nowhere, because this is something that’s on my mind quite a bit. And I thought … it’s like Dorothy realizing – you know how she says, â€˜Some of it was horrible, but most of it was wonderful’? It’s kind of like the same thing with wrestling. And I think people don’t realize how wonderful an opportunity it was and how great the times were until they’ve been back in Kansas for a while. You look back and you think of all the chances you had to ride down the roads, and all the neat people you got to see, and different parts of the country and the world. And I think guys realize it wasn’t as bad as they thought, it’s just in wrestler’s DNA to complain, because that’s the nature of the business, you know? I just think guys need to do a better job of understanding … they need to do something with their money. A lot of them think that because we don’t have a union, that they can’t save money on their own and they don’t even understand that they have their own pension if they contribute to it – a simplified employee pension, that in the case of guys who have big years can add up after just a couple of big years. So, I think the best we can do – guys who have been around for a while – is try to educate and give people as much information as they can. You understand that guys are going to make mistakes on their own, but then at least we’ll know that we tried. I think the guys that have been around need to give the best information they can to the younger guys instead of keeping the secrets of success to themselves.”
The wrestling “boom” of the late-nineties created more opportunity for those seeking a career in a business which had long been protected and difficult to infiltrate. Foley compared the challenges today’s prospects encounter to his own learning experiences after breaking into wrestling. “(It’s) harder just to make a living. I don’t begrudge the guys in developmental anything, because four or five hundred dollars a week is pretty tough to live on in this day and age, and certainly you can’t live nearly as large as some of the colleagues they see on television. I also think it’s a tougher way in a sense, tougher to really learn the right way. I was always glad that I got to make my mistakes on small stages, whether it be armories in West Virginia, or a television studio in Memphis, or even the Sportatorium, as opposed to getting one chance and blowing it on national T.V. And I see guys come in with either a bad gimmick or a character that they are not ready to make work. And some guys do get a second chance, some guys get a third chance. But in most cases one chance, and you only get that one chance to make a first impression, and sometimes it’s too late.”
Despite the success of his three wrestling books, Mick says there are currently no literary works on the horizon for him. “I always felt like I would only do it if I really had an idea that’s kind of keeping me up at night, and that was the case with the two novels I did. And I really enjoyed doing â€˜The Hardcore Diaries’, even if it didn’t work out the way I hoped it would – you know, that whole story I was working on. But I think three wrestling books is probably enough. I was going to present an idea for a Christmas book for next year, but I’m not actually actively working on anything right now”.
You can hear this interview in its entirety, as well as the complete archived November 14th edition of Between the Ropes – including Mick’s thoughts on Santino Marella, assisting Chris Jericho with “Y2J’s” recently released autobiography, which wrestlers he’d be interested in working a program with, information on the eBay “Mick Foley Wrestling Store” (including a live, personal look into one of Foley’s merchandise boxes), and more – at www.BetweentheRopes.com. Between the Ropes can be heard Wednesday nights at 10:00pm ET on WQTM 740 The Team in Orlando, Florida and archived at BetweenTheRopes.com.