There have been many times I wished Mick Foley never became a best-selling author. It’s not hate, either. I was ecstatic for both Mick Foley and professional wrestling when it happened.
One of my first favorite wrestlers was Cactus Jack. I loved the poetry and flavor he brought to WCW and ECW. When he became Mankind in WWF, I hoped for the best but expected the worst. When he did the sit down interview with Jim Ross, I fell for the madman all over again. When he won the WWE championship on RAW, it was one of the final straws that broke the back of WCW in my mind.
Remember the three faces of Foley? Cactus Jack, Mankind, Dude Love—I loved all three of them. The face of Foley that I don’t like as much is the fourth face. I’m not a fan of real-life Mick Foley as an on-screen character.
I don’t care how smart he thinks himself, or how humorous, or if he is a bleeding-heart lover of divas and all things decent. I’m glad he didn’t make it in the announcer's booth. Furthermore, for the many times he has visited WWE or TNA as Mick Foley, rather than one of his three faces, I’ve watched the light of my memory for how good he used to be fade into a still image of what he has become.
He is now the man who draws lines and lectures the world on what should or should not be done. He is the author and the man who writes blogs.
Like the one he wrote about Dean Ambrose.
The gist of the blog is that Mick Foley asked Dean Ambrose not to mention his children. Dean Ambrose continued to do so after the conversation. If this is the case, one can argue that Dean Ambrose should have paid that respect to Mick Foley. I’m not going to go too much further into this aspect of the blog because I don’t know how much is genuine and how much isn’t. I do know that it was Mick Foley, not Dean Ambrose, who took those chair shots against the Rock in front of his family. What is a few in-character references compared to that?
It does anger me, I must confess, when wrestlers who have reaped the benefits of a wrestling career (by any means necessary at times) hang around to chastise younger guys like Dean Ambrose for the words he chooses in a tweet.
Throughout the blog, Mick Foley refers to his past self like a former self. He suggests the Mick Foley from 1995 might have cut a promo on Dean Ambrose. I would like to remind Mr. Foley that it was his former 1995 self, the one that would have responded with a promo and not a blog, that made Mick Foley famous. He never would have become a successful wrestler if the 1995 version of himself had he spent his time chastising and blogging rather than creating magic and crossing lines with his Cactus Jack character.
People could easily blog about what kind of parent would take the abuses Mick Foley took. They could talk about how irresponsible he was to his loved ones for going off the top of a cell. They could, but they didn’t. They allowed Cactus Jack or Mankind or Mr. Foley to be a professional wrestler and do all the things that came along with it, without chastising as he went along.
I understand how complicated life can be. I feel for Mick Foley as he talks about the effects of living with his concussion. I respect and love the man who allowed his body to be abused because he wanted to create literature in professional wrestling. I cringe at some of the boundaries he did cross, and if I had been thinking solely on what is right and wrong, I’d probably suggest he have done none of it.
I hope Mick Foley’s blog was just part of the on-going war with Dean Ambrose, and will be used to further the program. I hope it is not another example of what he has become. To take a guy like Dean Ambrose and start editing the things he can say as a character is to cut off where he can grow. It would be like telling Mick Foley to start his career over but, please, nothing hardcore.
Mick Foley praises Mick Foley in that, if he had one more match to put someone over, he would give it to Dolph Ziggler or the Miz.
This is what scares me the most.
Dolph Ziggler, whom I enjoy and support, does not represent the wrestling world that allowed Cactus Jack to become best-selling author and judge-of-all-things Mick Foley. The Miz, whom I also love, doesn’t need a Mick Foley match to get over. He beat John Cena at WrestleMania. His only problem now is WWE booking.
Dean Ambrose could truly benefit from a program with Mick Foley, just not this Mick Foley.
Before Mick Foley ever made best-sellers, Cactus Jack and Mankind made literature. Literature is born free of judgment, free of rules and free of restraints. It is when men look inside themselves and find something—it may be beautiful or it may be ugly, it may be decent or indecent, but it is real. They go into labor bring it into the world. They show us and we marvel, never knowing the pain and soul searching and sacrifices that it took to birth that thing.
Dean Ambrose is in labor. If WWE allows him, he will bring this thing inside him into full view. It will probably be ugly and indecent and beautiful and rare. It will be, over the next five or 10 years, something we marvel at. WWE will record it on DVD; men and women will tell us where they were when Dean Ambrose gave birth.
Mick Foley can be there or not be there. Either way, Dean Ambrose will bring forth literature.
I respect all that Mick Foley did. I do not respect what he does.
There will always be a place for him in wrestling history, but when it comes to the rare, younger guys with the truest potential, it’s simple.
Mick Foley needs to go along or go away.