“Do you want to be a statistic or do you want to be a legend?”
WWE Champion CM Punk and Mick Foley have demonstrated incredible chemistry on the microphone over the past few weeks, making it evident that Foley is the perfect foil to Punk.
When gearing up for the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, Foley made a surprise appearance to address Punk on the importance of the match. He tried to convince Punk to challenge John Cena, telling him the match would solidify his legacy.
Foley, competing as Mankind, was involved in one of the most iconic matches in WWE history. The clip of him being thrown off the top of the cell by the Undertaker has become one of the most well-known moments.
“Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy” set the bar for Hell in a Cell matches and implored Punk to defend the championship against Cena inside the cell. “No one cares about dates. What they care about are the moments that go on to define us,” Foley told Punk on the Sept. 24 edition of Monday Night Raw.
That line alone proves why Foley is the perfect foil for Punk beyond just establishing the importance of the Hell in a Cell main event. As long as Punk continues to boast about the length of his reign, he and Foley will have heat. Foley will always be able to tell Punk that holding the WWE Championship for a long time doesn’t solidify his place in history.
After all, Foley’s three reigns as WWE Champion add up to 29 days, yet he is still one of the most loved Superstars in WWE history.
The hardcore reputation Foley earned throughout his career is another aspect of him that makes him a great foil to the Chicago native. Punk used it to further himself as a heel by saying he would never put himself in that kind of danger just to provoke a reaction from the crowd.
There’s more depth to that aspect of their promo. Obviously, he’s criticizing Foley for going to such extreme lengths to get a pop. In that, he’s essentially calling Foley pathetic.
Foley’s status as a fan favorite is another reason why he works so well with Punk. As good as he is on the mic and as over he is with the fans, Foley is someone who helps Punk garner an incredible amount of heel heat.
The WWE has used Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross in similar positions. They’re very charismatic, and even sympathetic, figures. Punk’s verbal attacks have proved to be one of the best ways of generating the desired reaction from the crowd.
“The Hardcore Legend” is a little different, though. His prowess on the mic makes him the perfect person to stand across the ring from Punk. Yes, he comes across as relatively sympathetic when Punk lays into him, but his talking ability is what really makes their pairing effective. The passion Foley speaks with hits home with the live crowd and viewers at home.
Furthermore, his promo skills always seem to take Punk to the next level. Punk is, of course, one of the best talkers in the WWE today. When working with Foley, though, Punk seems to reach an entirely new level.
Punk and Foley’s feud seemed to get going when they announced Team Punk vs. Team Foley in a traditional Survivor Series elimination match. However, it was announced on the Nov. 5 episode of Raw that the main event of Survivor Series would now be Punk defending the WWE Championship against John Cena and Ryback in a Triple Threat match.
Hopefully this isn’t the end of Punk and Foley’s feud; they have too much chemistry on the microphone to stop now.
Maybe they’ll pick up after Survivor Series. They may even have a match at the WWE’s TLC PPV. After all, the TLC theme is perfect for Foley—it fits right in with his hardcore expertise and the stipulation could allow him to cut corners due to how limited he is in the ring.