Mick Foley is unquestionably a legend in the wrestling business who was a big part of the WWE's dominance during the Attitude Era. His body has taken a major beating over the years, however, and he is well past his prime. So the fact that he has been given significant television time lately is a bit confusing.
Even though Foley can't be expected to wrestle anymore, he obviously still has some value to the WWE. He's a big name that the fans love, and he is still great on the mic, so he can excel in a speaking capacity. His involvement in the product over the past couple months has seemed forced, though, and I struggle to find any solid reasoning behind it.
Foley showing up and challenging CM Punk to a five-on-five match prior to Survivor Series made sense, as he had previously called out Punk for ducking John Cena and was subsequently attacked by Punk backstage. Punk was dropped from the match in favor of Dolph Ziggler, however, and Foley's status as a team captain became utterly irrelevant.
The WWE soldiered forward with the angle, and it wasn't really beneficial for anyone.
Foley was in his team's corner at Survivor Series, and we did get to see him use Mr. Socko on Ricardo Rodriguez, which is always a barrel of laughs. But he honestly had no business being there, and he had absolutely no impact on the result whatsoever.
As much as I like and respect Foley, I can't help but think that his appearances have been for promotional purposes more than anything. He recently released a children's book in conjunction with the WWE entitled A Most Mizerable Christmas, and that probably has as much to do with the WWE's usage of him as anything.
I fully understand the art of promoting merchandise, and I don't fault the WWE for wanting to hype its book, but doing that by throwing Foley into random storylines rubs me the wrong way. I have absolutely no problem with the WWE using Foley in situations that call for it. However, once Punk was dropped from the Survivor Series match, Foley should have been as well.
Foley's sole purpose should be to get other superstars over, and it didn't feel like he did that at Survivor Series. Having The Miz join his team certainly helped The Miz a bit in terms of eventually turning face, but Foley himself didn't put anyone over on the mic. He seemed like he had his own agenda. And it might have been the agenda that Vince McMahon told him to have, but it was basically pointless.
While Foley hasn't been used since Survivor Series, he's likely to turn up again at some point. If he does, though, it shouldn't simply be because he has something to plug and the WWE has time to kill during Raw. Foley is still one of the best when it comes to promos, but there needs to be a purpose behind them for him to matter.
The WWE did something similar with him at the start of the year with regards to the Royal Rumble. Foley returned and chastised Ziggler only to lobby John Laurinaitis for a spot in the Royal Rumble match. He was eventually granted a spot, and it was fun to see him involved, but he could hardly move and was used solely for comedic purposes alongside Ricardo and Santino Marella.
Also, when Foley appeared on the 1,000th episode of Raw, it was simply so he could dress up like Dude Love and dance around with Brodus Clay. Foley was a huge part of Monday Night Raw over the years, and his first WWE Championship win helped tip the Monday Night Wars scale in the WWE's direction, yet he was utilized as a joke on the biggest episode in the show's history.
I'm perfectly fine with the WWE using Foley if its for a good reason, even if there's a school of thought that believes he is taking valuable time away from younger stars. Having him show up for the purpose of peddling merchandise or putting on a puppet show is senseless, though.
Bring him back as an authority figure, such as the general manager of Raw or SmackDown, and there's no doubt that he'll pay dividends. However, essentially using him as a clown does nothing but make a mockery of Foley and the WWE Universe as a whole, and it's time for the WWE to come to that realization.