Tuesday 13 March 2012

Take a Shower, Hit the Weights, Get a Clue

Remember Mick Foley? Of course you do! He’s one of the most popular wrestlers of the last two decades. He’s a former three time WWF champion and one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era. He’s the guy who took that crazy bump off the Hell in  Cell at King of the Ring ’98, the same guy who went on to become the goofy commissioner, starring in humorous backstage skits alongside Edge and Christian.

What happened to that guy?

Well, thinking he could improve their fortune by signing with them he moved over to TNA in 2008. He was wrong: he couldn’t turn the company’s spiralling fortunes around. He had an up and down three years there, eventually becoming fed up and openly stating he wished to return to WWE. 

That he did last on the November 14th 2011 RAW. On that night he hosted a This is Your Life segment for John Cena. ‘The Hardcore Legend’ has said of that segment he wanted it to be as bad a slice of television as possible. Why? He thinks bad TV is good TV. You can read my thoughts on this self-indulgent attitude here. In short, I think Foley’s attitude towards TV time is horrendous and WWE management are fools for allowing him to go ahead with the segment as seen. When younger guys desperately need to be allowed the chance to progress Foley eating up airtime with deliberately bad, not to mention unentertaining, nonsense is unacceptable.

This is what WWE considers a good use of TV time

It’s interesting that we’ve seen little of Foley since then. Perhaps the feeling was that Foley hosting a This is Your Life segment would draw in mammoth ratings. You may well be scoffing at that (especially so if you’ve seen the show in question) but the highest rated segment in RAW history was for a This is Your Life segmentn Foley held for Cena’s WrestleMania opponent, The Rock. WWE likely hoped Foley could create similar magic alongside John Cena. They, and Foley, were wrong.

Aside from a brief return to TV shortly before the Royal Rumble, which led to an appearance in the annual thirty man extravaganza, Foley hasn’t done anything in WWE this year. I suspect the reason for that could be that he’s not in good enough shape. WWE in 2012 is a very different place to the WWF of 1999. Foley cannot get away with being as ridiculously out of shape as he has been for the majority of the last decade. If he wants to do more than make sporadic appearances to cut promos he’s going to have to start taking better care of himself.

Had he started doing so sometime last year he may have been on course for a WrestleMania match by now. Foley can still get it done in the ring if given the chance to do so, and a young guy like Miz, Dolph Ziggler or Cody Rhdoes would have benefited from a feud with such a big star. With Rock headlining the card it would have been a good bet that a Foley match would have received a premium spot thanks to his status as an Attitude Era star. WWE may even have given one or two more matches an Old School vibe.

It’s not too late for Foley, or for the Rhodes and Zigglers of the rosters to benefit from his star power and ability. As soon as he’s deemed good enough to appear on television he’ll do so. With monthly pay-per-views Foley could return to elevate a star at any time. My guess is that he’ll currently be aiming for a bout at SummerSlam. I hope he manages it. Handled correctly, Foley can still be an entertaining part of the wrestling world.

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