WWE Hall of Fame Mick Foley joined Busted Open Radio just days after posting a video criticizing WWE for no longer being the place to be for future wrestling talent. According to Foley, the video is entirely based on a question he was asked on AEW during a question-and-answer session during Foley’s Have a Nice Day tour.
“When I’m on tour, the second half of the show is a question-and-answer session, and I welcome any questions. And the first question three nights ago was “what do I think about AEW?” ”Said Foley. “And that’s where I ended up saying, I used the phrase, ‘I think WWE has a problem because they’re not the place where talent aspires to be anymore. “Once I brought it up I said ‘uh oh’. There’s usually one question every two nights that the wrestling media will figure out. I was like ‘well they’re going away. to notice.’ And I thought, ‘As long as they figure this out, they might as well hear from me. Because that’s something I thought about anyway. So I made this 75 second video. . And that really struck a chord with people, because I think it was on a lot of people’s minds anyway, I think that’s something WWE needed to hear. I used Karrion Kross as an example, because someone whose main roster debut was about 1/8 as electrifying as their NXT debut. That’s a problem. And then when you go from diluting a character to embarrassment, I think that sends the wrong signal to all of us who are developing and to all of us who have a choice to make, a real choice to make.
“Theoretically, NXT is their own show, and I think for a long time their shows stood out and were amazing on their side. But on paper, they’re a development group. So they’d be like a power system. And if a guy hits .360 and drives runs, hits home runs in minor league baseball, he should be given the same opportunity with the big league. But I think if I’m Adam Cole, and I watch what just happened with the guys who debuted. Not just Karrion Kross, but even coming back to a talented guy like EC3, who could have been a major player and made a joke to some extent, I should seriously consider if WWE was where my dreams were going to come true. . Adam probably looked at his height relative to the type of people Vince likes on the main roster. I don’t think it hurts at all that his girlfriend, Britt Baker, was at AEW and that he made the choice he thought was right for him. When you put all of these things together and see people now moving away from what they see for greener pastures, that’s a problem for WWE. “
Foley pointed to Ruby Soho, another wrestler who recently joined AEW, as an example of WWE’s missed opportunity. He believes the WWE business model takes away the individuality of performers, and while some things in WWE remain strong, a lot of talent ends up being alike.
“I thought Ruby stood out. I thought she was great in WWE, ”Foley said. “She had a great race there. I don’t think they got all they could from here, and that’s why when she left I tweeted “I don’t think we saw the best of her” or “the best is still to come”. And I think so. I think one of the things you risk when you have a development system and a way of doing things specific to your business model is that you lose a little bit of individuality. And so you tend to have a lot of people who can make big moves, have really good matches, whose names you can’t remember after you’ve wrestled. Unless you log in every week. That was the problem with me. I would log in sporadically and say ‘whoa, look at this guy. Good shape, looks great, good looking guy, wearing swimsuits, good movements. I don’t remember his name.
“A lot of guys tend to fall into the same pattern of looking and wrestling the same way. So when you have someone like Ruby who’s very original and brash in the ring, I think you tend to lose a bit of that. WWE was where the characters came to life, and now I think it’s a place that (the characters are going to die) in a way. Obviously that’s not the case all the time because you have a revolutionary character, guys like Bray Wyatt who’s gone. There are still great stories to tell. I’m looking at this Smackdown list and it’s just stacked top to bottom. The stuff Roman Reigns does with Paul Heyman as an ultra submissive second is really awesome. But there are only a certain number of points on the map. And this is a problem that AEW will have to solve. No address, but they’re going to have to live with it, because there’s a lot of talent in a promotion there too. It’s a good problem to have if you’re a wrestling fan, or a wrestler. “
Foley went on to say that individuality was lost in WWE, pointing out how the tenures of WWE owner and president Vince McMahon could take him down depending on what McMahon wants. That, and the talent leaving WWE to join AEW, also helped inspire Foley to release the video when he did.
“Vince is one of the wisest men I’ve ever met, but he’s subject to the whims,” Foley said. “One day you will hear ‘I don’t want long hair anymore.’ Then you have an almost full roster of guys with short hair, which makes it a lot harder to sell. Or “I want to see some trunks!” So now everyone has trunks. “Damn, if someone hits you, raise your arms and protect yourself!” So now each person, as soon as the beatings come, they have to lift both arms. This is not how everyone defends themselves first. There must be a different way. I certainly sold punches in a different way than the guys on the list.
“But when you see the same reactions from top to bottom of the map because people got an ultimatum down the line, I just think it hurts the individuality of the product. And then when you have a guy like Adam Cole, who really found a groove, which was, for me, the NXT MVP. And he has a decision to make and he decides that WWE is not the place where his dreams are likely to come true. Again, going back to the theme of ‘WWE, we have a problem’, we have a problem. “
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide ah / t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcript.