Recently on The Steve Austin Show, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin interviewed WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Foley discussed why he threatened to stop watching WWE programming. Foley also talked about the dangers of scripting promos too much. Also, Foley made a plea to Vince McMahon in regards to Sasha Banks’s under-utilization. The following highlights are below, click here for the entire podcast.
According to Foley, he started to watch RAW as a family activity, but slowly noticed that his children were tuning out.
“I came to appreciate the time I was spending with the kids [watching RAW] and it’s kind of a no-brainer if it’s Monday night and I’m home that that’s where I’ll be for three hours every Monday night. But my 12 year old falls asleep [at] about nine [o’clock]. My 14 year old has lost interest,” Foley explained. “I don’t necessarily need to watch the show just for the sake of watching the show and I realized the show is not depressing me. It’s frustrating me.”
Foley said he watched RAW out of habit and realized that he was probably in a similar situation as many other viewers.
“When I realized I was on the verge of not watching, I just thought that I could be indicative of what could be hundreds of thousands of other people who were on the fence, like, who hadn’t been happy about the show for a while, but were watching it because that was their pattern and that’s what they did.”
Foley said that he worried that WWE’s ratings woes would result in more TV time for the Authority, which is not something the fans are interested in seeing. Foley claimed that it is difficult for the audience to separate the heel character of Stephanie McMahon from the WWE executive who appears in all of those charitable ads for the company. Similarly, Foley has trouble switching gears from the heel character of Triple H and the person who spearheaded NXT and the creation of the WWE Performance Center.
“I’ve always liked Stephanie, I’ve always thought the world of her, and I see this person who does great things for Be a STAR [and] for Connor’s Cure, and it confuses people. It’s hard to really dislike this guy who [has] kind of built NXT from the ground up. It’s hard to really dislike Stephanie. And I hope that’s not nitpicky.” Foley continued, “now you’re in a position where the strong personalities are not on the marquee for the house shows or the main events. And that’s my worry, that they’re going to double down with the Authority and I’m not sure that’s what people want to see.”
Foley suggested that people fantasy booking may have negative consequences because it lowers the chances of good ideas actually coming to fruition insofar as WWE may opt to go with a worse idea just to surprise the audience.
“The danger of bringing up good ideas is that I think if people talk about them, there’s less chance that they will get done. And I really wonder because there were a couple of scenarios going into this Survivor Series that seemed to make more sense than the path they chose, but because they made more sense, people were talking about them.”
Foley stated that he believes that Roman Reigns should have turned heel at this year’s Survivor Series.
“I believe that Roman Reigns as part of the Authority would take off. I think that’s what that character really could have used.” Foley added, “they’re kind of putting [Reigns] in that Steve Austin role and not everybody can pull that off.”
Foley claimed that heavily scripting promos takes out the danger of talents making mistakes, but it also removes the possibility of something great happening.
“When you script things, you do take away, like, the chances of disasters.” Foley continued, “but at the same time, when you try to eliminate disasters and you try to eliminate chances of guys like me and The Rock [going] 14 minutes over time, [turning] a 12-minute segment into 26, you also take away that likelihood, or the chance, the possibility, that something really special will take place out there.”
On the topic of Sasha Banks:
“I’m going to make a plea to Mr. McMahon here: let her do her thing! She’s kind of symbolic to me of things that are good about wrestling,” Foley said. “She’s like this kid living a dream. She [has] got this character that works and I think she’s being messed with. If you have someone who’s there, who’s firing on all cylinders, and I’m saying to Vince, this is probably going to get her more heat, just leave her alone! Let her do her thing! You’re 70 [years old], Vince! She’s 23 [years old]. You don’t speak for everybody out there. Just because you don’t get it, [it] doesn’t mean it’s not there to be gotten! When you have people chanting ‘we want Sasha!’, it’s not without reason. Please, Mr. McMahon. Please leave her alone! Let her do her thing. If they want her, give her to them! Let her do the thing. We’re looking for future faces of the company and here’s one of them. Part of the reason I threatened to stop watching [WWE] is that makes me sad. It makes me sad to see someone work so hard, who’s there, and is being led in different directions.”
Full credit to William Windsor of WrestlingInc for the transcription.