The following are highlights of a new USA Today “For The Win” interview with Mick Foley:
Do you miss performing in the ring, or does this show fill the void for you?
Mick Foley: That’s exactly what it does. I love it because performing on stage gives me a chance to feel all the things that I felt when I was in the ring… without the late-night emergency room visits. It’s the great upside without the physical beating that I used to take.
It’s a little bit like cutting a promo, isn’t it?
Yeah, yeah, I’m afraid there’s going to be a flood of guys going ‘wait a second! We’ve got stories too!’ There are times actually when I’ll go into promo mode. I’ll tell a story and the story will include a promo, and people really enjoy it because I had three distinct characters as a wrestler [Dude Love, Cactus Jack and Mankind]. They enjoy the idea that I can go into vintage 1997 Mankind, and it takes them back to their childhood when I terrified them.
Speaking of the late-night trips to the hospital, how do you feel, health-wise? Do you have any regrets about how hardcore your career was?
I’ll just coin the phrase from We’re the Millers. No regrets. R-A-G-R-E-T-S. If I said I regretted any of it, then I’d have to say I regretted all of it because the things I did made me who I was. I guess I could go and section off a certain time period where I wished I had the wisdom to call it quits earlier than I did. I wished I had resisted the urge to return, long after mother nature and father time rang their warning bell.
Which match do you consider your finest?
My finest match is probably in 2004 against Randy Orton at Backlash. It was a personal triumph for me, I had come back after four years out of the ring and I kind of let myself down. I had the perfect opportunity [before Backlash] in Madison Square Garden teaming up with The Rock against Evolution, and I just kind of dropped the ball. I didn’t give the performance that I should have, and the next month I came back and redeemed myself. It was a match of personal redemption. It’s not one that I talk about very often on stage, but that’s my personal favorite.
If you could book a match to headline WrestleMania, with any two wrestlers past and present, who would you choose?
I would like to see that Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan match. I’d like to see CM Punk and Stone Cold. I guess I’m saying I’d like to see Stone Cold make a return one last time. I’d like to see me and Hulk Hogan, just so I could say I did it.
Speaking of CM Punk, you two have a history. Do you think he’ll come back?
There’s no telling. He marches to the beat of his own drummer. I will say he doesn’t respond to me. I used to be able to reach out to him. I think he’s just cut off all communication with people from the business, and if he comes back, it’ll be on his own terms, and I respect that.
Who are your favorite wrestlers in the WWE right now? Is there anyone that reminds you of Mick Foley?
There are a few people. Bray Wyatt reminds me of myself. He’s one of my favorite guys. He’s really a mesmerizing interview, and he makes great use of his physical talents. He definitely makes the most out of his unusual frame. Love to hear him cut a promo. I love CM Punk’s work on the microphone and in the ring. Daniel Bryan has just been a phenomenon, I hope he heals up and comes back at 100%. Dolph Ziggler, he’s unheralded, hopefully he’ll get another run. There’s so many good wrestlers on the rise. I just saw an NXT match between Natalya Neidhart and Ric Flair’s daughter Charlotte that was just off the charts.
What’s the biggest problem WWE faces right now?
I think the biggest problem is letting the rest of the world catch up to them from a technological standpoint. This Network is so vastly different from anything that’s been attempted on such a major scale that not everyone has caught on. Like, I’m 49 and I have to have my 11-year-old get me on the Network. I can’t those two extra steps involved with an Xbox or a PlayStation. I patience will definitely be a virtue. There was a lot of stock speculation, as soon as I saw that drop I put my money where my mouth is and I bought a lot of stock. I’m bullish on WWE, so I may not agree with everything I see on TV but it’s a great company.
Any predictions for Money in the Bank next week?
I think if Bray Wyatt wins we’re looking at a brave new world in WWE, and I hope that happens. I’m picking either Cesaro or Bray Wyatt, and each of them would take WWE in a unique direction.
Check out the complete interview at USAToday.com.