So, Mick Foleyâ<80><99>s WWE announcing career has ended. Whether he signs a new contract or not, I doubt any post-September role would include wearing the earphones and sitting next to good olâ<80><99> JR.
And thatâ<80><99>s just fine with me.
Sorry, folks. Foley just didnâ<80><99>t do it for me as an announcer. In a review I did for the Night of Champions DVD, I mentioned how Foley seemed awkward at first in adjusting to JRâ<80><99>s style, but improved as the show went on. In looking at other performances before and since, he is just not cut out to be a color guy. He has knowledge. He has insight. But that does not translate into a compelling, analytical style.
Foley will never be known as a great wrestler, but he has been involved in memorable matches. He has been called nothing more than a glorified stunt man. I disagree. Foley can work the ring and the stick, as evidenced in his latest angle with Edge. What a promo. When he came into the WWE back in â<80><99>96 as Mankind, few though he would ever get out of the mid-card shuffle, let alone become champion.
To me, Foley was more innovative in character development than talented in the ring. The characters of Mankind and Dude Love should have been as forgettable as T.L. Hopper and The Goon. But Foley made it work. He had fun with those characters and it showed. He knew how outlandish Dude Love was and he handled it with tongue firmly implanted in cheek, never taking it seriously.
Donâ<80><99>t get me started on the Mr. Socko thing. Simple, yet brilliant!
His first book, â<80><9c>Have a Nice Day,â<80> set the standard for wrestling books. I should know. I tried to live up to that in working on two books with Bobby Heenan. Foleyâ<80><99>s first book is a tough act to follow, if not impossible. It is a trail blazing masterpiece in the wrestling book genre that few have come close to replicating. Subsequent books he wrote fell short to me. His attempt at fiction? Not so good. Yet, good or bad, he wrote New York Times best-sellers and you canâ<80><99>t argue with his appeal as a writer.
So, pretty good wrestler. Entertaining and innovative on-screen character(s). Best-selling author.
However, that does not make a good color guy on television. Maybe it was Vince McMahon constantly screaming in his ear. That would make it a bit hard to concentrate. Being in-depth, analytical and entertaining is a challenge when you canâ<80><99>t even hear yourself talk. Yet others have overcome that obstacle. Foley just couldnâ<80><99>t. Simply put, he was not the best choice for color commentator.
Yet, I donâ<80><99>t know if I want to see a WWE without Mick Foley. Foleyâ<80><99>s appeal is that he looks like half the guys in the arena. And he knows it. He doesnâ<80><99>t have a chiseled physique. He will never be confused for handsome. He doesnâ<80><99>t exactly dress up for television. Seriously, red flannel and sweatpants? He must have a closet full of those things like Fonzie has hundreds of leather jackets, t-shirts and tight jeans.
And just like everyone else, Foley tried to do something different (commentating) and it didnâ<80><99>t work out. For all his successes, you cannot fault him for falling short.
Some call Foley God. I think of Foley as one of the crowd. He didnâ<80><99>t get over and become a success in many areas because of a gimmick. He got over for who he is.