Monday, March 1, 1999
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Foley deserved better
As a columnist, I like to remain neutral, and not be significantly biased towards any one person or organization, but I'll tell you something, when it comes to Mick Foley, I've got to be just a little biased.
Okay, maybe pretty darn biased, this guy always keeps me entertained. After watching St. Valentines Day Massacre, the respect bar for Mrs. Foley's little boy shot up another four or five notches. This man should be receiving three times the applause he is getting.
Alright damn it, I'm really biased to the Mickster. In the last man standing match he was put through yet another pay per view ringer courtesy of The Rock, some match highlights are being suplexed onto concrete, and having the ring steps thrown on his leg from about twelve feet up.
You'd think actually that the blue chipper and the king of hardcore would have run their feud out by now, after being in the main event at the Survivor Series, wrestling in the submain event of Rock Bottom, being in a title match on Raw, being in the main event at Royal Rumble, being on Halftime Heat, wrestling on St. Valentines Day Massacre, and even on Raw the next day, man, that's a lot of damn matches, but in my mind, they have all been pretty entertaining, especially the last few, and why is that you say? Why have those seven matches in four months, four on pay views kept on us the edge of our seats. I've got one word for you, Hardcore.
Hardcore has been sweeping the minds of fans in the past little while, and okay, for those HARDcore fans out there, it's not barbed wire or explosives, so its not Superhardcore, more like Abovethenormcore, but I'm digressing. Fans have always, and probably always will be drawn to hardcore, that's why ECW has a huge cult following, and why Mick is a wrestling icon.
Speaking of Mick, I'd like to go on a little tangent here. I'm disappointed as to how things played out between SVDM and Raw the next night. I, (as well as many others) thought that the draw at the last man standing match would set up a potential three way dance at Wrestlemania. You know, even though Mankind retains the title there's still doubt of if he should be champion and a potentially legendary triple threat match is born.
However the next night on raw, The Rock wins the title back, removing all doubt of the definitive champion angle, so the draw was completely unnecessary. Where am I going with all this? Well, if the draw wasn't part of an angle, and Rock was going to win the belt back on Raw anyways. Why not give Mick a successfully PPV title defense? It wouldn't even need to be clean, it would have been a nice chip on his shoulder to have successfully defended the Heavyweight belt on a Pay Per View. I guess I'm too Pro Foley for my own good, but it seems reasonable doesn't it?
Looking again at the WWF, I really like this Hardcore title, this thing was most likely created as a prop in the McMahon screwed Foley angle, but it turned into a viable division. Not really keen on Bob Holly winning it though, sure, he may have loads of talent, but he has the charisma of a shovel and will never get over with the fans.
I thought first off when the Road Dogg won the belt, the division was going to turn into a sham. *cough*Light Heavyweight*cough* I like Road Dogg, he's funny and charismatic, but at the time, I thought he was about as hardcore as a box of cereal. As the time went by however, he put on some pretty entertaining matches and changed my opinion of Double J. Sure he didn't take THAT many bumps, but the matches sure did put on a great show.
Recipe for undercard success:
Take the people who can't really wrestle that well, and you really don't know quite what to do with them. Throw them into a hardcore division, a powerbomb through a table here, a piledriver through a crate there, and suddenly you have people who wouldn't usually be in the spotlight, suddenly getting more recognition. Example: ECW
Let's take WCW for a second. Even they tried to delve into the core which is hard on nitro, by putting the former Sandman against Bam Bam Bigelow, this however, was horrible. WCW basically said, okay, screw what we were doing with Mr. Fullington and Mr. Levy, so we can have one little hardcore match, and Sandman lost! What exactly did this prove? On another subject quickly, why is Bigelow such a major player after coming to WCW? Didn't he lose to Doink the clown and Lawerence Taylor a couple years back? Someone please explain this to me. I'm not a WWF activist, but if i were in the Titan offices i'd be laughing myself to sleep over this one.
WCW wasted there best storyline going on a singles match that no one will remember, not smart. I just hope the big 2 be careful with hardcore though, because if it gets out of hand, it will end up like ECW, bloodthirsty fans who demand more each and every time, and sooner or later, ECW is going to hit a pinnacle where it just can't get more extreme without serious risk to the wrestlers.
The way I look at it, I'd much rather see Mick Foley, Sabu and the other extremists wrestle a safer match then get seriously hurt doing something too overboard and not being able to see such great performers wrestle again.
See: Dynamite Kid, Shawn Michaels
Terry Dunphy is from Edmonton, Alberta and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.