Mick Foley appeared on TSN’s “Off the Record” on November 30, 1999, to announce his retirement from the ring.
During the interview, Foley (aka WWF star “Mankind”) indicated that his decision was partially influenced by his recent performances in matches in Toronto and Montreal which he found disappointing. His realization that he can no longer deliver matches at the same high levels as he has put on in the past, coupled with the constant pain he feels every day, were the main reasons for his decision.
Ultimately, the years of chairshots and hardcore bumps have taken their toll on his body to the extent that he could no longer perform even the most elementary of moves without pain. Recently, he has shifted to more of a comic element in his character, preferring to entertain via interviews and antics rather than endure the pain of in-ring action.
Foley stressed that his retirement is not part of a wrestling angle, unlike other similar storylines in the past (the most recent one being Hulk Hogan’s announcement in WCW). Rather than going through an undignified cycle of fake retirements followed by quick comebacks, Foley said he would prefer going out with finality, possibly by ending up the “Loser” in a Retirement stipulation match, thus bringing some legitimacy to that ratings ploy.
As for his post-wrestling career, Foley noted that he has a career with the WWF for life, should he want it. He said that he “was made for” the role of Commissioner or similar on-camera role with very limited (ie: one-time only) returns to the squared circle. But as for day-to-day involvement in the ring, Foley has two words for you… “I’m done.”
(On a personal note as a long-time fan and admirer of Mick Foley, I have just three words to say to him: Thank You, Mick!)
Other highlights of his appearance:
- He discussed Stone Cold Steve Austin’s possible retirement due to injuries. Foley complimented Austin’s work ethic and talents, noting that Austin always gave 100% in the ring.
- Landsberg questioned Foley on whether he thought the WWF should have stopped the Over the Edge PPV after Owen Hart’s tragic fall. Mick said that an in-ring death had never even been considered as a possibility, and that there was no way to decide in advance what the call should be.
- Commenting on the WCW situtation, he welcomes a possible re-ignition of the WWF-WCW wars which may stem from the crossover of Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara. He thinks that the competition would bring out the best in both companies, and expressed some disbelief that his “This is Your Life” segment with The Rock a couple of months ago destroyed an actual wrestling match in the ratings. He is not overly impressed with the changes to WCW yet, saying that they are basically copying the WWF (eg: the new WCW “Godfather” character).
- He believes that Ferrara’s “Oklahoma” parody of Jim Ross is tasteless and cheap. It’s not funny to make fun of a guy with nerve damage, and that the parody is a small step away from making fun of Droz’s paralysis caused by spinal injuries.
- While he wasn’t particularly thrilled by the recent storyline about the Big Show’s father dying of cancer, he felt that the final segment of the Show “casket surfing” was blatantly fake enough that viewers would have to realize that it was not meant to be taken seriously.
- He remarked that the Goldust character took Dustin Runnels from “out of the gutter and gave him a job”, and that Runnels’ knocking of the character on WCW Nitro is ungracious and hypocritical.
- He plugged his book Have a Nice Day! heavily, and ended the show by saying that this accomplishment was the highlight of his career.