By AARON HENRY — SLAM! Wrestling
Everyone is allotted 15 minutes of fame in his or her life. Mine came this past Thursday night, February 1, 2001. A World Wrestling Federation Superstar visited the campus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where it is rumored that Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Billy Kidman attended. On that night this Superstar spoke to a meager crowd of 700, but was interviewed by a terrified student 30 minutes before he spoke. That Superstar is Michael Francis Foley. And that student was me.
My roommate was in charge of picking Foley up at a local hotel and walk him around campus. He pulled a few strings for me and granted me a ten-minute interview. Well, the interview lasted longer than 10 minutes, 15 minutes to be exact (hmm, a coincidence?), and in that time I learned more than I ever could have imagined in that short of time. But first, allow me to recap the speech.
Foley, wearing his trademark sweatpants, a Dudley Boyz T-shirt and a Walt Disney World jean jacket, was introduced and immediately given a standing ovation. He then went for a huge (cheap) pop by saying it was “great to be here in Indiana, Pennsylvania.” He did not preach about not doing drugs or alcohol.
He didn’t preach about going to class and getting a college education either. That wouldn’t be Mick Foley. Instead, Foley regaled us with stories about his wrestling career, other wrestlers in the business and what he has been doing since he was fired as Commissioner of the WWF.
His first story was about himself and a wrestler by the name of Troy Orndorff, better known as ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas that took place in November of 1986. Foley and Orndorff were wrestling right here at Indiana in a small venue called the Omni. It was here that he had one of his worst moments as a wrestler. Foley and Orndorff were working on a move that would, or should, bring the crowd to its feet. The two men decided to start the match off with the move. The two had practiced weeks to get the move down. When it came time for them to do the move, they blew it. Not only did they blow it once, but also they blew it twice. After that second time, the crowd of 150 people heard Foley scream ‘TROY!’ like a little girl.
Foley continued his speech by telling stories of his adventures in the WWF.
He told the crowd that Steve Blackmann believes the best place to dump dead bodies is in Western Pennsylvania. There was a story how Bob Holly whined on an October evening because Foley and Al Snow played Nat King Cole’s Christmas Album in the car the three men were sharing. However, Foley asked Snow if he had any Elvis tapes and Holly started to sing ‘Blue Christmas’ by Elvis Presley. He also had some classic one liners. The program was billed as an evening with Mick Foley. Foley asked for ladies in the audience to raise their hands. Foley responded “Wow! About 20 years ago that many women would have laughed at me if I asked them if they wanted to have an evening with Mick Foley.” There were many more stories, but that’s not why you are reading this.
Now as I begin to recap my interview, let me tell you these are facts from his mouth. Mick Foley will be back in the WWF within the month or beginning of March. He said he “might not be there physically, but the aura of Commissioner Foley will be present.”
Foley has been working on his second book since we last saw him on television. The book will not be journey oriented, but will take a different path. One chapter in the book will contain ‘Foley’s Findings.’ These finding will contradict what Indiana University found in the study. He also has a chapter devoted to the Parent Teacher Council. If you want to know more then you will have to buy his book.
We talked about many positive things. He “loves his wife and all that she has done for him.” He thinks family is very important and loves to be around his family. In fact, he has been blessed with another child, a boy. Colette was a strong influence for him to keep moving in his career. “She has helped with his confidence a great deal,” Foley said.
We even discussed a moment in his life he wishes he could take back. “Why don’t I like my last match? Because I sucked! My heart wasn’t into it and I was afraid I would be viewed as a hypocrite.” Of course, he was speaking of the Fatal Four Way at Wrestlemania. However, he loved his role as Commissioner and can’t wait to get involved again. He loves working with today’s wrestlers and has the utmost respect for Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker.
Foley even talked about the origins of testicles the size of grapefruits.
In an interview with Jim Ross in 1996, Foley, then known as Mankind told a story from his lacrosse days. He told Ross he did not wear a cup at one practice and took a shot right to the junk. “My testicles were the size of grapefruits and all the girls were staring at them,” said Foley in his Mankind voice as he paced the stage. So remember, Vince doesn’t have the grapefruit sized testicles, Mick does.
I could write much more, but I am tight on time. If you ever have a chance to talk with this man or hear him speak, don’t turn your nose up at the opportunity. Make time even if you don’t have any. It will be a time you will never forget. As I leave you please remember this one thing. Foley doesn’t like to shake hands. So if you see him on the street or at the airport, just say ‘hi’ and give him a thumbs up sign.
And to Mick Foley, if you are reading this: Thank you for the best 15 minutes of my life! You are one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met!
Aaron ‘Hank’ Henry is SLAM! Wrestling’s resident Smackdown! reporter.