By VINNIE BARTILUCCI – For SLAM! Wrestling
Mick Foley has pulled off another score and delivered a great book about his life in and out of wrestling. This book, Foley Is Good, and the Real World is Faker than Wrestling covers the last couple of years of Foley’s active wrestling career, right up to the birth of his newest child.
There’s a definite change in tone in this book. The first book was about a guy trying to make it to the top, and finally getting his dream right in the last few chapters, winning the title right at the end, just like in one of Foley’s favorite films. But this book is about a guy who has achieved his dream and is enjoying himself doing it. Not resting on his laurels (and prodigious laurels they are, just look at them) but still working to keep the fans happy, and being very happy doing it. Case in point — while the first book has endless shots of injuries and mad sick bumps, this book has as many shots of roller coaster drops, family shots in costume from photo booths and pictures with celebrities…and Al Snow. (He’s right…it DOES feel good to wail on Al!) This book has a more celebratory feel, and you couldn’t feel happier for the guy getting his dream.
Since he spent more time away from the ring in this book, so does the book. Chapters alternate between in-ring adventures and his adventures with the “real world.” We learn about the misleading Backyard Wrestling piece from 20/20, and how they edited the interview in a way that most people thought went out with the photo collage techniques of Confidential magazine (ask you mother…or grandmother). He tells us about how his assigned ghost writer for the first book whose idea of getting a person’s life story in print was doing a short interview with the person, writing everything from whole cloth and adding in a few quotes from the subject. Foley says what all of us want to say: “They can do that, and they can call wrestling fake?” Ahhh, the IRONY…
We’ve all seen these events listed in the book, but not from Foley’s view. Wrestling fans saw the “I Quit” match at the Royal Rumble, saw it again in Beyond the Mat and heard about it yet again in the TV interviews he did to promote it and his first book. But this time it was from inside his own 11-time steel chair whacked skull, and it’s a new story again. He has to come to grips with the fact that he’s reaching the end of his career, and we feel his indecision as he has to decide between sticking it out a bit longer to put that much more in the bank for his kids or stopping right then and there and stand a better chance of being a bit more lucid when it’s time no walk them down the aisle a few years later.
Foley gets on his soapbox quite a bit too. He devotes an early chapter to backyard wrestling and offers two simple pieces of advice. To the kids, don’t do anything stupid. And to the adults, don’t let your kids do anything stupid, and if you do, don’t blame someone or something else. Brilliant, simple, correct for almost every situation, and advice that will ultimately be ignored.
The epilogue of the book is a well-researched, factual and heartfelt argument against the actions of L. Brent Bozell, the PTC and their desire to protect us all. He backs his arguments with research and facts, points out the fallacies, misstatements and outright lies by the PTC, and basically runs rings around them logically. It’s these chapters that I’d love to see get talked about in the media when this book gets released.
Because after all, Foley’s just a guy with an ulterior motive, an agenda, and his words should be discounted for that reason. And it’s all fake anyway.
Foley’s not fake. The wife and I watch Steve Austin, she is not secretive about her hormonal affliction for The Rock and Edge, but we both LOVE Foley. When he is on screen, we are both happy. Because Mick is happy. He is finally doing what he loves to do, for people who love to see him do it. And it shows.
Foley loved writing this book. You will love reading it.