Mick Foley had a plan, not perhaps a cunning one but one that would make fans buy the ECW One Night Stand II PPV in their droves. In hindsight it’ s a shame he couldn’ t have waited until December to Dismember! Foley couldn’ t wait though, he had a plan that would change the face of how fans perceived his character, make a new generation adore a sixty-year old wrestler and forever change the backside of Vince McMahon.
‘Hardcore Diaries’ is the third autobiography by Mick Foley. The way he’ s going even Jordan might not be able to keep up with him. This is a different book from its predecessors though, sure there’s reminiscences and family life but in the main it follows the progression of Foley’s idea for a storyline that would captivate the audience but cause him many political problems with the WWE executives, not least of all Vince McMahon. Could he convince McMahon to give air-time to Terry Funk, a total legend but one that’s now in his sixties and with severe knee problems.
Having already written two autobiographies you’d have thought that Mick would have been used to the task but this third installment differs greatly from its predecessors and gave him a few problems.
“Writing it wasn’ t the difficult part, living through the events that I had to write about was. It was frustrating writing it because the other two were memoirs looking back and here the story was unfolding.”
‘Hardcore Diaries’ begins with Mick addressing the WWE team of writers, including of course Vince and Stephanie about his ideas for a storyline involving himself (naturally), Edge, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer and a certain part of Vince McMahon’ s body. I wondered if many WWE stars have such input in their storylines without first having to marry the bosses daughter and how much it would mean to him working on a storyline that was his own creation.
“Yeah I was thankful, I think the best WWE television is when guys tell stories that they really feel involved in. I have had a lot of latitude over the years. Partly the reason why I was so frustrated is because this was my baby.”
One of the biggest problems Mick had wasn’t dragging Vince away from his almost everlasting feud with Shawn Michaels and subsequently DX, but in convincing McMahon that he could make Terry Funk a main eventer in just a few weeks. Vince wasn’ t convinced that the aging Funk could do the job and win over a new generation of fans but did the arguments they had when Funk walked out on a show years before have anything to do with the unwillingness to push Funk. Foley doesn’ t know if the problem was based on troubles they had in the past but when the storyline did go ahead and the match was a success, did it mean a lot to Mick to prove Vince wrong?
“Well, it would have meant more to me if there had been more of a painful confession on his face. He was so quick to just say that I was right. It’ d have been nice to punish him some more. Back when The Rock and I did ‘ This Is Your Life’ on Raw, Vince was upset that twelve minutes turned into twenty-six but the next day when the ratings came in, he knew he was wrong. There was some relief that finally I was right.”
Turning the idea into an actual PPV main event wasn’t an easy job for Mick and he had to deal with the politics that beset professional wrestling. The need to push DX, the worries over Terry Funk, the unwillingness of Vince McMahon to be a part of the story, especially when it’d see Funk bite a chunk out of his ass, something that would seriously damage the ‘Kiss My Ass’ storyline, all had to be overcome. How did Mick feel about that struggle?
“This was the first time I’d encountered that for quite a while. Some people do get hurt more than others and there is the concept of the glass ceiling. Politics does play a small role, it hasn’t happened to me too much, it hadn’t really affected me until One Night Stand II.”
A key part of the story was Foley turning heel and joining Edge and Lita. He hadn’t been a heel since his early days in the WWE and although it was an important part of the storyline, it created problems for him that he hadn’ t foreseen especially when it came to ECW.
“I enjoyed it as I could do different types of promo’s. I think the promo I did with Terry Funk in Texas and with Ric Flair in New Jersey, they stood out as two of my favourite wrestling moments. Retrospectively it hurt me with the fans and it broke a bond. Fans see the other guys flip back and forth from good to bad but I was the one guy they could rely on to be a good guy In some ways I do regret getting involved in One Night Stand II. It did prevent me from becoming a big part of the ECW show.”