In Foley’s book, Foley Is Good, Foley goes into how he pitched a match to McMahon, where Foley could show how bad a heel The Rock was, by having Foley say “I Quit.” Foley would also bring his wife and kids to the Royal Rumble, and his wife would “throw in the towel” for Foley, by saying he quits… Vince agreed to it, and after the fifth hit over the head with a steel chair, Noelle would call it quits for Mick. One of the things Foley was worried about was reopening a cut on his head and bleed. All of this in the background of the wrestling industry being under scrutiny from the Parents Television Council on one side of the spectrum to Muslims on the other side.
As it turns out, the match script was changed, and for Foley it was a disaster in terms what he was concerned about, the blood and the script, which The Rock didn’t follow (according to Foley.) Rock hit Foley almost double the number of times he was supposed to—not waiting the minute or two in-between as he was supposed to, but just seconds between. Foley could not recover, although he was really hurting and bleeding profusely, all this made worse by being handcuffed. So much for the Parents Television Council. Foley’s wife and kids were in the audience and their terror of the match could be seen.
In his book, Foley defends the violence of wrestling, saying that it actually mirrors society by giving fans what they want. He compares violence in wrestling to traditional stories such as Hansel and Gretel (child abuse, imprisonment, murder by oven,) Sleeping Beauty (rape, adultery, attempted cannibalism), etc and others. In my opinion, although the symbolism is there in fairy tales, the actual acts are not. Fairy tales are many times told in order to keep children from doing things, keeping them on the right track of societal norms or beliefs of the time, or to warn them as a consequence of their impending actions. He compares wrestling violence to movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator.
Foley then goes into wrestling violence versus other sports, such as baseball with Roger Clemens hitting Mike Piazza in the head with a fastball, or hockey (where stitches number in the hundreds), or football when Joe Theismann had a compound leg fracture from a Lawrence Taylor hit. I consider these Foley examples to be relatively seldom occurring events. Of course, in terms of today’s society, there is a great deal of concern currently both in amateur football and pro ball with the head concussions. So maybe Foley was on to something. Or, is it a product of Foley’s time, and is it now reflective of our time?
Reminder, I will be out for the rest of this week.