Hall of Famer Mick Foley Is ‘Getting Close’ to Giving Up on WWE
WWE is in dire straits. With ratings at record lows, and fans in open revolt against the booking decisions (such as crowning Sheamus WWE Champion by having him cash in his Money In the Bank contract, which rendered the preceding 16-man world title tournament largely pointless), it’s clear that the audience is losing faith in WWE. And one of those audience members who’s close to giving up on the company altogether is a WWE Hall of Famer in his own right.
In a post to his Facebook page, Mick Foley ranted on WWE’s inept booking by referencing an essay he wrote in 2014 titled “The Sad Case of Zack Ryder”, which detailed how WWE dropped the ball with Zack Ryder, a guy who made the cardinal mistake of becoming popular when WWE didn’t plan on it.
I’m going to quote an article from July, 2014, called “The Sad Case Of Zack Ryder” in which I wrote: “Eventually, people get tired of finding out that the WWE Superstars they have supported with their cheers, their signs, their purchases, their follows, and their likes aren’t real Superstars – and, little by little, those fans lose interest in WWE, find other interests, and become former WWE fans.”
I am one of those people on the verge of becoming a former WWE fan. I’m tired of being told through Raw, Smackdown and PPV’s that WWE superstars I have rooted for – from Ziggler to Cesaro to Kevin Owens aren’t top stars – no matter how strongly crowd reaction seems to disagree. I’m tired of NXT stars getting their big “break” in WWE, just to be treated like jokes.
Foley would go on to note his personal connection to the product — a connection that is slowly eroding:
Six months ago, my son and I traveled 12 hours – from Eastern Tennessee to Orlando, Florida to watch Sasha Banks wrestle Becky Lynch at ?#?NXTTakeover?.- One of the greatest women’s matches of all time. Last night, in what I believe was their first singles match on ?#?RAW? Sasha and Becky were given four minutes. At a time when WWE desperately needs to make new stars – when they need to give wrestlers with talent the opportunity to break through – they gave Sasha and Becky four minutes. I turned the channel, and watched a pretty good football game instead. I think I can get used to watching football games on Monday night again.
I will be watching RAW this Monday. Maybe, as is often the case in relationships, they will give me just enough to remind me why I love wrestling – just enough to keep me coming back. Maybe they will even give Sasha and Becky a rematch – and a legitimate chance to show the world what they can do. .
Foley closes with an impassioned plea to WWE to give him a reason to stay:
There is an old saying in politics : as Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Think of me as the Ohio of wrestling fans. If I leave, it’s not just one disgruntled former fan; finding something else to do on Monday nights. Instead, losing a long-time, die-hard fan like me might well be an indication of a larger exodus from WWE. I guess we’ll see what tale the ratings tell.
I want to stay. I really do. So please WWE – next week on WWE Raw… Just give me a reason.
Ultimately, I get where Mick is coming from, and I can’t disagree. Honestly, this is as close as I’ve ever come to giving up as well, since I don’t really watch Raw or Smackdown anymore. I just check out highlights on YouTube. Sure, NXT is great, and so are some of the other WWE Network originals, but it’s getting to the point where I’d rather just vote with my wallet and not be a subscriber to the Network, if they’re going to go so far out of their way to make their product a homogenized, uninspired, corporate bore. I doubt I’ll ever completely quit being a fan, but following the product is no longer a priority, really. So I’m right there with Mick.
But what do you think? Is Mick making a big deal out of nothing or does he have a good point? Sound off in the comments!
And for more WWE news, check out the shocking surveillance footage of the WWE Performance Center shooting here.