By Jason Powell
The following are the highlights of Steve Austin’s interview with Mick Foley that was broadcast on the WWE Network on Thursday, March 31.
-The interview was conducted at a desk (sadly, not a $7,000 cocobolo desk) that was set up inside a ring at WWE Axxess in Dallas, Texas. Corey Graves introduced Steve Austin, who performed his entrance and spoke about how he started up the road at the Sportatorium. Austin introduced “Mick F’n Foley” after playing into some “What?” chants from the crowd. The fans chanted “holy shit” once both men were in the ring. Austin asked if you can say “holy shit” on the podcast. Austin was censored even though the crowd was not, so I guess that sadly answers that question.
-Austin emphasized that he is not a professional, he’s a former pro wrestler who has a podcast. Foley spoke about his time he met Austin at the Sportatorium. Foley said he could tell that Austin was going to be something.
-Austin said Foley is looking good these days and asked if he’s lost weight compared to the man he saw a year ago. Foley said he didn’t want to say anything until he achieved something, but he is down 60 pounds. Foley said he wouldn’t give away his secret other than saying one word – bang! In other words, he’s on the Dallas Page yoga program. Foley said he’s been doing a lot of swimming and incorporating DDP Yoga into that.
-Austin spoke about how they were both frugal. Foley spoke about how Skandar Akbar lectured him when he went to WCW and then came back to World Class for a visit. Foley said he wasn’t making big money, but Akbar still stressed not to buy an expensive car. Foley recalled having a contest with Owen Hart to see how long they could go without spending twenty dollars. Foley said Owen tapped out a couple weeks in.
-Foley told a story about dating a woman who didn’t know the business was a work, so he stayed in his Cactus Jack character. She broke up with him once, but asked if he would take her back when she felt bad when he broke his wrist during a scaffold match.
-Foley spoke about being influenced by Bruiser Brody and the Dynamite Kid and wanting to combine those two elements. He said he was finding his way in Texas and noted that Eric Embry and Akbar encouraged him to do things. Foley spoke about the elbow drop off the ring apron and said the person who ran the Sportatorium was concerned he would actually go through the floor.
-Austin said Foley was always fun to work with and very safe. He said Foley always worked hard and wanted to have the best match on the card.
-Austin brought up Foley’s work in Japan and asked him if he likes pain. Foley said that he accepted early on that if he was going to wrestle then he would have to learn to live with a lot of pain. Foley said he never liked it, but it also motivated him.
-Austin asked how Foley’s wife handled him taking so much punishment for $300 in Japan. Foley said it was actually $400 per night, and said his wife had already been through the call when he told her that he was coming home, yet his ear wasn’t coming with him (due to the Vader match in Germany). Foley told a story about burning his arm in Japan so badly that his wife questioned whether he took a smoking flight because the smell was so bad when he got home.
-The Holy Foley project was mentioned. Foley introduced Noelle Foley as his co-star on the WWE Network show. Noelle joined her father and Austin in the ring. Austin said he’s known Noelle since she was a baby. “She didn’t know me because she was a baby,” Austin cracked. Mick said Vince once saw the home footage of him playing Dude Love and liked it. Mick said Vince saw some of the footage of him interacting with Noelle, and had a similar reaction. Noelle said it won’t be a reality show.
-Noelle confirmed that she will be training to become a wrestler. Mick said that he will have a hand in her training and make sure she is trained the right away. Noelle said she won’t follow her father’s style “because I don’t want to walk like that.” Noelle spoke about how her dad made up for being away on the road. Mick said he always took the 6 a.m. flight and his family appreciated that he tried to be there on his days off.
-Noelle said the Holy Foley show will start filming in two weeks. She hyped that the show will premiere on WWE Network in August. Noelle made her exit after hugging Austin and Foley.
-Austin brought up Mankind. He also said there are times when wrestlers get the invite to Vince McMahon’s house. Foley said he never got that invite, but Austin did. Foley said Jim Ross made a slow and steady push to bring in Foley. Vince finally gave in and said, “But I’m covering up his face.” Ouch.
-Foley later spoke about staying in the boiler room for hours and staying under the ring for hours to get into character. Austin said he never had to work like that, but he noted that many actors do. Foley said the defining moment was when he did a sit-down interview with Jim Ross. Foley said there was honesty as Mick Foley but said in the character of Dude Love. Foley said they changed the tape and paused and heard Vince McMahon say, “This is outstanding.” Foley believes that night brought Vince over to his side.
-Austin brought up having to follow the classic Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell match by wrestling with Kane. Foley said he believes the Taker vs. Shawn Michaels match is still the best one ever. Foley said he watched that match and asked Terry Funk what he was going to do because he was never a big cage match guy. Funk joked to start on top of the cell. They laughed, but then Foley started thinking that was the way. Funk tried to talk him out of it. Foley said he got to the top of the cell and felt it was the worst idea he’s ever had. Foley said that after the match was the first time he met Stephanie McMahon and he smiled at her and hugged Pat Patterson who had a personal tragedy. Foley said people forget that he wasn’t finished for the night and he interfered in Austin’s match with Kane. The footage aired on the screen behind them. Foley said he doesn’t remember a moment of it.
-Austin brought up Dean Ambrose, whom Foley had tried to speak about much earlier in the show. Foley spoke about how he was going to go with the flow when he handed Ambrose the barbwire baseball bat. However, about ten minutes before, he told the writer that it was too humorous. Foley said he and Ambrose agreed on the lines “Because I’m Mick Foley” and “I’m Dean Ambrose.” Foley said he’s happy they did the take live and he walked away feeling like it was one of the most important things he’s done. He said it’s a lesson for wrestlers that you can always make the most out of a two minute segment like that one.
-Foley spoke about The Freebirds and Stan Hansen being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Foley said his son Dewey came close to being named Stan or Hansen because of how much he respected him when they met in Japan. Foley recalled going up to Hansen the first day of a tour when they were going to be teaming and telling him he had some spots. Hansen said he doesn’t do spots, and made it up in the ring.
-Austin brought up WrestleMania 32. Foley said that everyone on the card should have the mentality that they are going to steal the show. He said there are realistically four or five matches with a chance. He said he hopes to look back years from now and feel that this was the day that women’s wrestling arrived because of the Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch match. Foley closed the show by impersonating Vince McMahon saying, “WrestleMania – Bigger, Better, Badder.”
Powell’s POV: The live setting worried me early on when the crowd was rowdy for the entrances, but they settled in nicely and were very respectful and attentive once the interview started. It’s hard to learn much new about a guy who has written as many autobiographies as Foley has, but it was still fun and it was cool to see his daughter Noelle discuss their upcoming show and her plans to become a pro wrestler. I was hoping to hear Mick speak more about his son, who works with the creative team, but perhaps that was deemed a no go by WWE beforehand. Even so, it was an entertaining hour in a cool setting.