By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Since meeting him at an independent wrestling event in December 2011, I have been a huge fan of Mick Foley. His time in TNA from 2008 and 2011 felt lackluster and I always thought they never used him to his full potential. However, upon his return to the WWE in November 2011, I knew at that very moment that he was back where he belonged. I know he and Vince McMahon weren't on the best of terms towards the end of Foley's prior WWE tenure in the summer of 2008, but the signs of a potential Foley return to WWE were evident when WWE promoted his book entitled "Countdown to Lockdown" (Lockdown is one of TNA's most premiere pay-per-views) on their programming when he was still under contract with TNA. That was unprecedented, so it was only a matter of time before Foley was back in WWE's good graces as well as their squared circle.
That being said, I was ecstatic to see WWE make a documentary on Foley earlier this year. This couldn't have come at a better time, since Foley was just recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame a part of the Class of 2013. I have always been a fan of Foley's writing style, so I knew his documentary was going to be equally excellent. I found time to watch the DVD (solely the documentary portion, not the matches) this past week on Netflix and was overly impressed with the ending product.
I found Foley's early beginnings to be incredibly inspiring, as he has always dreamed of being a WWE Superstar and was willing to do anything to get there, even if it meant putting his body on the line in dangerous situations each and every night. I was completely unaware that Foley ever feuded with Vader, let alone was under contract with WCW. It seemed like they had a great thing going with their on-going rivalry (during which point Foley lost his ear) and were capturing the attention of the audience, but it was rather of typical of WCW to drop the ball on it and allow Foley to leave the organization. The documentary didn't delve into Foley's ECW tenure all that much, but it was nice to see Paul Heyman and Joey Styles make brief cameos to give their thoughts on the New York native.
Foley's rise to the top in WWE was a fun one, as his collegues expressed how much of a "common man" he was and how the fans could relate to him. Although Mankind was clicking with fans earlier on, McMahon allowed Foley to debut his Dude Love persona as well as bring back the old Cactus Jack that fans were longing for. My favorite part of the entire documentary, though, was when Foley discussed his time as the Commissioner of Raw in the early 2000s. I wasn't a fan at the time and hadn't seen some of this footage before, so I found all of his encounters with the likes of Christian, Edge, Kurt Angle and others to be absolutely hysterical. It was also cool to hear Foley's thoughts on his "retirement" from the ring in 2000 and how he was against the idea of returning for WrestleMania a few weeks later. He also stressed the fact that if it were up to him, he would have stayed retired instead of putting on a mediocre performance at the grandest stage of them all.
Similar to Chris Jericho (whose DVD I reviewed a while back), Foley has explored other endeavors after wrestling, including writing and comedy. As previously stated, I read Foley's most recent autobiography "Countdown to Lockdown" and thought it was one of the best wrestling autobiographies I have ever read. Foley is such a stellar storyteller that the fact that his book brought in so much revenue and became a New York Times Bestseller wasn't much of a surprise at all. Foley has done more and more comedy tours in recent years and based on what was said in this DVD (and from what I have read), he has improved immensely since his first show and allows gives the people their money's worth.
It is a shame that Foley won't be wrestling ever again, as I really wanted to see him compete in one last match to have his career end on a high note. To my knowledge, his last in-ring appearance was in the 2012 Royal Rumble match (which was a disappointment), so it saddens me that we won't be getting another Foley match ever again. However, I would much rather have Foley be happy in retirement by not wrestling and doing even more damage to his aching body. He still continues to make appearances on WWE television on occasion to this day, so at least we have that to forward to. Going back to the DVD, the documentary was excellently done and made for an enjoyable two hours. Needless to say, you should definitely give it a watch when you get the chance.
Should you watch this movie? Yes.