Yesterday, I bought the Mick Foley DVD with a whole mess of Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love matches on it. I haven't watched it all yet, but what I have seen of it, I've decided that while I like and respect Mick Foley, there's only so much of his matches that I can watch.
There are a lot of different kinds of wrestling matches. You got your traditional WWF style match. You got ECW matches, WCW matches, WWF Hardcore matches, scientific matches, Japanese style matches, stiff matches...the list goes on and on. Personally, I just find myself watching any kind of match that tells a "story" as they put it. I guess that's the problem I have with most of the matches on this DVD. It's just brawling and garbage wrestling and that gets old, fast.
When ECW was on the air, I liked it. It was always a treat to see something that wasn't WWF or WCW on national television. And while WWF kept their wrestlers tightly reined in and WCW didn't let their best wrestlers get a whole lot of TV time, ECW let their wrestlers cut loose all the time. Not only that, their wrestlers got to do things that most promoters would never allow a wrestler to do, like jump from the ring into the crowd or allow fans to bring weapons for the wrestlers to use. In ECW, it was pretty commonplace to see Rob Van Dam do a somersault plancha from the top rope to the fifth row. ECW was also home to some of the most brutal matches ever seen in this country. This had a good side and a bad side. The good side is, you're going to get to see some real extreme shit. The bad side is that everyone in ECW wanted to do it. So when you see one match that has two guys using everything that they can get their hands on the win a match, it's cool. But when the next 5 matches all go the same way, it gets boring. That's what this DVD was like.
A lot of fans like that kind of thing. Me, I like a variety of different things in my wrestling. Most importantly, I want it all to make sense. For instance, I don't like seeing two wrestlers throw every big time move they can think of at each other, only for them to kick out at two. That's stupid. I'm a firm believer that you should build up to the big moves. It makes them that much more important, not to mention devastating. So if in one match a guy blasts a guy with a chair at the end to win the match, but in the match before it, the four guys in the ring are blasting each other with chairs for 20 straight minutes, to no effect, it means nothing. And really, chairs for 20 minutes...the novelty gets lost along the way.
So in watching most of this DVD...well, I watched the second one first. That was the one that had all the WWF stuff on it. There were some real classics on this disc. You got Shawn Michaels/Mankind, you got Mankind/Undertaker Hell in a Cell, you got HHH/Cactus Jack. These matches were all brutal matches, but they were brutal without overdoing it. They all had a purpose in mind. Something they were trying to convey to you. They all meant something. Then, I went over the first disc. This one has a lot of WCW and ECW matches on it. And well...Mick Foley liked a lot of these matches and a lot of his fans liked these matches, but they did nothing for me. For instance, one match has Cactus Jack and Raven taking on Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer. Honestly, if you'd never seen this match, but you'd ever seen any combination of these men wrestle each other before, you never would have missed anything. For 20 minutes, these men walked around the ring picking up trash from the ring and the crowd and hit each other with it, bleeding all over the place. I was not impressed. There was nothing in this match that I felt that I couldn't have gone the rest of my life without seeing. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it and nothing stood out. Hell, I saw a match on Raw with Foley and Funk that stood out more. Funk moonsaulted from the second level bleachers onto Foley on the floor. Foley piledrove Funk on a table. Anyway, the majority of the disc went like that.
I respect Foley's ability to take so much abuse, but when looked at in that setting or context, it makes him look stupid. In the WWF, sure he'd take some crazy bump, but it was just one or two bumps and there was a buildup. Except in the Hell in a Cell. When you spend the whole match getting hit with stuff or flying all over the place and there's no real point, well...people can criticize The Rock all they want to, but when he reaches 35, he'll still be able to walk. The Rock once said something like "I can connect with the crowd and don't have to jump off of ladders to do it."
Another plus to the WWF part of his career was that you got to see other sides of the man. You got to see exactly how funny this man is and how entertaining he truly can be when he's not getting stitched up or herniating another disc in his back. When it's all said and done, we may or may not remember the Exploding Ring Death Match in Japan, but we will remember the Foley patented "Cheap Pop." We'll also remember that Hell in a Cell match, too, but that's because it's...I mean, really...that man is crazy.
I'm not really disappointed with this stuff because I knew what I was getting to when I saw it. I just never thought that a match involving Maxx Payne or the Nasty Boys would be a selling point for anything I own. A lot of the stuff on here does add to some of the stories in his book, where he talked about some of these matches and promos featured. The thing about it all is, there's only so much garbage wrestling that one can watch. Especially when that person is used to and prefers stuff that is NOT garbage wrestling. I still do like Mick Foley, though and I still respect him and consider him one of the greats. It's just that his body of work sometimes leaves a lot to be desired.