Mick_Foley_Interviewed_By_TNT - Australasian Wrestling Federation
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30th January 2013

MICK FOLEY INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY TNT


Soon to be WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley will make his way to Australia during February for a series of comedy shows entitled MICK FOLEY & BRENDON BURNS in GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!
Australasian Wrestling Federation's TNT spoke with Mick about the upcoming shows, Mick's experiences so far in comedy, and some pro-wrestling stories.

TNT:
Many fans of yours will be glad to see you're coming to Australia this February for the Good God Almighty comedy tour. How has your breaking into the comedy scene been over the last couple of years, and how would you compare it to breaking into the wrestling business?

Mick:
Oh man you know there's actually so many similarities.
That's one of the things Brendan Burns and I (talk about), Brendan is the guy who's doing the show with me on the Good God Almighty tour. He's kind of rigidly religious reliable. That's obviously a famous Jim Ross line uttered during one of my matches. We were talking about how similar it was and how you tend to really have the best times during the worst times if that makes any sense?

TNT:
Oh absolutely, when you're starting out in the business you're kind of struggling and you have to get from town to town for those long drives yeah.

Mick:
Yeah, yeah and if you had nothing to talk about but sold out arenas and great PPVs there'd be no you know.. it'd be a boring story, and I think that's why even people who loved Have A Nice Day would say, you know it was at its best before it became familiar, you know like once you get to WCW or WWE people kinda know that story and it becomes kind of like other peoples stories.
But starting out in ridiculous towns with the terrible crowds and the fact that like when Brendon and I showed up to do some warm up shows before we went to Montreal, you know we get to a bar and grill and they actually don't have our name on the marquee they have the wings special.

TNT:
Awesome, It's a Spinal Tap puppet show huh?

Mick:
Ha Ha! Oh that is it! What are you doing, it's supposed to be Spinal Tap then The Puppet Show.

TNT:
Here have chicken wings instead! Chicken wings and Mick Foley.

Mick:
And it was last night's wing special and they hadn't changed it!
So I walk in and you know people are very familiar with my face and it's like hey what are you doing here, and I'm like we're doing a comedy show.

TNT:
We're just here for the wings.

Mick:
Yeah, just here for the wings.
So Brendon wasn't going to go on and he's like "I'm not doing it, I won a Perrier mate and I'm not doing it" and renouncing his name and I said think of the stories we can tell.

TNT:
Ha Ha! I'm not working the house shows.

Mick:
Once you get to a certain level it's hard to go back. It's like, well going back and doing the Indy's, but when you're on your way up there's no crowd too small and every night is the most important night you know.
Oh in that way it definitely reminds me of being on the independent scene where you want every show to be your best show.

TNT:
Yeah and I think sometimes on those smaller shows you can learn so much if you can work a smaller audience and get the great reactions, with a bigger audience it's probably going to be a lot easier wouldn't you agree?

Mick:
Oh yeah, it's the same way that if you can, you know show me somebody on the independent scene who's getting over in front of 100 people in a middle school gymnasium, then that guy is going to find a way to get over in front of a packed audience.
You can teach people a lot of things, but you can't teach them how to relate to a crowd or get over as we say in wrestling.

TNT:
Yeah I think in the wrestling currently, Daniel Bryan or Bryan Danielson formerly who I've wrestled with in the past, and he's wrestled in AWF and all over the world, and now he's come to the WWE and he's gotten over. I think is a good example of that in the wrestling.

Mick:
Yeah, but who would have thought he would have gotten over in the way he has with the emphasis on comedy!
And I'll be honest, I wouldn't have seen that. I saw Daniel when he was wrestling with Ring of Honor and I went out of my way to recommend a few people to Vince back in 2004, but I honestly wouldn't have thought Daniel was a guy who was going to be a breakout star. I thought he'd be a guy who'd kill on the independent circuit but would never really get the chance to make it.
And to show you how big he's made it, if my current children's book sells enough copies to merit another book, Daniel will be the focus of the next book.

TNT:
Oh that's awesome, coz anybody that knows him knows he's a funny guy in real life you know.
But I guess that never really transcended onto the independent scene as much, as he was kind ofalways the wrestling guy, so it's great that he's been able to get that out, and as you say if he's going to feature in one of your books hopefully hilarity will ensue.

Mick:
It should and here's the (thing), I don't know if you guys knew this, here's a little bit of inside information. Daniel actually is not a hugger in real life, like a lotta guys you know, divas especially. You know even the guys you know do the bro hug, you know it's the hand shake to the chest bump, to the pat on the back and he doesn't go for that, so it's interesting to see him as a big hugger out there.

TNT:
Ha, ha. Sometimes the strangest things happen out there in the wrestling world, and continued success to Bryan, because he's a great guy and talent.
Do you think that you're a better comedian at this early stage of your comedy life, as compared to the same period in your wrestling career?

Mick:
Ah man that's hard to say because my goals were a lot different when I was in wrestling. You know it was to be the absolutely best, and nothing would stand in my way, and being the best didn't necessarily mean making the most money and getting to WWE because you know that was an absurd thought, as this is three years into my career. But within the comedy I'm more realistic. I just want to do it semi regularly and have something to do that I really enjoy. You know a couple of weekends a month, and I describe success as having enough people to make it worthwhile not like selling out arenas, but even larger venues.

TNT:
Of course. You did some comedy shows with a buddy of mine Colt Cabana a little while back. How was that tour received, and was there much interest from non-wrestling fans?

Mick:
You know what, I mean I'll be honest, there's not a lot of interest in any of my shows among non- wrestling fans!
Brendon was smart enough, he would hear me talking about my comedy shows and people would say "So is it a wrestling show" and I would say "No, no, I use wrestling as a jumping off point to talk about large subjects" and then Brendon would be like "Mate it's a wrestling show" and "I'd go no, no." Brendon and I use wrestling as a "mate wrestling show"
And then when I went to Montreal, I saw hundreds of great comics, they go out there and "They kill" as we say in comedy, and then at the end of their set your like, who was that guy what was his name? And here I have this face and name recognition, and I'm like chasing people away by saying, no I'm like Mick Jagger saying, I'm not gonna do Stones tunes on that solo tour you know? So it's very wrestling centric, but I really enjoy the fact that I'm getting reviews from non-wrestling fans you know, who are pretty tough critics, and they like it. They say it doesn't alienate people who aren't wrestling fans. There's always some brave girlfriends or wives who'll show up in a great expression of love, you know like I love you, I better check this out. I'm serious, almost in every case they'll go out of their way to find me during the meet and greets and say I really had no idea what to expect and they really enjoy it, so it is for everybody, but I'd be lying if I said that the people who show up are anything but wrestling fans, and dedicated spouses and girlfriends.

TNT:
Now not so long ago you performed at the Montreal Just For Laughs and also the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. How were the reactions and were you happy with way your shows went to a non-wrestling audience?

Mick:
No, no, they were pretty much wrestling fans. Don't get me more credit than I deserve, but the critics that were not wrestling fans really did like it.
A group called Chortle gave me a very, very, good review, but said that I could do a little editing as I tend to go on, and time would kinda get away from me.

TNT:
It's a bit like your 2 minute promo time, but you give it a bit longer to do it!

Mick:
Yeah, it's like Vince backstage at "This is your life" with The Rock, and Vince losing his mind 'coz we went 12 minutes over on national TV.
People liked it, but there's always the problem when you go late at night especially on a weekend with people having too much to drink, and then they like randomly yelling out the names of wrestlers, like I'm going to be impressed by their knowledge, but that's usually like one percent of the audience.
I had a great time, I loved it, I can't wait to go back to both of the events, especially Edinburgh, because you actually make money at Edinburgh.

TNT:
Nice, it always helps! You got plenty of mouths to feed and a wife to keep happy so sure thing.

Mick:
Yeah that's the truth!

TNT:
What can fans expect from the upcoming shows, and how did you come to team up with Brendon Burns, also who would you liken Brendon to in the wrestling?

Mick:
Ah man you know Brendon would be like a Punk or a Daniel Bryan before they got discovered. I'd say Daniel Bryan because he'd be a guy that the real comedy fans will say ok this guy's as good as anybody, and the reason he's not a household name is because not everybody gets him, like we get him and you don't because we know more than you do and sometimes that's true. Like his regular comedy is incredibly intelligent, razor sharp, but now he's getting to have fun. You know he's a lifelong wrestling fan. I mean he loves it, and it's kind of rejuvenated him because he gets to talk about all these things he's been a fan of for decades.

TNT:
That is cool, so I guess he's having fun with the comedy again and your probably learning things from him about the comedy, and at the same time you guys can talk about the wrestling all wrapped into one.

Mick:
Yeah and also it's like watching somebody go on in the semi-main event and tearing the house down then realizing oh my god, I've gotta try and follow this.

TNT:
It would be like going on after Bryan and Punk now, it's a tough spot, and there would be a lot of pressure.

Mick:
It reminds me of when I would do the ECW main events. You'd look at the match before you and go ok well they just set somebody on fire, now how are we supposed to follow that and then you try to find a way to do that.

TNT:
Yeah you gotta be creative and that's why you're in the top spot sometimes.
I'm sure the shows in Australia will go brilliantly mate, your fans love you here, and Mick Foley has a special love from the wrestling community all around the world.
I remember in 1999 you were out here for a publicity tour and I was on stage with you there to ask some questions then, and the response from the audience was tremendous, and there was thousands of people there just to see you make an appearance. I don't know if you remember it well, but I'm pretty sure there's going to be a lot of those same people that still followed you through the years who will be there for the Australian tour in February.

Mick:
Yeah if I could send them with one thought it would be that it's not a huge departure from wrestling like people think it is. It's like an extension. Everyone who goes to see a show always comes away saying I completely get it. It really works hand in hand with wrestling, and it's obviously a lot easier for me to come with one other person and a microphone than for WWE to come. You know it's a much easier evening to put out, but it really is an extension of wrestling, not a big departure from it.

TNT:
While you were in wrestling were there any early moments when you thought you'd like to give stand up a shot?

Mick:
Early moments? Nah I was really focussed on wrestling. I never thought hey, although that's not entirely true. I do remember when I got bludgeoned by fans during a riot in Nigeria, that after I'd been stitched up in a chemist's office on a dirt floor, I was eating dinner later on and I thought this might make a good story for a book, but I never set out to wrestle as a means to anything else. It was always the goal, but it's nice that you can take skills that you've learned along the way and apply them to other things.
I guess I am to comedy as DDP is to yoga you know.

TNT:
What was the thing that made you take the plunge into comedy, and ultimately do you think your first show was any good?

Mick:
I didn't, and that was unfortunate because you know it was a 25 minute set and I told a couple stories that I told at colleges on several occasions, ad-libbed some stuff that wasn't great but wasn't terrible and I was like all right that was easy, and then you find out that there's a big difference between being okay at something and being really good. It's like saying someone can play little league baseball in The States, and them saying hey I'm a good little league player, and then get up there and you see major league pitching. I don't know if that's a good analogy.

TNT:
It's maybe like the difference between saying someone can wrestle a match and someone can wrestle a match well.

Mick:
Yeah, like can you put that same match up on WrestleMania, probably not!

TNT:
He might have gotten over at the local Elks Lodge, but maybe not at Madison Square Garden!

Mick:
Yeah so that's when I found out that the stuff I thought was pretty good, was only that pretty good, but not really good. It's work to make it good, and even if I'm taking a story from the memoir like I did with the Diamond Dallas Page cookie story a month or so ago, I completely rewrote it, spent several hours on it, working it out for the stage as opposed to the page and the laughs really made it worth it. There's still that sense of pride in going out there and creating things like I would in interviews, but it's a different skill set than doing interviews and you really owe it to the people to make the stuff as good as it can be.

TNT:
Exactly. Now do you think there are more strange personalities in wrestling or comedy, and who were some of the strangest in wrestling that you met or knew?

Mick:
Oh I'd say both professions draw equally from the ranks of the... uhhh.

TNT:
Department of strange?

Mick:
Yeah, maybe even more so in wrestling. 'Coz you know in comedy almost everybody is after the same goal, which is to get a response from the people. In wrestling you know you have those people, you know the performing artists, who want the responses, but you also have just the incredibly competitive types, like your Kurt Angle's and your Brock Lesnar's, guys who just wanna be the very best, so it's an eclectic group of people. Yeah there are some strange ones for sure and you find out that in either locker room it's not the place to be if you're like for example a bigot because you're gonna come across people of all shapes, sizes and colours. Yeah both of them are unique in their own way.

TNT:
Yeah and who would be one of the strangest people that you've encountered in pro wrestling through your days? I'm sure there's been a couple that have really stood out. You know, be it your friends or be it not your friends?

Mick:
Oh yeah, yeah I mean jeez um.

TNT:
It covers a lot of ground I know.

Mick:
Yeah it does cover a lot of ground, but I mean you know take The Necro Butcher, who was in the movie The Wrestler.

TNT:
He's awesome.

Mick:
Yeah, and you know he's absolutely out of his mind, but he sounds like a backwoods philosopher, and then I got a chance to meet him and it turns out he was in the crowd when I had like my 2nd match ever. In like '80, not my second match my 4th or 5th match, my 2nd match was against The British Bulldogs in front of 17,000 people.

TNT:
Is that the one where Dynamite busted your jaw?

Mick:
Yeah that's the one, but there's no shortage of strange people and no shortage of stories to tell about them.
I mean Iron Mike Sharp for example was a guy.

TNT:
Canada's greatest athlete.

Mick:
Yeah, yeah exactly. He would like, you know a lot of guys used baby oil to bring out the tone in their muscles. He would put it in a plastic bag like a lot of people did, but then he would put that in a bag within another plastic bag, inside of another plastic bag.

TNT:
He was making sure there were no leaks!

Mick:
Yeah, he'd been locked out of many a gymnasium for showering for like 2 hours you know.

TNT:
Wow, a real hygienic athlete huh?

Mick:
It's so strange. I remember being on a trip over in Austria, and at the time you know adult films gave you like a 5 minute preview. I think the goal was to do what you had to do during that 5 minute preview so you didn't have to do it for a fee. But what Mike didn't realize was that in Austria, every time you use the channel you were being charged at like 10 dollars, and so he thought you could go backward and forwards from movie to movie like in the States, as long as you didn't do it for longer than 5 minutes. When it came time for Mike to check out he literally had like a 500 dollar porno tab!

TNT:
Wow so he ended up being dirty after all!

Mick:
Yeah he needed a long shower after that one.

TNT:
A cold one that's for sure!
In 2005 you were set to make a wrestling appearance here in Australia as part of the International Assault tour but you returned to WWE missing the trip. You've got an open day before the Enmore show on the 9th February, if we're able to organize a show say on the 8th of February the day before would you think you might be able to make an appearance, to say hi to wrestling fans in a wrestling setting to promote the comedy event the next night?

Mick:
Oh man you know that's a WWE question, my deal with them is I can't do non WWE wrestling shows.

TNT:
Oh bummer.

Mick:
But the thing is I did miss the tour, in my defence what happened was the American promoter had his assets seized, and he told me that essentially I'd be going over there for no money, through no fault of the Australian promoter.

TNT:
Yeah 'coz a deposit was paid.
I was kind of knew about it some, because I wrestled on the tour. I remember hearing the money was payed to that guy, but I think there was some boxing guy who messed up or something.

Mick:
Yeah I think he'd been part of a boxer he had an ownership or whatever of a guy called Smoking Bert Gilbert. Obviously it's a long involved story but the guy told me look you know you're not gonna get paid. Ha ha! It wasn't the Australian promoter's fault it was just one of those things that happen. If it had been in the US somewhere I probably would have done a show, but in this case it was like a two week deal and I mean it's obviously a long trip and I bailed out when I found out there would be no money whatsoever coming to me.

TNT:
Yeah that's part of the business I guess, sometimes things fall through you know. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to make good on it with this tour. I'm sure at the comedy events you'll get to meet a lot of your wrestling fans and maybe we can speak to the WWE and try to see if you can make a wrestling appearance as a bit of a make up for that one huh? Ha ha.

Mick:
I'll see if we can do that, and let me just leave you with this for anyone interested in coming to any of the shows, I mean we're doing Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, just go to my website www.realmickfoley.com and hit events and it's easy to get information and buy tickets right from the website.

TNT:
Yeah, absolutely we'll have all the details on the AWF website as well.
You know in closing I guess while very different beasts, which one do you think on average would be the harder to do well for the person at home who has tried neither, comedy or wrestling?

Mick:
Wrestling, because anyone can go out and be funny.

TNT:
I guess to do it well at a high level, you know what I mean?

Mick:
Yeah, I mean it's equally hard to do it well at a high level, but I would say it's harder for the novice to go out there and wrestle because there's the physical side.

TNT:
Of course.

Mick:
Whereas comedy can be devastating emotionally, and it has been at times for me, but unless things go really, really bad you're not gonna see your ear thrown away in a garbage can so.

TNT:
Yeah where's the formaldehyde huh?

Mick:
Yeah exactly.

TNT:
Es ist alles eine schauspiel?
I heard about that incident in Munich many years ago, but yeah I guess how did you feel about WCW's handling of it at the time? Do you feel like they followed it up well enough?

Mick:
Well they didn't really follow up at all.

TNT:
It kind of felt like that at the time.

Mick:
When you see that they, you know, it's the one profession where losing an ear isn't necessarily a bad thing, and you find out they're not going to do anything, like wait a sec I'm not gonna cut a promo about this? That wouldn't be something? And eventually I kinda saw the writing on the wall. If they couldn't promote that, then they weren't gonna promote anything I did. But it all worked out in the end. If I had have stayed, then you know some of the other good things wouldn't have happened.

TNT:
Mankind wouldn't have happened, and maybe the books, and maybe the comedy tour right now. It's funny the way things work out sometimes.

Mick:
Exactly!

TNT:
I guess you know sometimes things happen for a reason and you're coming to Australia after many years, and I'm sure the fans are going to be happy to see you. I guess is there anything special away from the comedy your looking to do in Australia in February or in general while your here?

Mick:
Nothing that hits me immediately! Ha ha! I'd like to see some of the country, and it looks like we have a day off between each show, so in general I'm looking forward to coming and having a good time and seeing a lot of people including you there.

TNT:
It was an absolute pleasure Mick, thank you for speaking with us here at AWF and I look forward to meeting up again in February, and good luck with your upcoming ventures mate, I hope the comedy gigs really kill it.

Mick
I appreciate it, thanks a lot.

Interview conducted by TNT - www.facebook.com/TNT.Greg.Bownds for Australasian Wrestling Federation www.awfwrestling.com.au

GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES ARE:
ADELAIDE: ADELAIDE FESTIVAL CENTRE - MONDAY FEBRUARY 4
BRISBANE: THE TIVOLI - WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 6
SYDNEY: ENMORE THEATRE - SATURDAY FEBRUARY 9
MELBOURNE: ATHENAEUM THEATRE - MONDAY FEBRUARY 11
For complete tour and ticket information visit: www.livenation.com.au

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