Eric Bischoff has discussed being the brains behind Mick Foley’s return to TNA as a ‘Network consultant’ in 2012 as he sought an on-screen authority figure for the promotion.
In 2008, Mick Foley had been working as a commentator in his late WWE career. As is well documented, Foley was not happy in that position and less than thrilled about Vince McMahon shouting through his headset during broadcasts. The 3-time WWE Champion allowed his contract with the company to expire on the 1st of September 2008, with Foley making his first TNA appearance on the 18th of September.
Initially, Foley was brought to the company as an authority figure, acting as ‘co-owner’ of the company. From there Mick Foley did go on to compete in matches and even won the TNA World Championship from Sting at Lockdown in April 2009.
Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff revealed that bringing Foley back on to TV as an on-screen authority figure was down to him.
“By the way the move, let’s talk about Mick Foley though, the network representative that was – who’s idea was that you ask, no you didn’t but I’ll tell you anyway; that was my idea. That move wasn’t for this show – that was a bigger move that would have impacted all of TV. That was a subject that we had been talking about for weeks or months, ‘How do we create an authority figure that doesn’t feel like every other authority figure?’, because even by 2011 the authority figure thing was way overdone.”
“I didn’t want to be involved with it – it was tired, especially for me in my character. Nobody wanted to see that anymore, so we thought about ‘who could that be?’. Scott Fishman, who was at Spike TV at the time – the television guy not the journalist – he was really big on Mick, and I was too, obviously, because that’s a role that’s perfect for Mick. I think I had to convince Mick to do it, I don’t think Mick was too excited about it when I first pitched it to him, but he got warmed up to the idea. But yeah, I dug it.”
The role for Foley was to be short-lived. He returned to TNA television on May 12th, 2011 after several months off-screen. He was granted his release from the company and was subsequently fired on-screen by Hulk Hogan in early June of the same year.
Eric Bischoff has also recently shared his thoughts on the infamous Goldberg vs. William Regal match from WCW. The former WCW President says Regal took liberties with WCW’s star attraction.