On a recent episode of his podcast, 83 weeks, taking a look back at Halloween Havoc 1993, Eric Bischoff outlined the events that led to Mick Foley’s eventual departure from WCW.
Throughout his career Mick Foley became famed for his high risk, death defying, hardcore wrestling style. And while being thrown from the top of Hell In A Cell, his Street Fight with Triple H or his series of Death Matches in Japan spring immediately to mind for their sheer brutality, Foley pushed the envelope wherever he worked. Including WCW.
Competing as Cactus Jack, Foley’s penchant for pain began to get the better of him, and in turn, worry those in charge of WCW at the time. Leaps to the concrete floor became par for the course for Foley matches, but a desire to jump off a balcony during his Texas Death Match against Vader at Halloween Havoc in 1993 proved a step too far. With Eric Bischoff revealing he was the one who had to talk Foley out of the stunt, and that it would eventually lead to him leaving the company.
“That was also the precursor for Cactus Jack leaving WCW. Cactus was becoming not only a danger to himself but in the opinion of WCW legal, was providing a significant amount of litigation exposure because of the things that he wanted to do. It was just over the top. Every week, it was something crazier and crazier and crazier. We couldn’t let it happen. In addition to probably other things – I never talked to Mick about this and maybe we will someday – that was the straw that broke the camel’s back with WCW and Mick. He wanted to become more physical and more violent, bloodier, and more over the top. WCW was going in a different direction.”
That desire to take crazy bumps would eventually lead Foley to multiple WWE Championships and becoming the one of the most universally loved Superstars of all time. Something Bischoff believes that Foley should be very proud of, even if his “bizarre dark side” cut short his time in WCW.
“I know Mick is proud and should be proud of the big moments he had in WWE – coming off the top of the cage in the Hell in a Cell match when he did, the way he did it. It’s not like Mick a 175-pound gymnast. This guy is a big dude. I don’t know how he survived it – I really, really don’t. Mick is a very, very intelligent person – he’s not your average guy when it comes to intelligence. He’s far above average and incredibly intelligent guy. Still, as you said, he had this bizarre dark side that he needed to explore and feed. It was becoming increasingly obvious to WCW – myself included because I was friends with Mick – and it was just like enough is enough. That was it.”