*Note: The following article was written from a clip that was recorded in 2019 as we bring some unseen archive footage into the spotlight for the first time.
Speaking at an Inside The Ropes show back in 2019, Mick Foley revealed why he didn’t face Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 17, with Mr McMahon instead taking on his son.
The Hardcore Legend was asked by Inside The Ropes’ Kenny McIntosh about being written off of television in December 2000, with Foley ending up refereeing the clash in which he was supposed to be a part of.
“Yeah, man, I was really a stickler for details. I didn’t like holes in the storylines and I thought the idea of coming back and demanding my job back was not realistic. I was like, ‘It’s his company, he’s allowed to fire me.’ We got 200 people here, right? Maybe one of you would have thought a tiny bit less of me if I had exercised my right to come back to that match.”
Foley admitted that he was perhaps over-thinking, and that he may have taken the retirement stipulation too seriously.
“Like, it was over-thinking, you know, I could have easily come back and it would have been a big match, and it would have been a good money match, like a really good money match. What it came down to was that I really, at that time, took that retirement stipulation seriously and I was hellbent on never wrestling again.”
Mick Foley went on to say that if he’d known he’d have come back “another 14 times” that he would have wrestled Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 17, saying it would have been a “tremendous payoff” due to the storyline.
“Like, I just… If I’d known that I was going to come back another 14 times and make a mockery out of that stipulation, I certainly would have cashed in, in 2001, and wrestled Vince, you know, and it wouldn’t necessarily have been a great technical match, but we would have had a heck of a storyline, I think it would have been a tremendous payoff.”
Rather poignantly, the WWE Hall of Famer added how his relationship with Vince McMahon was tarnished as a result.
“And more importantly, I wouldn’t have become like the boy who cried wolf to Mr McMahon. And I don’t think my relationship with… I used to call him Vince. You know, I called him Vince and now I refer to him as Mr McMahon, even when I see him. ‘Hello, Mr. McMahon.’ So it hurt that relationship, cost me a lot of money and would have been a good match to have on a great WrestleMania.”
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