The term “trainwreck” can mean all manner of things within professional wrestling but for Mick Foley, it often results in superb WrestleMania contests.
This year’s WrestleMania saw a number of acclaimed matches, from Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch’s seminal Raw Women’s Championship collision to Logan Paul’s mesmerising debut match. Perhaps the most beloved, though, was the Anything Goes encounter between Sami Zayn and Johnny Knoxville.
Zayn and Knoxville produced a hectic match that was arguably more hilarious than first expected. Speaking on his Foley Is Pod podcast, Mick Foley praised their match, believing they made great use of the “trainwreck” style:
“So it may have been a trainwreck, but it’s just super entertaining. And there were things that I’d never seen and it was so ridiculous. I mean, hey, if it’s not your image of what wrestling should be, it’s not your image of what wrestling should be. But for anyone who has an open mind about that, I think Kevin Owens summed it up best, there’s two guys who turn everything they touch into gold because they make the most of what they have. He said like every second, I’m paraphrasing, but every second that was epic.
And it was like, that was one of the greatest trainwrecks. You know, it was exactly what it needed to be and it broke, you just can’t have guys vying for five-star matches one after another because it just becomes a little jumble in your mind. I liken it to driving down the road with a new stereo. And I remember doing this in TNA, I spent four or five hours at the Geek Squad and they hooked up my 2003 Chevy Venture minivan with the state-of-the-art thing.
And as I’m driving, long drive to New Orleans from where I was in Florida, and you turn up the volume, but if you turn it up full blast for more than two songs, full blast becomes normal. And now when you turn it down to five, it sounds like it’s not even on.
So what you want when you’re driving down the road, as I believe you want when you’re in a major wrestling show, is to have a few peaks and valleys so that your senses can recover, doesn’t mean you’re not going to enjoy that next song but now four songs later, let’s turn this bad boy up, so I just don’t think you can live life or perform a wrestling show with the dials turned to 11 all the time.”
Johnny Knoxville ultimately defeated Sami Zayn in a match that involved giant hands to the face, bowling balls to the groin, and tables covered in mousetraps. The match was Knoxville’s second, having made his in-ring debut in the prior January’s Royal Rumble match.
Mick Foley himself has been involved in matches that could be described as trainwrecks, in the sense that they involved a lot of barbaric spots. His Royal Rumble 2000 match vs. Triple H and famous King of the Ring 1998 clash with The Undertaker, two of wrestling’s most acclaimed outings, fall under this banner.