Wrestling & MMA

Meet-n-greet with WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley at Ronin Pro Wrestling in South Florida

Check out WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley at Ronin Pro Wrestling on Saturday, March 14 at the Broward College-South Campus Gymnasium in (South Florida) Pembroke Pines.
Check out WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley at Ronin Pro Wrestling on Saturday, March 14 at the Broward College-South Campus Gymnasium in (South Florida) Pembroke Pines. Photo Courtesy Ronin Pro Wrestling

WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley is ready to take the reins of commissioner for the evening during Ronin Pro Wrestling’s event at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14 at the Broward College-South Campus Gymnasium in (South Florida) Pembroke Pines.

The beloved legend had a memorable run in the role when he served as the onscreen authority figure in WWE almost 15 years ago.

“I look back on my career and my time as commissioner with great fondness,” Foley said. “Any time I’m given a chance to relive those days and go out there and have fun and entertain fans and help a promotion draw and be successful, I consider myself fortunate.”

Foley would lay down the law each week with his trademark gavel and mobile office. Many of his best segments as the Commish involved Christian and Edge. The trio is often collectively referred to as ChrEdgly.

“We were like my enemies who kind of liked hanging out with each other,” he said. “…I loved the idea of using the best final words to say as commissioner, which was ‘and that match will be with The Undertaker.’ I had a bunch of great moments with them…One of my favorite moments was also with Kurt Angle when he came in trying to talk his way out of some situation by mentioning the beads I was wearing that my daughter had made me. This was 2000, so she would have been probably six at the time. Only a proud father would wear a necklace made out of pasta on national television.

“I reminded Kurt he wouldn’t be able to do what he had planed because he had a match with, drum roll, The Undertaker! Kurt’s reaction was priceless. He looked at me so frustrated and responded with, ‘I lied about the beads.’ To this day it’s one of my favorite lines ever. I lied about the beads. I really enjoyed it. Knowing that I’m not able to wrestle or referee these days, being the commissioner really gives me a chance to set the tone for the show and make it fun for the people in the audience and the wrestlers as well. They seem to enjoy the interactions.”

Leaving his commissioner flannel on in today’s landscape, he remains positive when it comes to how the card for WrestleMania 31 has come together. He feels an overall sense of confidence that WWE television over the next few weeks leading up to the grand event will be exciting to watch.

“Even though I was pulling for Daniel Bryan to win the Rumble, as soon as I found out it was going to be Roman Reigns I thought there would be some good possibilities and stories that could go on to make it really interesting,” Foley said. “If I was commissioner still I would try to do my best to put the matches and the guys in them over as much as I could. That was always my goal with whatever I did. If there was or is a change of re-balancing of power in the future, I hope they would go with someone who could give the show a different feel. I think those shifts are really important every once in a while.”

Foley is most excited about the Intercontinental title ladder match at WrestleMania.

“My oldest son [Dewey] and I were talking about how the championship and how it has become a hot commodity because I think there is an understating that these guys are going to put on a match that is going to be hard for anyone to top,” he said. “That’s what you need to make a great card. If that’s anything but a classic, I’d be personally disappointed. I’m looking forward to that one. I want to see Sting and Triple H like anyone else. I’m going to go out on a limb here to say there better be a spot for AxelMania because it’s running wild. I’m telling you right now. A pairing of AxelMania down the road with Damien Sandow or Mizdow could be the Mega Powers for the new generation.”

The best-selling author and consummate entertainer remains an avid fan of the business he’s been involved for more than 30 years. Fans online will often find Foley writing a blog or tweeting about what he saw on WWE events. Recently, Foley really enjoyed seeing his friend Jon Stewart on a recent “Monday Night Raw.” Stewart hosts “The Daily Show,” a popular Comedy Central staple finishing its 15-year run later this year. Foley has been a guest a time or two.

Stewart, a WWE enthusiast, received rave reviews as a Raw guest star who knew his stuff.

“I thought he was great,” Foley said. “He is such an incredibly important person in our culture, yet not every one of our fans is familiar with him. They know when someone knows their stuff. The idea that someone who talks to Presidents and world leaders knows every intricate detail of our WWE storylines is really impressive. I thought it was a really good appearance. I thought Seth Rollins was excellent. I thought the low blow coming from a collegiate soccer player was appropriate. I think Jon’s kids will remember his appearance on Raw as being more important than his conversations with presidents.”

Along with watching on television, traveling across the country and taking bookings for Ronin Pro Wrestling also gives him a chance to see the current crop of quality independent promotions and talent making waves. The future is bright.

“You have to go back many years to see an independent boom like this,” Foley said. “I was the [Jaffa] Shrine in Altoona, Pennsylvania for Big Time Wrestling with 3,000 people in the seats. I just did an event in Halifax, Nova Scotia where they broke their personal record. House of Hardcore is going strong. There is such a wealth of really good wrestlers out there and promoters are kind of building cards and feuds. I think it’s good for everybody. I hope it lasts. I hope the Ronin show is a big success. I will do my best to make that the case. I have been enjoying these occasional appearances I’ve been making on the independent scene.”

The South Florida event gives Foley a chance to see his buddy Trina Michaels, an adult film star and wrestling manager.

“I specifically asked if I could have some kind of in-ring segment with Trina,” he said. “We actually only did one wrestling show together. It’s always fun to interact with your friends. She is somebody I really like, so I look forward to doing it. She is a really good sport. I look forward to interacting with her for sure.”

After Ronin the WWE alum is making the trip to the West Coast for a jam-packed schedule of one-man shows, conventions, signings and other appearances. If you are traveling to California for WrestleMania weekend, chances are you will see Foley around town. The philanthropist is also hosting his WrestleMania Dream Vacation Raffle with proceeds benefiting the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

“I think it makes fans feel good to be part of something so positive, especially about a subject that is really difficult to talk about,” Foley said. “Rape and sexual abuse are really tough subjects to talk about. This raffle not only raises a lot of money, but creates awareness and allows the fans and the wrestlers to be part of something that’s biggest than the sum of its parts.”

- Mick Foley serves as guest commissioner when Ronin Pro Wrestling presents its latest show at Broward College-South Campus Gymnasium in (South Florida) Pembroke Pines.

The action starts at 7:30 p.m., but the hardcore legend is also participating in a meet-and-greet from 5-7 p.m.

Full details and show card are available at

http://www.roninprowrestling.com/.

Follow Ronin on Twitter @RONINpw.

- Check out Foley’s upcoming schedule and enter the WrestleMania Dream Vacation Raffle for RAINN at

http://www.realmickfoley.com

- Follow Foley on Twitter @RealMickFoley

- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN

PRO WRESTLING ON THE WEB

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

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