Mick Foley Says there was More Freedom in the Attitude Era

Jun 28, 2019 - by James Walsh

In the latest episode of Chasing Glory, Mick Foley spoke about the freedom the wrestlers had to work on promos and develop their characters in the Attitude era, compared to the heavily-scripted promos the wrestlers are given in the modern era of WWE. He expressed his belief that wrestlers should be allowed to try and even fail if need be, in order to see what works and what doesn’t. Here are highlights:

On Jon Moxley’s grievances with WWE and letting wrestlers try things: “I saw Jon Moxley just a couple of days ago at an event. I didn’t realize how constrained he felt by the format there. And this is not an exercise in whipping WWE here, that’s not what we’re here to talk about but I said, you know, and I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating that people look at the Attitude Era and they love it for a number of reasons. But very few people realize we were allowed to try things and there was not a punishment for failing.”

On experimenting in the Attitude Era: “For every great Austin 3:16 promo, there’s gonna be five or six things that absolutely don’t work. If you recall, The Rock never went to the ‘shut up juice’ more than two or three times. ‘Shut up juice’ wasn’t connecting. But he had others. He was like, ‘Alright, shut up juice isn’t connecting, Smackdown Hotel is’, you know? So guys were allowed to go out there and try things. I remember a couple of my promos that failed miserably but I never got the feeling that just because they tanked that I wasn’t going to get another shot at it. This is something that I said during last year’s 20 Years of Hell show, I said ‘If you’re going to fail, fail spectacularly.’ And really that match and a good part of my career was based on spectacular failures.”

On the wrestlers needing more freedom now: “I think the men and the women don’t have that same freedom to fail. Guys are going out there playing not to lose instead of playing to win with the characters. I think you can specifically blame ‘This Is Your Life’ with me and The Rock for going fourteen minutes over for the tighter structuring. I do think that the [PG] rating hurts in the sense that … imagine trying to be a heel in today’s environment where you can’t be offensive. Obviously we had a little more freedom to use language. I think in a lot of ways the PG rating makes you be more creative which is a good thing. When you’re catering to families … you can actually see someone complaining that a heel was scary. It’s hard to be a menacing figure when you’re so constrained so the answer is everyone has to have great moves.”

Leave a Reply