During the latest edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast, AEW commentator and WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross reflected on Mick Foley’s career in WCW as Cactus Jack, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
Jim Ross on Mick Foley’s ability to connect with the audience: “The thing about Mick as a writer, babyface, and heel is he always connected with his audience because he being a lifelong fan and having his dream job was something he really embraced. So, his ability to connect with the audience was extraordinary. That’s one thing I would suggest any wrestler – you’ve gotta learn or acquire the skills of connecting with your audience in whatever role you may be in. Mick learned that at an early age and he was so impressionable and smart. He has a college degree and his dad was a teacher and came from an educated family. Mick was destined to do all these things, but we were all kind of concerned about can we keep him healthy enough to get there.’
On Ric Flair’s criticism of Foley’s style: “I think Naitch had a good point. Moderation. If you’re gonna do [those moves], and Mick’s gonna do them, then lessen the amount of them and keep them special. So, the ones the audience sees are keepers and it’s not overdone. I’ve said this a lot in talking to talent about timing and pacing of a match. If you’re wrestling faster than the audience can process what you’re doing, you’ve gotta slow down a little bit. That could be a half step here or there, registering, reacting, selling, but you’ve got to slow down a bit. It’s no different than a stand-up comedian. If you go out and lead off with your best jokes – before you give your audience the opportunity to process and react, you’re telling your second joke. I think that’s what Mick’s issue was. Sometimes, he did too much. I don’t know if Flair was just a traditionalist in that respect. It never seemed like they got along that well, and I’m not so sure what that was. It may have just been a personality conflict. I have no idea, but there were some issues there that were not real positive.”
On Foley’s run as Cactus Jack in WCW: “Again, it’s like politics. What side of the aisle are you on? Mick apparently, inadvertently, was on the wrong side of the aisle more often than not. It’s just from the standpoint that somebody didn’t like his look or something he may have said out of humor or something that got taken the wrong way. They also saw a guy working harder than them and doing all he can to get over, and I’m not so sure everybody on the roster could say the same thing.”