Mick Foley is the guest on Steve Austin's podcast. Foley was on to discuss the state of WWE and his frustration with the product. Foley also gave his ideas on how the product can be improved. Foley and Austin noted that they are not two bitter veterans ripping on the product, but they feel that there are things that can be changed. They also gave their thoughts on Dusty Rhodes, a possible reunion for The Shield and more.
Foley called into the show from Long Island. Austin mentioned Foley's recent Facebook post about the state of WWE and said that he enjoyed what Foley wrote. Foley said that Monday's post was sort of like a second part to something he wrote last week and he was bothered all day last Tuesday because he was on the verge of not watching Raw again. He said that he could choose to be bitter and not watch the show or he could watch it with his kids. He said that when he was gone from WWE (during the time he was in TNA) he began to appreciate some of the things WWE with their production.
He said that his kids lost interest in last week's show. He said that it's not depressing to watch, but it's frustrating and when he realized that he was on the verge on not watching then that could be indicative of hundreds of thousands of people. Foley noted how WWE lost hundreds of thousands of people for last week's show. He said that he is worried that WWE will double down on what they are already doing and they'll turn it into a very "Authority-heavy" show. He said that this is not the answers to their problems. Foley said that he just wants WWE to rethink things and he wants to be the voice to help them shake things up. Foley says that he see's Hunter on Raw and then he sees Hunter as the guy that breathes life into NXT (as a babyface) and Stephanie as a heel on TV but doing charity work at the same time. He says that it's hard to dislike Hunter and Stephanie.
Austin said that The Authority is not going to draw on house shows. He said that The Authority has been around for so long and he can dislike Stephanie and Triple H as heels, but The Authority storyline is the "same old, same old." What bugs him is that this storyline has been going on for so long. Austin wondered why The Authority couldn't be neutral with heels being fined when they break the rules. He says that Raw should be "presented in a serious and shoot fashion." Austin said that the storylines have been "sugar coated" and it's not a heat-based show. Austin said that it's a bigger problem than just The Authority and the stuff with The Authority has been "done to death."
Foley believes that Roman Reigns as part of The Authority would be a good idea but WWE is trying to make him into the next Steve Austin, but it's not working for him. Foley said that Reigns is a good guy and a hard worker and he deserves a top spot, but he has a couple of strikes against him because of how handsome he looks so he needs to find a way to connect with fans. He said that his kids were in awe of The Shield when they first saw them. Foley thinks that there is money in a Shield reunion and he is not betting against Seth Rollins being back in time for WrestleMania.
Austin asked if Foley thinks that the talent is being coached up too much. Austin feels that some of it is too over the top and it creates a caricature of what they are supposed to be doing to a point that it feels like they are pretending to be a pro wrestler instead of actually being one. Foley talked about getting the freedom to improvise and react to things Austin would say to him on the show. Foley said that scripted promos can eliminate disaster, but it takes away the likelihood that something special will take place in a segment. He said that many of the top promos in the business were organic. He cited the "Austin 3:16" promo. He also talked about Dusty Rhodes' "Hard Times" promo.
Austin said that Roman Reigns has a lot of charisma when he can be himself. He says that WWE should let him say what he feels and what he wants. He says that Reigns is trying to hard to be what WWE wants him to be that he's having a hard time being himself. "Let him fall on his face and pay his dues." Austin said that eventually he'll be just fine but they need to let him sink or swim. Foley said that he was allowed to go out and try things and fail. Foley also noted that the 50/50 booking is hurting the product.
Austin said that WWE has lost their spontaneity and the shows used to feel like "anything can happen." Austin said that people know tat the business is a work but people want it to feel like it's a sporting event where anything can happen. Foley said that in 2000 there was a sense that things could go terribly wrong and there was an adrenaline rush associated with the product and sometimes magic would come out of the chaos. Austin said that a lot of the talent are doing a good job but the product feels so slick so that takes away the edge from the show.
Foley talked about Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch from last week's Raw. Foley thought that everything they did in the ring was good but the match was over within 4 minutes and WWE moved on like the match never existed. Austin praised the women in NXT but feels that they are micromanaged on the main roster. Austin talked about a match he had with Chris Benoit in 2002. He said that he was disappointed with the match because it was so short. They wrestled again on Smackdown during that same week and Austin decided to make the call that they just wrestle until Austin decided to go home. Austin said that the match was much better because they got more time. Austin said that WWE is throwing roadblocks at the women by cutting their time.
Foley made a plea to Vince McMahon for him to let Sasha do her thing in the ring. Foley said, "I think she's being messed with." He added, "Leave her alone. Let her do her thing." Foley says that it makes him sad to see someone work so hard and being led into different directions.
Austin and Foley then moved on to talking about Austin's punches and whether his punches were as stiff as Vader's punches. They talked about Vader coming into WWE as a strong heel but he was walking on eggshells. They talked about Vader getting heat for working too stiff with Shawn Michaels. Austin feels that Vader never recovered from that but put him over as a solid worker and a great heel. Foley said that Vader could make great babyfaces by feeding comebacks. Foley said that Vader never got his due for being one of the great heels in his generation, but there were too many people in his ear when he was in WWE. Foley put him over for the matches he had with Vader in the early 90s in WCW. Austin agreed. Foley said that Vader is in great shape (around 350 lbs) and he shouldn't have to wrestle at his age.
Austin asked Foley if he feels that today's roster is walking on eggshells. Foley says that he does think so and it's hard to go out there now with other people's ideas. Foley said that the scripted promos relieve people of the necessity of having to constantly think about their character. He says that people are so concerned with memorizing everything that it takes away from the emotion. Foley said that he's offered a few times over the past year to help and he said that he offered to do it for free. Austin agreed that they at least need a devil's advocate.
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