One of the most frequent questions I receive from readers of Wrestling News World is - do you think "so-and-so" should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? The question always sparks debate from WWE's passionate fan base and leads to detailed reflection of career credentials and accomplishments. This year there is one name that will be inducted that exemplifies just what the WWE Hall of Fame should look like - Mick Foley.
The fact he's a 3-time WWE Champion and 8-time WWE Tag Team Champion only tells part of the story. Mick Foley was a guy that was able to get over regardless of gimmick or storyline. We talk a lot about look, mic work and in-ring ability but the most important thing for any pro wrestler on any level is - can they get over?
Whether it's making the fans cheer as a babyface or causing them to jeer as a heel, it's all about drawing a reaction. This is what separates a main eventer from an enhancement talent and ultimately decides whether one will headline shows or become just another flash in the pan with potential.
Mick Foley enthralled fans with the hardcore mentality of Cactus Jack, created mystique as Mankind, showed a sillier side with Dude Love and even proved he could get over without a gimmick as color commentator Mick Foley. Mick is a picture of diversity that had success no matter what he did because he accomplished the ultimate goal every time he came through the curtain.
Billed at 6'2 287 lbs, Mick is admittedly not a fitness expert or bodybuilder. He's more of the average Joe in build to the superhuman so many younger talents think they must look like to get a credible run in WWE. A New York Times best-selling author and intelligent ambassador for WWE, Mick is not flashy and conceited but humble and plain. Mick is a guy that carries himself with class, offering thoughtful insight and vital wisdom. He's a guy anyone aspiring for success in professional wrestling should look to for knowledge and advice.
In February 2011 I had my own Mick Foley experience. I was covering a TNA Wrestling show in my home state of West Virginia and while backstage, I ran into Foley who was dressed in Winnie The Pooh sweats with his facial hair grown out. Unlike the other top stars that didn't arrive until late, Foley was there early where he was quietly meandering amongst his co-workers.
Not everyone was thrilled to see me backstage whether they recognized me as a "dirt sheet writer" or saw me as just another enthusiastic fan, some of the younger workers enjoyed some ribs at my expense. Others didn't give me the time of day. When I approached Mick he was soft-spoken, humble and refused to partake in a joke with one of his co-workers that teased me for telling Foley I was having a "mark out moment."
Mick was humble, thankful for my support and posed for a photo. Here was a guy that had accomplished more in his career than anyone else backstage yet acted as if he was nothing more than a mere spectator. The respect he showed me proved to me who Mick Foley is. Mick Foley is a guy that cares about the fans. The fans that sat in awe when he crashed through the Hell in a Cell structure, the fans that devoured his books to the top of the charts and the fans that will watch as he is immortalized as a WWE Hall of Famer in New York just before Wrestlemania 29.
There are a lot of names that can be debated for the WWE Hall of Fame; Mick Foley isn't one of them. Mick Foley exemplifies what the WWE Hall of Fame should look like and contributed heavily to the business we all love. Congratulations Mick, you deserve it.
Richard Gray is the owner and editor of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
. Covering the professional wrestling business since 1999, Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University. You can follow him on Twitter @wnwnews. Email him directly firstname.lastname@example.org