Mick Foley made headlines on Tuesday when he put out a video saying WWE has a problem in the wake of AEW delivering a critically acclaimed show with All Out.
Foley said WWE is no longer the place where talent aspires to be and that if he were an aspiring talent, he isn't sure he would trust WWE with his creative.
Appearing on Sean Waltman's Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast, Foley elaborated on his comments.
"The only deal I have with WWE is a nostalgia contract, legends deal. They do pay people to be consultants and if I was being paid to be a consultant, I would say, 'WWE, we have a problem.' I'm putting myself in the place of a top tier superstar who has a decision to make and I would look at AEW and how they treated their recent acquisitions and I would compare it to how WWE has treated a few of their developmental (talent) that was brought up to the main roster. I would say, 'I don't know that I want to gamble to such an extent that I'm willing to have everything I've done watered down or made a joke of.' If somebody is a more intriguing character in NXT than they are in WWE and it seemed almost by design, I think that's a big problem," he said. "I love the company. I really do and I think they need to hear that. If I texted Vince, that's one thing and it might be effective, but I think it needs to get out there. If it embarrasses them, I think that's okay. I look at Keith Lee and how dynamic he was. I know he's had health problems, but the guy comes out and he's got that look. He's a big dude and you want to cover him up. That's part of his appeal, he's loud and proud."
Foley continued, commenting on Karrion Kross, who he referenced in his original video. Kross was brought up to WWE Raw as the NXT Champion and immediately lost to Jeff Hardy in quick fashion.
"In the case of Karrion Kross, don't reinvent the wheel. If the guy has one of the best entrances in the business and then you send him out there as a generic guy and he loses in two minutes...people are saying, 'this doesn't hurt him, it wasn't an NXT loss.' I'm thinking, 'you only get one chance to make a first impression.' Can you dig him out of the hole? Yeah, you can, but he shouldn't be in the hole. I think the AEW pressure is the best thing to happen to WWE," he said.
Foley and Waltman discussed how things were during the Attitude Era and how they had more creative freedom and allowed people to be themselves more.
"We didn't play 'ha ha' with people's characters just for the sake of dragging them down. If you had a hand to play and you could play it, they allowed you to showcase your best stuff. The idea of going out on the big stage and being less than you can be. WWE, you get in that ring, it's two feet bigger but it might as well be a mile longer. I've seen people who seem to shrink because they kind of lose their confidence and their mojo. Once you've lost your confidence, it can be really difficult. It doesn't matter how many people tell you, 'you got it,' you have to believe you got it. If you don't believe it and it comes apart because people are messing with your character, that's a problem. I don't want to see WWE defeated in a devastating fashion. I want them to go with their best hand, which is portraying characters in their best light. I don't think they are doing that lately," he explained.
When asked how he would help fix things in WWE, Foley began by saying that the company needed more continuity when it comes to the week-to-week.
"(Chris) Jericho said, 'We don't put a line through our show an hour before it airs.' Vince will do that. My son is part of the writing team. I would never be able to handle being part of the writing team. I take a lot of pride in the things I write and seeing someone rip it up in front of me would send me heading to the exits. You lose your continuity when you promise people two or three different matches the next week and then they don't take place and you don't explain why and then you have another show that does a good job at that. I know Vince thinks he works his best under pressure, but you can't have continuity that way. You have to gather your big stars and how you're going to push them. They do it with some people," he said.
Waltman referenced Damian Priest as being a highlight on Raw, which Foley agreed with. Foley also stated he has enjoyed what's been happening with Roman Reigns on SmackDown.
Foley continued by saying, "They need to pay attention to continuity, they need to go back to big picture thinking outside of just the WrestleMania main event and they need to let their talent be as good as they can be."
Foley ended the discussion by saying, "I would not put that video out if I didn't think now was the time." He referenced a video he put out a few years ago when he went after WWE for giving the women a lack of time following a short match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.
You can view Foley's original comments by clicking here.
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