|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
MICK FOLEY IS A STAND UP GUY
That’s not a question to ask former pro wrestler, Mick Foley. Especially when this 300-pound bear of a man is strolling the stage telling you not to ask him that question. In sweat pants, mind you, with a crazy looking vest and maybe “strolling” is a little strong. “Hobbling the stage” is a term I use for myself and, maybe, when seeing Mick’s nerve damaged foot might also apply to his stand-up show.
Mick Foley body slammed his audience with wrestling stories, brilliantly told, pile driven home with such nuance and articulation you swore you were listening to an accomplished voice actor instead of a jock who shouldn’t have a brain cell left in his body let alone a tongue with which to form the words.
Foley brings you into his world, into the ring, behind the scenes and from my audience vantage point as maybe less hardcore and less knowledgeable than ninety percent of the folks in the room I can see it did hurt, but in a funny, entertaining way.
It’s takes a little skill to talk about losing an ear, or getting a knocked out tooth lodged up your nostril, or landing on a thumb tack laden mat and still make it entertaining. Foley has this skill and he uses it with the same ferocity he uses in the ring. He is self-deprecating in his presentation but very sure of his facts. He has the awareness of a New York Times best-selling author, which he was several times without the use of a ghost writer. While he was making us laugh at one excruciatingly painful personal bodily mishap after another, I couldn’t help but think “I wonder if any of the Marquis De Sade’s victims would’ve had the consciousness to pen their experiences into bestselling books?”
He was very gracious in answering everyone’s questions and even had Jim Ross, perhaps the greatest wrestling announcer ever join him on stage to also answer questions. It was Ross who made such tearful calls like “Good God almighty! Good God almighty! They’ve killed him. As God as my witness, he is broken in half!” and “Good God, good God! Will somebody stop the damn match? Enough’s enough!”
Foley played both of these recordings in his show with both recordings referring to him, both in matches he had with The Undertaker. One is where he was in a chock hold, then thrown from the top of the cage landing on an announcer’s table and the second, in another match, where he had fallen through the cage 16’ down to the mat. In both cases, Foley was concussed, out cold, yet awoke and got off the mat.
The fact that he’s talking about it, using words we humans can understand, is admirable. Make that more than admirable, make it damn funny. Foley may be the best story teller to ever come from East Setauket, NY. He is definitely the funniest wrestler from his high school wrestling team, which included comic actor Kevin James.
If you’re interested at all in wrestling and you see Mick Foley’s show coming to your town, catch it. You’ll enjoy it. Just don’t ask him if it hurt.
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|Silliman On Sports
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