Source: The Ross Report
Recently on The Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross spoke with professional wrestling legend Mick Foley. Among other things, Foley addressed the passing of Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka. Also, Foley talked about how the Mankind interview where he brought up being inspired by 'Superfly' to get into professional wrestling helped Snuka get bookings in the latter part of Snuka's professional wrestling career. Finally, Foley shared his personal Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling.
"I came around to what Bruce Springsteen had said, which was trust the art, not the artist. And so, by doing that, you allow yourself to watch the films of an actor who may have been abusive to children. And he was a kind and gentle man. I mean, ultimately, there is a harsher judge, I really believe, than the internet. And if Jimmy did what was alleged, you hope the kindness he showed towards people for decades and the love he had for his family outweigh that incident in the final picture."
Foley acknowledged that he probably would not have been a pro wrestler without Snuka acting as inspiration.
"Without Jimmy, there's no me. There's a me, there's a Mick Foley, doing something somewhere, but that feeling being brought out of me, being in the Garden and feeling the emotion. And then, having this moment in time captured that I remember as clearly today as when it took place over 30 years ago. And know that I wanted to make people feel that same way, I don't know if, as much as I loved the [professional] wrestling business or just the wrestling show, I didn't know it was a business at the time, I don't know if there's anything else that would have made me feel that way."
According to Foley, Tamina thanked him for talking about seeing Snuka leap from the top of the steel cage at Madison Square Garden during his interview as Mankind with 'J.R.'.
"It was '97 when [Ross] and I did that interview that changed things around for me, especially in the way Mr. McMahon saw me in the company. And that was when I got to talk publicly about that match and what it meant for me. And WWE went and found the footage of me as an 18 year old in the audience. And I believe, that was the first time I would meet Tamina shortly after that. She thanked me because they felt that it had done a lot for her dad in terms of bookings, in terms of, yeah, awareness, and getting that buzz."
While 'Superfly' may be Foley's favorite pro wrestler of all time, he does not think Snuka makes the cut for his personal Mount Rushmore of pro wrestling. Foley went on to name Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Dynamite Kid, and Steve Austin.
"Oh man, that's such a tough one to say. I don't know if Snuka would be on there. I don't know. He [has] never been on there before. He's definitely my favorite. I don't know if he makes that unless you widen Mount Rushmore. I go with Terry Funk. I think you have to put Ric Flair up. I'm going to put Tom Billington on there. I thought he was out of this world. Yep and fourth guy, maybe you put 'Stone Cold' up there as a guy who brought in this new era of wrestling. But you couldn't go wrong with 100 different names. Do you know what I mean? I'd love to have Harley Race up there, The Rock, and some other guys. Yeah, Tommy Billington, he was an amazing worker."
Check out the interview here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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