On what was dubbed "the biggest podcast ever" for over a year, WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho welcomed former WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager Mick Foley to Talk Is Jericho. Among many other things, Foley talked about WWE Chairman Vince McMahon not liking him early on, how he convinced McMahon to let him take those iconic bumps in Hell In A Cell against The Undertaker at King Of The Ring (1998), and what McMahon said to him after the match.
According to Foley, it was an uphill battle for then head of WWE Talent Relations Jim Ross to sell McMahon on bringing 'Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy' to WWF in 1996, as McMahon did not like Foley. Foley suggested that McMahon did not see anything in 'The Hardcore Legend', as evidenced by an interaction Foley had with Bruce Prichard.
"Vince, he's a gut player. I mean, he gets a gut feeling and didn't think I looked like a star. And Bruce told me, in retrospect, years later, he goes, 'remember when I saw you LaGuardia [Airport] when you were with WCW. I was like, 'yeah.' He goes, 'did you know Vince was right there?' and I said, 'no.' He was nowhere to be seen. I said, 'where was he?' He goes, 'well, I said, 'hey, there's Cactus Jack. Would you like to say, 'hello'?' and [McMahon] says, 'I don't think I ever want to meet him.' So in a way, maybe he was sold on the character too. But I would like to think I struck a blow for the unlikely guy."
Apparently, where McMahon meets with a talent tells the performer what plans the company had for him: if McMahon met with talent at his house in Stamford, Connecticut, there were big plans for the talent; if McMahon met with the talent at the office, the talent would be figured in; and, if the talent met an assistant at the office, there were no plans for that talent. Foley admitted that he still has not been invited to McMahon's house.
"If you go to the house, they've got big plans for you. Office? You might be okay. And then, if you meet with an assistant… I met at the office, so I think it was indicative of the push I was supposed to get. I mean, there were other guys coming in that were… and I'm not picking on Marc Mero. I made my peace with Marc. It wasn't his fault that he got a great contract, but Vince would give more attention to the guys he thought were going to be the backbone of the company. And so, you had guys like me, 'Stone Cold' [Steve Austin], who were not." Foley added, "to this day, I have not been to his house. Vince!"
When asked how he convinced McMahon to let him do those crazy HIAC bumps, Foley said he did it with a lot of leading questions and by comparing falling through an announce table from the top of the cell to a missed elbow drop off the top of the cell.
"I told a couple of the biggest lies of my life that day." Foley recalled, "I said, 'hey, what if I came off the top?' and Vince [replied], 'absolutely not.' And I went into sell mode and I said, 'well, if I was going to drop an elbow off there and somebody's going to move, you'd probably let me do that, right?'. It's leading questions and he goes, 'I guess.' 'Well, it's the same thing. I'm in total control.'"
Moreover, the three-time WWE Champion admitted that he would have backed out of the spot if he could have done so without ruining his pro wrestling career.
"If I could've thought of a way to climb back down without destroying my career, I would've done it."
Foley acknowledged that the cell was not supposed to break during the chokeslam from the top of the cell, but rather tear.
"People have speculated that I knew the cage was going to break the second time. And the truth is, that's way too dangerous! To go into the cage from a chokeslam like that is… Yeah, yeah, it was supposed to tear."
Foley added, "it was going to tear a little bit. And then, Taker was going to stuff me through the hole. The big visual to me was I was going to be hanging upside down. Like my arms and flailing and this. And the bump itself, 'alright, I just have to be able to rotate, land on my hands and knees, maybe we'll risk your wrist, your knee, but nothing real major.' And I got approval for that.
Foley shared that McMahon told him that he appreciated what he did at KOTR (1998), but The Chairman never wanted to see anything like that again.
"Vince came up to me after the show and he said, and I do remember this, he said, 'you have no idea how much I appreciate what you've just done for this company, but I never want to see anything like that again. And I think that's pretty telling. Vince, I think, gets a bad rap for… I honestly believe I would be in far worse shape if a) I'd been allowed to do what I wanted to do and b) and he hadn't that day, 'I'm going to place a governor on you.'"
Click here if you would like to listen to… it. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: Talk Is Jericho