|Sorry, but Foley's the wrong guy to blame for backyard wrestling blowing up|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I forget to whom Musgrave attributed as the source of that criticism, but that guy is seriously full of shit.
First of all, I don't think backyard wrestling necessarily is a bad thing in theory. The execution is low rent, but the assumption that people who do it are untrained seems a bit presumptuous to me. Is the idea of self-training too farfetched for most people to stereotype everyone who wrestles in the backyard? I'm not saying most backyard wrestling is even good, or that everyone should eschew the wrestling school route, but I wouldn't be so hasty to take a steaming dump on people who learn how to wrestle independent of the established system.
That being said, even if I were to assume that backyard wrestling was a bad thing, or even taking the argument further, that Foley's extensive history in deathmatch wrestling is a pox on the art, the former Cactus Jack really bears hardly any of the blame for its proliferation. How many people would have known that Foley, as the earliest incarnation of Dude Love, jumped off the roof of his Long Island house onto a makeshift ring if the video hadn't appeared on RAW? The answer would probably have been the same amount of people who knew about it before that iconic sitdown series of interviews with Foley aired on WWF television. If anyone is to blame, shouldn't that party be the WWE, Vince McMahon specifically? If the situation backstage then was the same as it is now, everything has to be okayed by McMahon before it airs.
I know how easy talking heads in journalism, whether inside wrestling or observing from ivory towers outside of it, have of shoveling blame for everything that goes wrong on the workers rather than the promoters. The Western way has always been that labor is expendable while the real people who deserve all the praise for economic growth are the businessmen. Curious how they only get the blame when all other scapegoats have been led to slaughter.
Foley is nothing more than a scapegoat here for something that an old white dude finds as distasteful. Even if something was inherently wrong with backyard wrestling, Foley's home video roof dive doesn't get aired without a lot of cogs turning to get it on camera, the greatest of which being Vince McMahon. You want to blame someone for the proliferation of something you don't like? Look at the top, and leave Mick Foley, one of the greatest performers in professional wrestling history, alone.