Wrestling is all about manipulation. A good promoter is one who can book a show to illicit a desired reaction form the crowd. Whether it be to get a dastardly heel over and get the entire building booing him or to show the growth of a beloved babyface and to have the arena unleash their emotion when he finally wins, there is always an end goal in mind.
That being said, the difference to great booking and poor booking is subtly. The crowd knows that the point of a show is to manipulate them, but they don’t want to feel like they’re being taken advantage of. It’s like going to see a magician. You know that what you’re seeing is an illusion, but a good magician is able to draw you in to the point where you willingly suspend your disbelief and for even a split second consider that magic may be real. Same with wrestling. You know that what you’re seeing is worked, but good booking can draw you in to the point that you swear what you’re seeing is a shoot.
The same goes with TV shows. How many times during Breaking Bad did you consciously realize you were watching as show with actors playing roles and reading lines that other people wrote for them? Not that many because the show did a great job of drawing you in.
Herein lies the issue with Mick Foley. Mick is a total nostalgia act, relying on old fans of the attitude era and kids whose parents showed him falling off the Cell multiple times on YouTube. While there’s nothing wrong with nostalgia booking – Ghostbusters is basically banking on it to carry their current movie – the issue is that the installation of Mick Foley has a very obvious end goal that has nothing to do with the current product: Holy Foley.
The only reason that Mick Foley is GM of RAW is to promote his upcoming reality show, “Holy Foley” starring him, his idiotic but hot as hell daughter Noelle and her cognitively impaired, tool boyfriend who I hope dies in a fire, Frank. That’s it. And if you think RAW isn’t going to turn into a massive advertising push for Holy Foley, you are naive. I’ll even go further with my hot take and say that this whole thing is going to result in Noelle debuting at RAW some point in the future.
For the three people reading who disagree, remember earlier this year when Mick went on a massive twitter rant about how the writing was horrible and a week later his son, Dewey, was hired to the writing team? Coincidence? You don’t have to listen to After Dark Radio to know that it wasn’t.
Mick is a father who is looking out for his kids well-being like any good father would. I can respect that. My issue is that it’s happening in such an obvious way that they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. And this isn’t just about Mick. Mick Foley is just another example in a long line of WWE unsubtley ramming shit down the fan’s throats and then wondering why it didn’t get over; Tough Enough, Dana Brooke, Roman Reigns, The Divas Revolution; and that’s just from the last year!
We want to be manipulated. We’re wrestling fans after all! But WWE has recently been showing us, time after time that they are incapable of doing it without coming off as needy and desperate.