LI's Mick Foley will mow your lawn
The thought of having a professional wrestler mow your lawn might seem like an outrageous idea. But when it comes to Long Island native Mick Foley, no idea is too crazy for him.
Remember, this is the man who wrestled with a sock on his hand, had three of the wildest characters (Cactus Jack, Dude Love and Mankind) and was the biggest risk taker when it came to pushing his body to the limit.
Foley’s landscaping skills are part of his work as a board member with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. His work was never supposed to make it to landscaping, but in true Foley fashion, he will mow anyone’s lawn if they donate $5,000 to RAINN. He mentioned off-the-cuff that he would do it and as soon as offers came rolling in, he jumped at the opportunity.
"I saw that being a guy with a voice and a pen, I could make a difference," the former TNA and WWE champion told Newsday.
Foley, 45, will travel anywhere in the United States to help RAINN — and your lawn. However, a modest $10 donation is also fine with the hardcore legend. Anyone who donates $250 will get a call from the East Setauket native who still maintains a house on Long Island. He has already raised more than $120,000. You can click here to make a donation.
These days Foley is a part of TNA's roster ever since leaving the WWE's Smackdown broadcast team in 2008. Foley admitted in his 2010 book "Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal" that the announcing gig wasn't really for him.
"Micromanaging is a big asset for Mr. [Vince] McMahon. But the micromanaging hurt that announcing job for me," said Foley.
TNA has been a good home for Foley who has stayed out of the ring after losing the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in 2009 to Kurt Angle. He admits that he's still finding his role with the company.
"I give my input. I'm very vocal in letting my likes and dislikes be known. I have an opinion and I think it's a valuable one," he said.
He doesn't seem to miss the bright lights of the WWE and is very much at peace with TNA.
"I'm able to make a better contribution in a different atmosphere," said Foley. "We want to take this time to pass the torch on to the younger guys."
That is the mission for TNA, who has now rebranded its weekly Thursday show on Spike TV to "Impact Wrestling." The new slogan is "wrestling matters."
In April, the WWE took the word "wrestling" out of its initials. It will no longer be known as World Wrestling Entertainment, but simply WWE. You wrap your head on what the initials now mean.
"I love the entertainment aspect. But, if they're going to run away from the wrestling aspect, then let's embrace it," he said. "It's still a wrestling show."
Foley thinks TNA’s X-Division — talented high-flyers who work fast-paced matches — and the rebranding "can help push the ratings over that 1.3 million mark."
There are many recognizable faces in TNA that any WWE fan would know: Mr. Anderson (formerly Mr. Kennedy in the WWE), Ric Flair, Orlando Jordan and Brian Kendrick. Many stars who leave the WWE find their way to TNA for two main reasons, according to Foley: less traveling and more freedom to work independent shows. Foley once again reiterates that a change of atmosphere can reinvigorate the guys.
"I'll give you an example in baseball. Lance Berkman was a joke with the Yankees last year. Now he's one of the hottest hitters with the St. Louis Cardinals."
Nice anaolgy from Foley as Berkman’s stats clearly show a comeback year batting .349 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs as of May 19. He split time with the Astros and the Yankees in 2010 batting .245 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs.
Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Angle and Booker T are just a few who jumped ship after their time with the WWE came to an end for one reason or another. The latest former WWE star to make their way to TNA is Joan "Chyna" Laurer.
Chyna had very public bouts with substance abuse but debuted in TNA on May 3. Foley was the man who introduced her to a packed crowd that gave her a huge ovation.
"I knew Chyna real well from our time in the WWE. My main concern is that she is healthy and well," said Foley. The wrestling world has been under fire for many years due to the young fatality rate in the business. Concussions have become another hot topic and Foley is no stranger to being knocked in the head.
"Today, we have a better understanding of the dangers of concussions and how to treat them," said Foley. "They're an inevitability in wrestling."
When asked if he will step into the ring one more time, Foley simply said, "never say never." He did mention that it would be a dream to face Hulk Hogan, but the "uncertainty in that is very high." What about the WWE Hall of Fame?
"If they came knocking I would do it."