Mick Foley joined Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman. You can hear Busted Open on Sirius 92, XM 208 and on the app on Sports Zone. Here are some highlights.
On if Triple H squashed Curtis Axel’s debut: “This is not a knock on Triple H, but Triple H talked about retiring me after I already came back three times. At that point it was a big deal in 2000 for Triple H to talk about retiring me. If Triple H has had his last match, which is a good possibility, then I see Paul Heyman bragging for the next three years that Curtis Axel retired Triple H. Which is much bigger than beating him and much more meaningful or whether or not he was slapped or made to look weak momentarily.
“For people who ask me if I think this guy has a chance. Not only is he talented and waited his turn and lived through the Michael McGillicutty indignity. I asked him about that and obviously he didn’t want to say anything bad about the company, but he said ,’It hurt a little, it stung when you get your name and it’s Michael McGillicutty. Short term you can say, ‘well why didn’t he beat Triple H?’ But like I said, me being on the outside looking in, depending how this thing plays out, never underestimate the verbal skills of Paul Heyman or the skills of Michael McGillicutty. As a fan it has me hooked. Even if you’re not saying Curtis Axel right now, I believe that Paul is the master. I call him the master gardener. He knows how much water and sunshine to give his project and then they have to grow on their own.”
On his Hall of Fame speech: “I think they intentionally had a smaller class this year and the only guideline Vince McMahon gave us was to have fun and enjoy it. That was the only critique of me when I came back to the WWE because I had left with the words ‘You’ll never speak to me this way again.’ Then I came back with the words ‘can I come back now?’ So I was a little tentative. Vince even said to me, ‘Mick, you look like you’re not enjoying yourself’ and I wasn’t.
“I did throw a minor little fit over the rumor that Donald Trump’s speech was going to air and not mine on television. I specifically remembered that I had told Stephanie McMahon a week or two earlier. I said, ‘Stephanie, the moment you guys mentioned my book on the air Countdown to Lockdown, I said at that moment I promised myself that if I was ever asked to be in the Hall of Fame that I would say yes unconditionally. I wouldn’t ask to be on at a certain point, it would be unconditionally. Then all of a sudden I hear about Donald Trump and I’m placing conditions on it. I said that’s not the way I feel. This is going to be a great night. I really apologized in front of the entire McMahon family. Because I did feel it wasn’t my place to say that and most importantly, now I was lying to what I had said to Stephanie. This came from the heart. It was supposed to be unconditional. Now I’m actually thinking about going out there and throwing my ring in the audience. These were the thoughts going through my head. By the time I got to the Garden, I’m just going to enjoy this. I went out on stage and realized I would probably never have the opportunity to address 17,000 people in THAT arena. The most important one in the country to me. I consider it maybe the best highlight of my career because I was able to recognize it.”
How he felt he did with his speech: “I dissect my speech like this. I knew it as I was giving the speech, the moment I dropped that elbow on Jericho, and I heard that pop, I should have said time to go home, because this as high as it was going to get. But I had a couple of things I wanted to say. I wish I had written out a conclusion and talk about how I wanted to be remembered, and as a guy who gave back. I was going to use Randy Orton as an example. I was the right guy at the right time and hope that other superstars could be that guy in that place for someone else down the line. I rambled on for ten minutes too long.”
On TNA: “I really enjoyed the people there. But once you had five non-wrestling talkers in the company…my role now is what it should be. The guy who occasionally comes back. I love doing the Saturday Morning Slam. If a different GM opportunity comes up, I would appreciate being considered. But I don’t need to be a big part of any show ever again. I probably outstayed my welcome by a little while.
“One nice little story about Dixie Carter. I never should have said that tweet about the empty arena match with the Rock, a.k.a. a TNA house show. That was the one that rubbed people the wrong way, because it was a slap in the face to everyone who works there, even though it was kind of funny. I was doing a show in Nashville, so I reached out to Dixie. I texted her, ‘hey I’ve got this show in Nashville, it would be really nice to see you and Serge and maybe you could come along.’ I get back in my car about an hour later and I see a text from Dixie and it says, ‘that’s ok.’ I thought to myself, ‘well, that bridge has burned. That relationship is unsolvable.’ It wasn’t until an hour after, that I saw the ‘that’s ok’ was just on the tail end of a much longer message that said, ‘ I really appreciate you thinking of us. We would love to go, but I may have to be somewhere. Can I get back to you if,’ and then the last line, ‘that’s ok.’ She did come to the show and honestly she was the first person to message me after they put me in the Hall of Fame. I wish I could have done more for them. I really do.”
Did he know Dean Ambrose would be a major star: “I knew they were really high on him. Dean was probably happier with the break with the Shield and I was the second happiest to see him get that break. I cannot physically wrestle anymore. That break that I thought I was going to be a part of, was just not going to happen. Dean would be at every TV taping, so I would see him and say, ‘hey how are things going? Anything on the horizon?’ and he would be like, ‘no man, not yet.
“I felt personally responsible. So when he said ‘yeah they had something’, I asked, ‘is it pretty good?’ He said, ‘Yeah it’s pretty good’. Ironically his career would have really suffered had he done the run with me. It would have been a nice boost, but then he would have been on his own from that point. Getting over long term is really, really difficult. These guys not only did they come up slowly, by the time they had their first match at TLC they blew everybody away at the Barclay’s Center. All three guys have the potential to be major stars. I couldn’t be happier for Ambrose. He is kind of a weird dude, but it works to his advantage. I’ve described his style as disturbingly poetic. The way that he moves, he is so fluid. William Regal was the guy that was so high on him. He said ‘he is everyone’s perfect opponent for the next ten years.’”
On being there the night Dolph Ziggler cashed his Money in the Bank briefcase: “When I heard the audience eruption, I asked, ‘what just happened?’ They said, ‘Ziggler is cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase.’ I ran because I really wanted to be a part of that experience in the arena. We all know it’s a pretty good percentage rate when it comes to cashing in.
“I’m not saying this to put myself over, but I had a talk with Dolph earlier and I said, ‘man I got to be honest Dolph I thought I was going to see you cash in last night.’ Dolph then said to me, ‘yeah you and me both brother.’ I said, ‘take it from someone who knows, when you get that chance and you will, and when you become world champion, and you will, don’t let the place or the time or the circumstances dictate to you how special that moment is going to feel. Take it from a guy who won his first WWE title on a taped show in Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s going to be every bit as special as it would have been at Mania.’
“So when I heard he was cashing in, I ran to be part of the arena. I could see my arms pumping, and then I looked down at my legs and they weren’t running. I wandered out into the crowd and saw Ziggler win the world title. When he came back he said, ‘that was my Wrestlemania moment.’ It was really cool to be there. Clearly this guy is going to be the cornerstone of the company. I feel really good about the direction this company is headed.”
Several WWE stars went on Twitter and commented on Michael McGillicutty being re-packaged as Curtis Axel on RAW last night:
Chris Jericho: “Proud & excited for the debut of #CurtisAxel! He’s been waitin for this his whole life. Somewhere Mr Perfect is smiling his mischievous grin”
Curt Hawkins: “Couldn’t be happier for the former @WWEMcGillicutty …& don’t worry about me guys. Nobody has ever refered to me as “Curtis”. I’m ok. #RAW”
Howard Finkel: “Curtis Axel has become a WWE household name over the last 15 min.. Opportunity knocks, and I think that he’ll open the door and embrace it”
Ezekiel Jackson: “Curtis axel… Kid deserves it… Congrats bud”
Tyson Kidd: “Curt Axel has some amazing music. Natural from day 1, he doesn’t know his own potential. He can go in the ring #Raw”
Dolph Ziggler: “genuinely proud of @WWEMcGillicutty go get em, kid! (curt axel)”
Mick Foley: “I think @RealCurtisAxel has a real shot at getting over. Otherwise, the master (@HeymanHustle) wouldn’t be guiding him”
The Bella Twins: “Everything Paul touches turns to gold…. We see money in Curt Axel ???????? #RAW”
Lance Storm: “Anyone who thinks Curt Axel as new @HeymanHustle guy is a miss, doesn’t understand building to the future. #RAW”
Paul Heyman: “I always wanted to manage @RealCurtisAxel’s father. A better-than-Perfect debut tonight! @WWE #RAW”
Original plans called for Curtis Axel to debut as Curt Axel. WWE decided to change the name shortly before he debuted which is why his entrance video on Raw read Curt throughout the video.
Reportedly there was not a single ounce of consideration given to allow him to continue on using the name Michael McGillicutty. He hated it, the fans hated it, and many in the front office disliked it as well. They wanted something short and simple; hence, Curtis Axel.
Here is a photo of Axel’s debut where you can clearly see it says “Curt” in the entrance video.
Credit – F4WOnline
Triple H has been high on Curtis Axel, the former Michael McGillicutty, for a long time now. He appears to be the one behind Axel’s current push but the way Axel was booked on RAW left some people wondering.
Axel has another big supporter – The Rock. Rock and Axel trained together to prepare for Rock’s most recent WWE pay-per-view matches. Brock Lesnar, who trained with McGillicutty to prepare for WrestleMania 29, as credits him for helping him to be in tip-top ring shape.
WWE returned to The Netherlands to kick off their European tour on Wednesday. It’s worth noting that William Regal defeated Michael McGillicutty and received a big welcome from the crowd. World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler retained the title against Daniel Bryan and both men later interfered in Kane vs. Big E Langston, leading to a tag match where Team Hell No got the win. The main event saw John Cena beat Ryback in a Tables Match, which could be a tease for their Extreme Rules match.
The RAW crew will be at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Ireland today while the SmackDown brand kicks off their tour in Glasgow, Scotland.
WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart took part in a Facebook Q&A today. Here are some highlights.
Who should end The Undertaker’s streak: “Joe Henning (Michael McGillicutty)”
Fitting match for the Undertaker to go out on: “Lets just say at WM 50 (I’m sure he meant 30) – Undertaker loses streak to Joe Henning … and he is pinned with the PerfectPlex at the 59 minute mark.”
WrestleMania 29: “I thought undertaker and punk stole the show … I thought the two main events were more than predictable. Step by step. Overall I thought the show was good. The highlight of Wrestlemania weekend for me was the induction of Bruno. All of the Hall of Famer recipients were great selections.”
His favorite WrestleMania moment: “When Rowdy Piper, Randy Savage, Razor Ramon and Lex Lugar carried me around the ring … “
Multiple wrestling stars have taken to Twitter to comment on the passing of William Moody, AKA Paul Bearer. Here are many of them:
Michelle McCool: “
#RIPPaulBearer ….you always made me smile. Great entertainer, even better man! We love you & will forever miss you! God bless”
Howard Finkel: “Saddened to learn of the passing of Paul Bearer (William Moody). He was a unique, one of a kind individual both in and out of the ring. RIP”
MVP: “The scary man with the strange voice. Rest In Power Paul Bearer…”
Diamond Dallas Page: “Sad to hear of the passing of Bill Moody (Paul Bearer)… Not a nicer man in the biz. RIP bro”
Zeb Colter: “RIP PAUL BEARER. GREAT MANAGER. WONDERFUL MAN.”
The Blue Meanie: “I’m deeply saddened & very heartbroken to hear the William Moody(Paul Bearer) has passed. This one hurts folks. Thank you for being a friend”
Jerry “The King” Lawler: “This picture was taken 10 days ago…we lost a dear friend today..you will be missed by many, Paul Bearer. pic.twitter.com/ceLtqapzB0“
Gabe Sapolsky: “Saddened to read that William Moody passed. He was a pleasure to do business with. Condolences to his friends & family. RIP.”
Michael Cole: “So sad. We lost a great person and a wonderful man today. Rest in peace paul bearer. God bless his family and Godspeed.”
Joey Ryan: “RIP William “Paul Bearer” Moody. I feel blessed that I got to work with him at
@CWFHollywood. A true gentleman in a business of scoundrels.”
Jim Ross: “Just informed via http://wwe.com Paul Bearer aka Percy Pringle passed away earlier today. I have no other details. RIP old friend.”
Val Venis: “
#RIPPaulBarer The world lost a great one in you.”
Triple H: “ Rest in peace, Paul Bearer. You will never be forgotten. There will never be another.
Zack Ryder: “RIP Paul Bearer”
Tyson Kidd: “Sad to hear about the passing of Paul Bearer. One of the best managers of all time. Pretty sure EVERYONE has tried imitating his voice”
Matt Hardy: “It’s very sad to hear about the passing of a great & unique performer, Bill Moody-Paul Bearer. My thoughts & prayers go out to his family.”
Jim Korderas: “Heartbroken hearing the news of Paul Bearer’s passing. Truly one of the good guys! RIP my friend!”
Michael McGillicutty: “Sad to hear the loss of Paul Bearer. He was always very friendly to me and very passionate about this business. He will be missed.”
Shawn Michaels: “I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of Paul Bearer. Our prayers go out to him and his family. God Bless!!”
Rikishi: “Im sorry to hear this. RIP my brother . You will be missed”
Kazarian: “Man… Very, very sad to hear of the passing of William “Paul Bearer” Moody. What a true class act and all around good human being. RIP.”
Jeff Jarrett: “Sad, sad news… Percy my friend, I will always cherish our friendship we shared over the years… Since 88′ you’ve always made me smile. From the 1st time we shared our love of country music or our love of this business, you always put that “Perciville perspective” on things.. R I P Percy… Love ya my friend…”
The Young Bucks: “RIP Paul Bearer. Never met you, but only heard great things.”
Bob Ryder: “Devastated to hear of the passing of Paul Bearer. One of the nicest people you would ever want to meet & a true legend. RIP Percy.”
Todd Grisham: “Just heard about the passing of Paul Bearer (William Moody) today. He was a very nice person and went out of his way to always chat w/me RIP”
Wildkat Sports: “We have lost a legend today, your memory will always live on in the joy you have brought us through the years.
#RIPPaulBearer it was an honor”
William Regal: “Very sorry to hear of the passing of Paul Bearer.My best wishes to his family.A lovely man and my friend.RIP.”
Gangrel: “So sad to hear my good friend has passed RIP Percy Pringle, paul bearer, so sad”
Jillian Hall: “
Shane Helms: “I’ve never heard one bad thing said about Paul. In this biz, that’s extremely rare. It says a lot about the man. Saddened to hear about the passing of Wrestling Legend
@wweURNiverse Glad I got to see ya one last time just recently Paul. Bless your fam.”
Mickey James: “Very sad to hear that Paul Bearer has passed away tonight… My thoughts, prayers, & heart go out to his family, friends & loved ones… RIP”
Hulk Hogan: “Very sad about Paul Bearer,he was a great person and one of the original boys,he was what made wrestling great much love much respect HH”
Ricardo Rodriguez: “Paul Bearer/William Moody, you taught me so much. It truly saddens me to hear about this! I Love You, and I thank you eternally! RIP”
The Miz: “Just found out Paul Bearer died tonight. He was always so nice when I talked to him. My thoughts n prayers are w/ his family
Dixie Carter: “Our condolences go out to the many family, friends and fans of William Moody. A great performer in our industry.”
Stephanie McMahon: “
Ezekiel Jackson: “
#RIPPaulBearer didn’t get to spend much time with him but the one day at lunch in Calgary will go in my book if I ever wrote one. #Godspeed“
Joey Mercury: “Very saddened to hear of Paul Bearer’s passing. An extremely gracious & generous man I had the good fortune of knowing.”
Lisa “Tara” Marie: “I am deeply saddened to hear that Paul Bearer has passed away. He will be deeply missed. May he rest In peace”
Lance Hoyt: “Met Percy back in WWE. Great Guy. Very Sad 2 hear anyone’s passing. But closer 2 home when ya actually met n conversed w/the man! GodSpeed!”
Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman: “I’m so at a loss right for words right now. I’ve known him since 1995 & I can’t get myself together enough to write anything at the moment. I’ll miss you William Moody. George Jones on the radio & Jack Daniels. His crazy sense of humor.I laughed more to him than just about any1.”
Goldust: “Very sad! God be with william moody’s family! God protect the moody family, please. Prayers sent. So sad”
Tensai: “RIP Paul. A good man and an asset to this business and locker room. Always brought a smile to people’s faces. You’ll be missed.”
Ted DiBiase Jr: “Losing one of our own
@WWE feels like losing a family member. Thank you for the memories Paul! God Bless #RIPPaulBearer“
Bret Hart: “Goodbye to a good friend, Paul Bearer. Say hi to Owen for me.”
Justin Roberts: “Very sad night. RIP Paul Bearer, a man I grew up watching on tv and was lucky enough to have later on, as a friend.”
Honky Tonk Man: “Sadden to hear of my pal Paul Bearer passing away. I was informed a few moments after he silently went. A great fellow has gone.”
D-Lo Brown: “I am heartbroken by the passing of Paul Bearer. Goodbye my friend I will miss you.
Eric Bischoff: “Condolences to family, friends and fans of Paul Bearer. Never had the privilege of working with him. Much respect.”
Paul Bearer: “R.I.P my friend,you will never be replaced.Not to late to add to the HOF”
Matt Morgan: “Damn. 1of my favorite characters as a little boy,& one that I befriended as a man, gone. 1of the all time BEST!
Edge: “Very sad to hear about William Moody/Paul Bearer. Such a sweet man, and my friend. My condolences to his family. I’ll miss ya Uncle Paul”
Shelton Benjamin: “just heard of Paul Bearers passing. I only spent a short time with him and he was such a great guy. My condolences to his Family.”
Beth Phoenix: “Condolences to the family of Paul Bearer…kind soul who entertained so many for so long. You remain in our prayers always.”
WWE Superstar Michael McGillicutty tweeted the following on Sunday, the anniversary of the death of his father, WWE Legend Curt Hennig:
“Unfortunate milestone on this sad day. 10 yrs already since I lost my best friend. And I still miss him just as much today. Love You Dad.”
“My Dad lives thru me everyday. I swear on the moon & stars that my mark will be made in this business. The #Hennig name will endure forever.”
“Today I turn the corner. Ive endured pain, true, but its my time now. Im at a different level then all others. Physically and mentally.”
“Nothing can stop me. No one will slow me down. I own my life. I own my future. I own the ring. Im the Boss. #Hennig”
Credit – Wrestling Observer
We noted before that The Rock trained with Michael McGillicutty to prepare for his Royal Rumble match. Rock is now supporting McGillicutty and he’s always had Triple H backing him. No word yet on why he continues to be kept on the lower end of the roster.
There’s been a big push to get rid of his name and call him Joe Hennig but WWE officials are so against real names these days because they want to full own everyone’s ring name.