During Mick Foley's initial tenure with WCW, his on-screen persona was that of a wrestler who'd team up with lesser-known talent, only to lose matches and subsequently unleash his frustration on his partner. One of his most memorable moves was his elbow drop performed on the hard concrete floor.
After a brief hiatus from WCW, Foley re-emerged, locking horns with the likes of Sting. However, it was his intense rivalry with Big Van Vader that truly caught the audience's attention. Their matches were so extreme that WCW opted not to showcase them on their pay-per-view broadcasts.
Matters reached a tipping point when then-WCW President, Eric Bischoff, refused Foley's idea of a storyline revolving around his real-life ear injury. This strain in creative direction led to Mick Foley and WCW parting ways in 1994.
Bischoff Addresses Foley's Exit
Reflecting on this decision on his "83 Weeks" podcast, Bischoff provided clarity. "Mick's approach was perilous," he remarked. "He was dead set on pursuing an extreme, high-risk wrestling style.
He'd even take jumps off balconies. That was the line for me. Letting Mick go wasn't just about his safety. At times, given the nature of his antics, he posed a potential risk to our fans as well." Bischoff further divulged that the higher-ups at Turner Broadcasting were adamant that such daredevilry by Foley was unacceptable.
The concern wasn't only about the wrestler's well-being but also about potential lawsuits from fans or other talents. Despite Bischoff's attempts to persuade Foley to adapt a safer in-ring style, Foley remained resolute. "He was presented with an ultimatum, and Mick chose to wrestle on his terms," Bischoff said.
This departure from WCW turned out to be a silver lining for Foley. He soon found himself in ECW, a promotion that celebrated hardcore wrestling. It was here that Foley honed his craft further, setting the stage for his iconic journey in the WWE.