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COMMENT





Foley writing a new chapter
Mick Foley seeks redemption
By SCOTT ZERR - Edmonton Sun


Mick Foley has won everything there is worth fighting for in World Wrestling Entertainment. He's also a bestselling author of two autobiographies plus a trio of children's books and has two more creations on the way. He's a husband and a father of three.

So why, Mick, would you feel the desire to get back in the ring? Why subject yourself to more punishment of an already battered body?

"I've accepted that there probably is no such thing as a real retirement from wrestling," said Foley, who during a recent chat was having a hard time convincing his little ones that their antics are "too dangerous."

This coming from a guy who's been kicked around, blown up, cut for hundreds of stitches, spiked on his head, suffered countless concussions, had a chunk of his ear torn off and been "killed'' more than anyone else in the business.

He's done it all - raked by barbed wire, smashed with hundreds of chairs, burned and broken, and even tossed from the top of cell onto an announcer's table some 12 metres below.

Yet those who watch WWE Backlash today at Rexall Place are in for something special - and probably a little bit frightening as well.

"I plan on this being one of my career highlights," said Foley.

"I'm sure some people will find some things that happen offensive. There definitely will be some suffering going on.

"I made my return at Wrestlemania 20 with my mind set on this being the biggest night in wrestling history and I didn't feel that I was at my best. It was tough walking back into it after four years. I'd dropped about 50 pounds but I still couldn't maintain my intensity. I want to redeem myself at Backlash.

"A lot depends on my match in Edmonton. If I come up short again, then I'll have to accept that it's not there. If it is there - the intensity and the passion - then it will be nice to come back on special occasions once or twice a year."

So at 38 years old, Foley (a.k.a. Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love) will take young stud Randy Orton to school in the fine art of hardcore insanity.

FAR FROM CIVILIZED

Such much for the more-refined, civilized life of putting pen to paper and putting a smile on a youngster's face.

"In my opinion, wrestling is the greatest form of interpersonal communication in the entertainment realm," explained Foley. "It's so much more immediate than the book-writing process. Millions of people simultaneously react to something you do."

Wrestling has consumed 19 years of Foley's life. His first book, Have a Nice Day, hit the shelves in 1999 and is unquestionably the finest of the behind-the-curtains looks at the world of professional wrestling.

In some ways, both of Foley's lives - writer and wrestler - make up the sum of the parts of the real man, in somewhat the same fashion as his bizarre alter-egos do.

"Maybe in the long run, writing will be just a passing fancy but after five years, two sizable autobiographies and two novels, I think that makes somebody a real writer," said Foley, who has also penned Foley is Good, Tietam Brown, Christmas Chaos and Halloween Hijinx.

His next offering will arrive in October, followed by a novel next spring.

"It may sound odd but I think my next book (Tales from Wrescal Lane) will be my greatest contribution to society by encouraging positive family time. But I don't want to downplay what I've achieved in wrestling."

HEART AND COURAGE

Inside the ring (or, for that matter, brawling in the stands or inside a steel cage), Foley has never been about skill, finesse and amazing feats of physical strength. He has stood for heart, courage and showmanship. His accomplishments have been shocking, often gory, and always entertaining - worthy of legendary status in a world of self-described icons.

"Oh, that's not for me to say," chuckled Foley.

"It's never been about the look. To me there was a case to be made about substance over style. Somebody once said you've had it easy if you haven't paid your dues first.

"Well, I'd say the life on the road and in this business weeds out the ones who aren't going to be anything. Anyone who has something special, who can communicate with the fans, deserves to be where they are.

"I feel fortunate coming up the way I did. I've benefited from the feeling of deserving everything that's happened to me and I wouldn't trade it for the easy way."

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