Mick Foley has admitted that he should have retired after one of his most legendary matches, saying it would have been “the perfect exit”.
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley wanted to step away from the ring as early as 1999, but continued on to help cover the gap left by Steve Austin when he left to undergo neck surgery. Then, in 2000, engaged in a legendary rivalry with Triple H.
The two first battled in a Street Fight at that year’s Royal Rumble and then inside Hell in a Cell at No Way Out with Foley’s career on the line. Foley came out on the losing end of both bouts and was forced to say farewell to the WWE Universe.
However, only weeks later, Linda McMahon brought Mick Foley back to take part in the main event of WrestleMania 2000. Following that match, the multi-time WWE Champion did stay out of the ring and had a memorable run as WWE’s on-screen Commissioner.
It later turned out that the itch to get back in the squared circle hadn’t quite gone away, and in 2003 Foley began a feud with Randy Orton. He then took to the ring in the 2004 Royal Rumble, WrestleMania XX and most memorably at Backlash. The brutal No Holds Barred match at Backlash against Orton is regarded as one of the greatest in The Viper’s career, with Orton himself saying time and again that it “made him.”
On the latest edition of his podcast, Foley is Pod (available on AdFreeShows), Mick Foley explained that he wishes he had actually retired after his Hell in a Cell match against Triple H. Although he added he would have returned to face Orton, as “you’re allowed one comeback match”.
“Yeah, it really is, it’s the perfect exit,” [His match at Hell in a Cell]
“If I could re-write my own history, I never would’ve wrestled again. I would’ve had to come back against Randy [Orton at WWE “Backlash” 2004] because you’re allowed one comeback match. I would’ve done the tag with The Rock, followed it up with the match against Randy and then never wrestled again.
“I think everyone accepts that you’re going to have one comeback match, but I wouldn’t have done a match six weeks later [at “WrestleMania 2000”]. I would’ve done those two matches and that would’ve been it.”
In fact, Mick Foley continued to wrestle until 2012, including runs in both TNA and WWE. His final match (so far) was the 2012 Royal Rumble where he successfully eliminated three other superstars before being thrown out of the ring by Cody Rhodes after six minutes.
H/T to Wrestling Inc for the above transcription.