Mick Foley has shared a humourous story about how Steve Austin throws worked punches and the way Austin reacted when Foley talked about it.
A good worked punch in pro wrestling is important because if somebody throws a bad worked punch, it looks too fake and that’s going to cause the audience to be turned off. However, when a wrestler throws a punch that looks believable, it tells the audience that this man or woman knows what they are doing in the squared circle.
The careers of WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin saw them take similar paths. They are both around the same age, they both gained notoriety on the national stage in WCW in the early 1990s, then they both went to ECW for short runs before and they both debuted in WWE in the mid-1990s (Austin in 1995, Foley in 1995). Within a few years, they would both become WWE Champions and two of the biggest names in the history of the business.
Austin and Foley were both gifted performers that were more than just guys that had memorable matches. They could also talk in a threatening, they know how to use humour when needed and they were believable in everything they did. That even includes when Mick Foley would use Mr. Socko as the Mandible Claw.
Recently on his Foley is Pod podcast, the former Dude Love was talking about worked punches in wrestling and mentioned that Terry Gordy threw a stiff punch.
“It was stiff, but not as stiff as a Terry Funk ‘working’ punch.” (laughs).
As he continued, Foley mentioned Vader for throwing a strong punch while also speaking about some other WWE legends like Bret Hart.
“Remember, I’d worked with Vader so I knew what the upper echelon of stiff felt like. And then I would later go on to work with Stone Cold and Bret [Hart]… Shawn [Michaels] delivered the goods, too. Especially when it came to the televised matches. Nobody was smoother, but brother, he delivered those punches. Bret proudly referred to his punches as the “rubber mallets.”
Foley would go on to tell the story that Austin was actually a bit upset that Foley didn’t feel that Austin was the most snug, meaning a guy that would punch the hardest while throwing worked punches. Foley even had to apologize to Austin just for giving his opinion.
“I think Steve was always just a tiny bit hurt that I didn’t feel like he was the “snuggest” (laughs). I’d have to be like, I’m sorry Steve. Look, Steve Austin was a lot of thing but an illusionist was not one of them (laughs). He worked that really rugged, physical style and I was always comfortable with that. As long as nobody took liberties with your nose, your teeth, your jaw. Steve laid that stuff in, and it looked great.”
While Foley is retired from pro wrestling, rumors persist that Austin might wrestle again after an impressive showing at this year’s WrestleMania while WWE apparently wants Austin to do more matches as well.