I have only spoken to FCW prospect Dean Ambrose on three different occasions. Following his match on a WWE house show on Long Island, I went out of my way to tell him I had enjoyed his match. The skills and unique qualities qualities he posseses might very well make him a force to be reckoned with somewhere down the line. He has supporters in lofty places who feel he might be a huge asset to WWE for a decade or more in the future. I'm also told that his interviews ( "promos" as we call them) are compelling, intelligent and emotional; every bit as good as the top guys in WWE.
My second conversation with Mr Ambrose got quite a bit of attention. I know there has been alot of speculation as to the nature of this conversation. To me, it was whatever anyone wanted it to be; a shoot, a work, or somewhare in the middle - as almost all compelling pieces in sports-entertainment ultimately are.
I'm far more concerned with my third conversation with the guy. Look, Ive been accused from time to time of taking some things in the business a little too seriously. Maybe I do. But like that sailor-man of old, "I am what I am, and that's all that I am." After all these years, there are some things that just bother me. Remember that "Cane Dewey" promo from 1995 that so many are still fond of? It actually came from a very heavy place in my heart, when my wife impressed on me just how sick it was for any fan to be making a sign advocating the beating (even in jest) of my 3 year-old child.
That's the immediate feeling I got when I actually read the Dean Ambrose tweet that mentioned his dream to seeing me no longer able to make a dime in the wrestling business - with a particularly nasty mention of how he wanted to see my home repossesed and my children starved. Maybe the 1995 Cactus Jack would have cut a promo on the guy. The 2102 Mick Foley just wonders what would make something say something so stupid, heartless and ignorant. I felt Dean Ambrose had crossed a line that shouldn't be crossed, so took the opportunity before the Hampton, Virginia Smackdown to ask/tell him to please stop crossing a line that I wasn't comfortable with. Ric Flair had once asked a similar consideration of me before a memorable promo we shared in New Jersey in 2006. Of course I honored his request. Ours is a business built on trust and respect. I thought Dean Ambrose understood this. But less than a day after making my request, I saw that my children were once again the subject of his tweets - a reference to how I might feel differently about something if my children were in wheel-chairs. Maybe I would have cut a heck of a promo about it in 1995. Seventeen years later, I just wanted to get the fuck away from the whole scenario. It's not fun, it's not cutting edge. It just sucks.
Sports-entertainment has to involve a certain ammount of respect and trust. It's pretty obvious Dean Ambrose doesn't have any respect for me, my requests, or what I have done in the wrestling business. Therefore I can't place the slightest ammount of trust in him. Has anyone wondered if I'm feeling better following the concussion I spoke of in that December 2010 TNA Impact promo with Flair? I'm not feeling too much better. I tend to have two types of days when it comes to that muted, under-water feeling I spoke of in that promo - bad and worse. I'm just not the same guy who took 11 chair shots from the Rock in 1999. I haven't been that guy in a long time. Given my history of concussions, I would have to be a fool to place my future in the hands of someone I don't trust. Perhaps I do have another decent match left in me. If so, it will be with a guy like Dolph Ziggler, who might well be the best worker in the business, and just needs that ONE little something to allow the WWE Universe to see how talented he really is. Or a guy like the Miz - one of the best heels of this generation. Say what you want to about Miz, but the guy is damn good at what he does.
But Dean Ambrose? No. I may not have the power I once did in the business, but I still have the power to say no to things that just flat-out seem wrong. Like trying to put Dean Ambrose on the WWE map. A few weeks ago, it seemed like an interesting challenge. Now, it seems like an insult. A few weeks ago, it seemed like cutting-edge stuff. Now it just seems like bullshit. He is a very good talent. He has those supporters in high places. Let them wrestle him. Maybe they can put him on the WWE map. Good luck.
It's tough to get over in WWE. I certainly wouldn't want to be one of the young guys facing someone like Skip Sheffield, knowing that the priority placed on getting over will be somewhat higher than looking out for the well-being of an opponent. I'm not picking on Skip, either; I like him, think he has a wold of potential, and he has personally shown me nothing but respect. But that clothesline on that kid in Hampton, Virginia? To quote one of my idols, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka - "Not tonight, bruddah!" I went through that with The Dynamite Kid in 1986, when I was 21 years old. I willingly did it then. I did it at 25. I did it at 30. I did it at 34. I came back and did it at 38, and 40, and so on and so forth. I refuse do it at 46...almost 47. Especially not for Dean Ambrose.