Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mick Foley: Hardcore Legend - DVD Review

Having recently reviewed The Hardcore Diaries I found it quite apt that the next TNA DVD release to come through my letterbox was their tribute to Mrs. Foley’s baby boy, Mick Foley: Hardcore Legend.

As is the custom with releases of this kind there’s a mixture of documentary segments and matches from his TNA tenure, but unlike previous releases these are put into three distinct blocks.

The first block concentrates on Foley’s TNA career, on what took him to the company and how he felt about being there, while the third block looks at his ventures outside of the ring, focusing on his writing career and his charity work.

But it’s the second block that most of you will probably be most interested in, a selection of matches from television and pay-per-view, beginning with….

Genesis 2009: Foley teams with A.J. Styles and Brother Devon against Scott Steiner, Booker T and Kip James.

This one isn’t shown in full. It begins when executive shareholder Foley re-starts the match and turns it into a hardcore affair.

There’s some nice spots here, particularly when Styles frog splashed James through a table, before Foley got the pin after DDTing Steiner onto a chair.

Impact, March 19, 2009: Foley teams with Jeff Jarrett against Main Event Mafia members Kurt Angle and World Champion Sting.

It’s a short television match, with the main story being the ongoing dissention between Angle and Sting, with the Olympic Hero unwilling to heed the Stinger’s request to hold back a little.

There’s also an appearance from Team 3D, the MEM’s security team, as well as a referee snooze before Foley clobbers Sting with a chain to get the winning pin.

Lockdown 2009: Foley challenges Sting for the World title in a steel cage match.

This was meant to be Foley in full Cactus Jack mode. Sadly he wasn’t even close.

It’s a slow and methodical match at times, with Foley starting the proceedings by punching himself in the head to re-open an old wound.

The barbed wire baseball bat eventually makes it’s way into the cage and is used by both men before Foley climbs to the top of the cage and drops down to the floor to win the match and the title.

Victory Road 2009: Foley challenges Kurt Angle for the World title.

No special stipulations here for our hardcore hero as he goes up against one of the greatest pure wrestlers ever seen.

It’s an entertaining battle, a lot better than the previous match, but that may have something to do with who he was in the ring with.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the breaking out of an old Cactus Jack moment as Foley elbow dropped Angle from the ring apron to the floor.

After escaping from the mandible claw Angle finally managed to get the win with his second ankle lock.

Bound for Glory 2009: With “Doctor” Stevie Richards as the special referee Foley goes up against Abyss in a Monsters Ball match.

It’s Foley in heel mode in this match, using Richards as a less than impartial referee to take it to the monster in his speciality match.

Abyss takes the big bump early on when Foley punched him off the entrance way scaffold and through the stage.

We then get the usual toy spots, an appearance from Daphne, who gets choke slammed through a barbed wire board for her troubles and Richards getting slammed onto thumb tacks before Abyss uses Richards’ limp hand to make the count after a choke slam onto another barbed wire board. Not bad, but a little overbooked.

Impact, March 22, 2010: As ordered by Eric Bischoff Foley faces Jeff Jarrett in a loser leaves TNA match no disqualification match, with Robert Roode and James Storm as special referees.

It’s a relatively short encounter, considering what was at stake. The action was okay, but like a lot of Foley’s TNA tenure it was slightly uninspiring.

Jarrett sent Foley home at the end, taking him down with the stroke onto a steel chair.

Impact, October 7, 2010: Foley takes on Ric Flair in a last man standing match, although the MC announced it as a falls count anywhere match.

It was rather odd seeing the Nature Boy in a match that included a barbed wire baseball bat, barbed wire boards and bumps through tables. It’s as if at this stage of his career Flair is nothing more than a glorified stunt man.

Both men bled early in this one, with the big bump coming when Flair threw Foley off the stage and through a table.

But as the match went on the most notable thing was that the referee didn’t attempt to make any 10 counts. It was only after Flair came off the top rope and put Foley through another table that the referee really made any effort to make a count.

That led to a rather strange occurrence. Both men made it to their feet, beating the count, but as soon as he stood up Flair took one of those famous face first bumps into a pile of thumb tacks, and just two seconds later the referee called for the bell, and Foley was declared the winner.

Thankfully we didn’t see Flair adhere to the ass kissing stipulation, thanks to an impromptu brawl between Fortune and EV2.

In conclusion - I kind of have mixed feelings about this DVD release.

I really enjoyed the documentary segments. They were extremely well made, and Foley came across as a passionate man, especially when it came to his charity work.

But as far as the matches go they’re slightly disappointing. They’re not a patch on those featured on the compilation WWE released a few years ago, and it’s another example of why I’ve found his TNA career quite disappointing.

So in all if you’re a die-hard Foley fan then you’ll probably want to add this to your collection. Otherwise be prepared to be a little disappointed.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. Mick Foley: Hardcore legend can be purchased online at www.shoptna.com.