Mick Foley has revealed he didn't accept a match against Vince McMahon at WWE WrestleMania 17 because of his determination to follow through on his retirement agreement.
Foley was written off WWE television in December 2000 after being 'fired' by McMahon during their ongoing rivalry. The Hardcore Legend had not wrestled since WrestleMania 2000, in keeping with his storyline forced retirement, but had been asked about fighting Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 17.
However, Foley did not want to back out of his retirement so quickly, something he now regrets given how many more times he would go on to wrestle for the company.
The 55-year-old, who would instead referee the bout between McMahon and his son Shane at WrestleMania 17, also admitted that his decision to not do the match affected his relationship with the WWE boss.
Speaking to Kenny McIntosh as part of an Inside The Ropes tour, he said: "I was really a stickler for details. I didn’t like holes in the storylines and I thought the idea of coming back and demanding my job back was not realistic. I was like, ‘It’s his company, he’s allowed to fire me.’ We got 200 people here, right? Maybe one of you would have thought a tiny bit less of me if I had exercised my right to come back to that match.
"Like, it was over-thinking, you know, I could have easily come back and it would have been a big match, and it would have been a good money match, like a really good money match. What it came down to was that I really, at that time, took that retirement stipulation seriously and I was hellbent on never wrestling again.
"If I’d known that I was going to come back another 14 times and make a mockery out of that stipulation, I certainly would have cashed in, in 2001, and wrestled Vince, you know, and it wouldn’t necessarily have been a great technical match, but we would have had a heck of a storyline, I think it would have been a tremendous payoff.
"And more importantly, I wouldn’t have become like the boy who cried wolf to Mr McMahon. And I don’t think my relationship with… I used to call him Vince. You know, I called him Vince and now I refer to him as Mr McMahon, even when I see him. ‘Hello, Mr. McMahon.’ So it hurt that relationship, cost me a lot of money and would have been a good match to have on a great WrestleMania."
H/T Inside The Ropes