Mick Foley’s “WWE, We Have A Problem” video is an accurate take on affairs

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: Mick Foley visits the SiriusXM Studios on September 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: Mick Foley visits the SiriusXM Studios on September 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) /

Coming out of AEW All Out, one of the big talking points was about how and if the WWE would “respond.” That’s a big ask with a lot of layers to unpack, but it should be expected that the wrestling world would turn to the largest promotion in the industry with questions. WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley took to social media to talk about his perception of the issue and flat out stated that WWE has a problem at hand.

In a video titled “WWE, We’ve Got A Problem,” Foley delivered a concise but spot-on explanation of what he sees as a major challenge for WWE if they are to maintain their position in the industry and relates that to what decision he would make if he was in the industry today.

“That problem is that WWE is no longer the place for talent to aspire to,” Foley said in the video. “Part of it is because AEW is doing a great job of attracting great talent, proven talent, building talent, creating storylines.”

These are some of the strengths that All Elite Wrestling has been praised for in its near two years of existence. The attraction of great talent reached a major peak in recent weeks as Malakai Black, Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, Ruby Riott, and Andrade are among the names of former WWE performers that now find themselves as a part of AEW. Moving from promotion to promotion isn’t a new part of professional wrestling, but it has been years since such a massive shift hit the industry all at once. A shift that could have longstanding implications. But that wasn’t all that Foley said in this video.

“But part of it is a problem of your own making. I think younger talent sees the way that developmental characters are cut or left by the wayside or in the case of Karrion Kross greatly watered down or even made a joke of when they debut on the main roster. It’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

Quite a lot is said there in just a few words. NXT has long been one of the most enjoyed portions of WWE content, but that has changed so much so that the entire brand is getting revamped that has created concerns for those on the roster. The disconnect between booking, character development, and perceived roster value when an individual is a part of NXT versus their time on the main roster is glaring. Kross is perhaps the greatest example, as his repackaging and treatment created concern for everyone watching. But he’s not the only individual as examples like Ricochet, The Viking Raiders, Bobby Roode, Toni Storm, and others stand out as reminders that strong booking in NXT doesn’t mean the same will happen in the main roster.

WWE’s intention has always been to create mainstream superstars using wrestling as the launching pad. Unfortunately, the baseline products of wrestling and the storylines around it continue to perform so poorly that the company hasn’t created many major stars since John Cena. Instead, WWE creative continues to lean on names like Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar when they do not have the same type of long-term impact needed to compete with AEW’s product. In fact, Cena’s recent statements about concern for long-term booking point to a similar idea presented by Foley.

“Man, I wish there was some sort of fountain of youth where I could be a full-time contributor,” Cena said back in August. “The longer they continue to bet on an aging prospect, which makes (WWE’s) future a little bit less stable.”

Foley’s final statement is a thought that will be heard more often as the landscape in wrestling continues to change.

“If I was an aspiring talent now, big-league talent with a major decision to make I’m not sure that I would trust WWE creative to do the right thing with my career,” Foley said. “You guys did wonders with me back in the day, different times, different places. If it was today, I’m not sure I would trust the powers to be with my careers in their hands. Until that changes, WWE, you’ve got a problem.”

AEW has issues to address. dark. Next

Yes, WWE does truly have a problem that starts at the very top. And until those with the power to make a shift do so, it’s going to be a challenge for WWE to attract the kind of praise that AEW is generating. While WWE has brought in major contracts of late, the availability of those deals in the future will also suffer. Building an empire takes a long time to happen and so does watching one crumble.