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The Hardcore Diaries Paperback – April 1, 2008
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dear Hardcore Diary,
Sometimes it's all in the pitch.When it comes to presenting creative wrestling ideas, I have come to learn that the presentation of the idea is often more important than the idea itself. I have heard terrible ideas pitched magnificently, and magnificent ideas pitched terribly, so believe me when I tell you that it's all in the pitch.
A little less than four weeks ago, I participated in our biggest showcase of the year, WrestleMania. Many people thought I had been in the best match on a very good show. Sometimes it's hard for WrestleMania to live up to the hype, but in this case, I think fans went away from the arena or their television sets pleasantly surprised and extremely satisfied.
Our match was one of the intangibles of the night. I felt like a major question mark was hanging over me, as if many fans, wrestlers, and WWE office personnel wondered whether I still had what it took to deliver the goods on such a major show. Hell, I wondered myself. My knees are shot, my back is bad, my neck hurts pretty much all the time, and I've had a history of head injuries. To make things worse, I'm three bills and change, about 315 before a big meal, and on certain days, every step taken seems like a major challenge. Still, somehow, with the considerable help of a great opponent, Edge, I was able to pull it off.
But not once during the buildup to WrestleMania did I ever truly feel the story. I may have done a good job pretending, but deep down, I knew something was missing.
Passion. That's what I lacked. For some reason, I just couldn't tap into that reservoir of passion that had been one of my calling cards for so many years. A passion that allowed a not-so-good-looking guy, with a not-so-goodlooking body (a bit of an understatement there), with a lim- ited supply of athleticism, to excel in a world where good looks, athleticism, and aesthetically pleasing bodies are the rule. Or maybe there was simply nothing left to tap into. Maybe the reservoir was dry.
I currently have the dubious distinction of having the easiest contract in the WWE. I owe WWE two Pay-Per-View wrestling matches a year, and a nonwrestling appearance at one more Pay-Per-View. In addition, I am required to show up at whatever number of television tapings it takes to properly promote these appearances. So, I'm basically looking at an approximate workload of fifteen days a year. Nice, right? While I don't feel any outward resentment from the other wrestlers, I can't help but feel that I would be resenting a guy like me if I were in their shoes.
I mean these guys are on the road up to 300 days a year (some will dispute that figure, but including travel and promotional days, it gets pretty close), and most are in some degree of pain around the clock. Some awfully big guys travel an awfully long time in some awfully small coach-class airplane seats, and then do their best to put on an exciting show in a year-round business that spans a good portion of the globe. Then those sore, exhausted wrestlers are asked to step aside so an out-of-shape ghost of wrestling's past can step in and take their spot on a major Pay-Per-View.
Most of the guys on the roster genuinely like me. Some even hold me in high esteem because of what I've accomplished in the past and how much I was willing to sacrifice in order to accomplish it. But for those who may resent me, I don't blame them, especially because I haven't had the decency to show up for my ridiculously light workload with a thimbleful of the passion that's so necessary for success in today's wrestling game.
Where had it all gone? After all, it was only two years since my Backlash match with Randy Orton, a match that ended the eight-year reign of "Mind Games" with Shawn Michaels, as my personal career favorite. I'd been overflowing with passion for that match. I had thought about it nonstop, to the point of sleeplessness, to the point of obsession, to the point where every waking moment seemed filled with wild visions of thought-provoking, gutwrenching interviews, images of emotional and extremely physical, maybe even brutal, ring action.
My major challenge at Backlash 2004 was merely to take those images that were so vivid in my head and make them real in front of a microphone, and later in front of the live crowd in Edmonton and a Pay-Per-View audience around the world.
I met that challenge two years ago. I succeeded. In 2006, however, I just couldn't find the passion. I lucked out at 'Mania, but doubted I'd be so lucky when my number was called again, probably in September.
What had gone wrong in those two years? Maybe I'd just simply fallen out of love with wrestling. That happens in all facets of life, doesn't it? People simply fall out of love. But why, after all these years, had I stopped loving something that had been so good to me, something that had actually loved me back for such a long time?
Maybe it was the Ric Flair book, which had caused me to feel abandoned by WWE, due to their decision not to give me any advance warning of the literary pounding I would have to endure.
Or maybe I felt like I had taken the easy way out, by opting for the WWE contract, instead of taking a gamble with the upstart TNA promotion. My longtime buddy Raven (whose real name is Scott Levy; I actually had to ponder that for a while) had gotten in my ear and convinced me that if I were indeed to jump to TNA, it could literally make the difference between life and death for the promotion. I'll get further into my TNA temptation later in the book, as well as explain an instance where Raven inspired a major point in my novel Tietam Brown, but for now I'll just say that for a while, I did feel a certain amount of guilt concerning the decision I ultimately made.
That guilt is now gone. The passion that had been so sorely lacking has come rushing back. A giant lightbulb seemed to go off above my head, as one simple idea seemed to flush whatever creative and emotional block I had been suffering from right out of my system.
I know of several writers who create ideas simply by asking, "What if ?" What if aliens came down from outer space? What if a shy, socially repressed girl had telekinetic powers? What if a bumbling fool who'd never accomplished anything became U.S. president? All very scary scenarios, right? The idea that rekindled the fire underneath my creative ass was just as frightening, perhaps more so. What if I became the first voluntary member of the Vince McMahon "Kiss My Ass Club"?
With that one simple, repugnant thought, my long estrangement ended. I went back to the one who loved me. As it turned out, she'd never really left; she'd been waiting all along. Once reunited, the pieces all seemed to fall together, like a giant mental puzzle that I was just dying to shake up and reconstruct, only this time not just in my mind, but in front of millions around the world.
I sat on the idea for a few days, partially to let it ripen and mature in my mind, like a fine vintage wine, and partially to figure out if I was really willing to kiss another man's ass. I mean, literally kiss another man's ass. Sure, I'd been kissing the same guy's ass figuratively for a decade. But this was different. Did I really have the testicular fortitude required for such a task? On international television? In front of millions? Including my wife and kids? I checked my testicles...just as I'd hoped -- full of fortitude.
I made the call.
Copyright © 2007 by World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
From a wrestling point of view, the book is highly informative. It is exactly what Mick Foley said it would be: an inside look at WWE. That does not mean it is a comprehensive account of what happens backstage, but it really offers major insight--that I don't think is to be found elsewhere--on what goes into producing WWE's programming. It certainly paints a very interesting portrait of Vince McMahon.
I found it very interesting to read Mick Foley's commentary on his recent six-month run back in WWE. I had gradually drifted away from wrestling and WWE in particular for the past few years, but Foley's work in that period brought me back. I share his frustration that the work with Flair and Melina did not lead to more, but I hope it will in the future. It was just a very interesting experience reading Mick Foley's thoughts on these events that I've already seen unfold on WWE programming.
The bottom line: I came away from this book having even more respect and admiration for Mick Foley than I did before. If you are a wrestling fan, buy this book.Read more ›
It was predictable from beginning to end, which I found boring. I enjoyed hearing more about Mick's private life, including the great charity work that he does. His relationship with his family was also more descriptive in this biography. The stories are uneven, Mick going off on tangents at times before coming back to the story he originally started, something that I did not note as much in his previous books.
Overall, good for wrestling fans, otherwise very predictable and poorly written. Finally, a tip: do not note all the typos and mistakes in the book or you'll find it difficult to pay attention to the biography. Note to WWE: get another proof reader!!!!
Being the widest gap between biographies yet (Foley is Good was a year and a half after Have a Nice Day), you'd expect Mick would have a lot to say about the changes in the WWE since that time, but all he says about the WWE stems from his own experiences, from 2004 and 2006, while the rest is overly sentimental stories about his making friends with terminally ill children or disabled teens, and making twenty five visits to Walter Reid Medical center in Washington D.C.,
Test jokes and Al Snow jokes are at a minimum, and most of his stories have to do with his non-wrestling endeavours, and otherwise random ramblings which go on and on about the same thing, such as his radio interview of Christy Canyon and random subject hopping, from saying a great line in a promo, to complaining about his daughter's Little League game, and how the coach kept yelling at the girls, and urging them to steal bases. Astonishingly, even from Foley, it gets tiring. If you're not bored by baseball (of which there are plenty of references), chances are you might get bored by his ramblings about meeting ice skaters, signing autographs and sending notes to people during his Middle East stay, his son Mickey's panic in singing in the church choir. It just gets exhausting after a while, knowing that Foley has little, if anything, to really say, and his backstage stories in the WWE are very dismal and dreary.Read more ›
Just to clear things up--another reviewer falsely claimed that Foley makes no mention of Al Snow. He actually makes tried and true Al Snow jokes on pages 31, 67, 69, 136, and 140, just to name a few. Foley also takes comic shots at Test too, but I didn't bother to note the pages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been waiting for one of Foley's non-fiction books to beat out or even come close to Have a Nice Day and unfortunately this one does not either. Average recycled stories. Read morePublished 17 months ago by E. Voit
Not his best work but a good read. While some parts are certainly downers, you will get many entertaining stories from the Mickster himself, and get a look into the inner workings... Read morePublished 20 months ago by josh hibbard
Heartfelt diary entries that are more thought provoking than expected. A good read. Foley's style is very easy to read and takes you on a personal journey through how an idea can... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was a good book that gave a lot of insight into the workings of the wwe. The biggest thing you learn is how stifling they are with creativity. Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by Happily MARRIED
It came in fast and the book is in awesome condition. I havent got to read it yet because Im waiting on his 2nd book to arrive. I want to read it first.Published on July 16, 2013 by Nashoba Fowler
The Hardcore Diaries is my first taste of Mick Foley's writing and I found it enjoyable reading. Foley has a conversational style of writing that is easy to follow, even with not... Read morePublished on June 24, 2013 by Matthew Ries
The book was a gift. Its what he wanted but it isn't my choice of reading. But he was happy with it.Published on June 15, 2013 by Mary Sousley