Inside The Ropes have become world-renowned by now for putting on speaking tours featuring icons of the wrestling business. Such people as Sting, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes and Jim Cornette have all done tours with Kenny McIntosh and his small but brilliant team of incredibly passionate wrestling fans. Their most recent tour involved Mick Foley celebrating 20 years since the publication of his autobiography “Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks” and part of this tour included a date at Cardiff’s Walkabout nightclub. Not only was this pretty cool in the sense of it being, to my knowledge, the first Inside The Ropes show to take place in Cardiff, but it was also being held in a venue that is sometimes used by Attack Pro Wrestling for wrestling shows!
The evening started off with a monologue by Foley in which he told many stories from his time in the business, right from his early career up until the point at which he won the WWF Championship from The Rock in December 1998, almost single-handedly turning the tide of the Monday Night Wars in favour of Vince McMahon. Listening to Mick Foley, undoubtedly one of the best talkers to ever grace the wrestling business, tell all these stories was an honour in and of itself, but it was also side-splittingly hilarious. Anecdotes of him staying at a fan’s house for the night whilst he was WWF Champion, his early wrestling training by a technically purist American-Italian (“Do a ‘rest, no kick-punch!”) and his hardcore exploits with Terry Funk in Japan had the entire audience, myself included, glued onto his every word. If there is a better storyteller about the wrestling business in this kind of stand-up/”evening with…” format than Mick Foley, I’d be amazed.
The second part of the show was a live interview and Q&A session with Kenny McIntosh where Kenny talked to him about various aspects of his WWF/E career, all the way from his early stints as Mankind up to his time as the Raw General Manager in much more recent times. Questions were also taken from various audience members. Of course, the Commissioner Foley run was discussed in great detail, with Foley explaining the ins and outs of how everything worked when he created the blueprint for a regular TV “commissioner” on WWE programming. One of the most shocking revelations, at least to those who are more used to the WWE’s recent output, was him talking about how unscripted and even anarchic everything was. He really brought this home by talking about a rib he pulled on Test where he threatened to, in no uncertain terms, bend him over the desk and sodomise him! There was also a very funny story Foley told in response to a question from an audience member about a storyline he wanted to do with Abyss and Hulk Hogan in TNA – I won’t say any details, but let’s just say it would have been absolutely hilarious!
Is it worth going to one of these Inside The Ropes shows? I would absolutely say so! They’re a brilliant way to get to know some of the best storytellers in professional wrestling, Foley being an obvious choice for this as his reputation as a storyteller precedes him. Mick Foley was fantastic in his role, Kenny McIntosh was really great as a host and the whole event was impeccably organised. The team have already announced two more tours for 2020 (one with Jim Ross in February and one with Kenny Omega in April) and if you can make either of those tours you should definitely try and make sure you can!