Mick Foley Just Weighed In On The WWE Vs. AEW Rivalry, And He Didn't Mince Words

Mick Foley talking to stone cold steve austin on broken skull sessions

When AEW first emerged on the pro wrestling scene, WWE execs openly noted they weren't too worried about competing with the budding organization. Now, nearly 2 years later, AEW has signed on some of the WWE's biggest free agents in Daniel Bryan and Adam Cole, and even pulled CM Punk out of retirement. There's no denying the elder federation has struggled with recent roster cuts and shifts in priorities, and not only have fans noticed, but WWE legend Mick Foley added his current two cents didn't mince words when he explained how he thinks the WWE is failing in the rivalry with AEW.

Mick Foley shared a short video across his various social media channels in which he shares some blunt criticisms about the modern era of the WWE, and the ways in which it's failing. Foley plainly stated his thoughts about how the WWE is failing its budding superstars in ways the AEW isn't, saying:

I’d like to title this video 'WWE, We’ve Got a Problem' because I think you do, and that problem is that WWE is no longer the place for talent to aspire to. Part of it is because AEW is doing a great job of attracting great, proven talent, building other talent, and creating storylines. 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 and even made a joke of when they debut on the main roster. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. 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. You guys did wonders with me back in the day, but that was a different time, different place. If it was today, I’m not sure I would trust the powers to be with my career in their hands. And until that changes, WWE, you’ve got a problem.

Quoth the Mankind, nevermore. Mick Foley's mention of Karrion Kross is definitely a valid and specific point, as one of NXT's most aggressive and fearsome superstars became a jokey tough-guy caricature in gladiator clothes when he debuted on Monday Night Raw. It's similar to what happened with Baron Corbin when he transitioned from NXT as an unbeatable superstar and faced similar struggles. Corbin's current gimmick has him as a down-on-his-luck slob, and he's a middling talent at best, and far removed from the title picture.

Mick Foley's video came days after former WWE wrestler Adam Cole publicly appeared on AEW's All Out pay-per-view as its latest fan-favorite addition. Following a monumental run with NXT, Cole was in negotiations as recently as August regarding a transition to the main roster and finding better ways for the WWE to utilize his talents. Perhaps Cole saw signs of what Mick Foley was talking about, and decided that AEW was the better place to continue his career.

If WWE couldn't keep one of its most promising developmental prospects and continues to shed other superstars, then Mick Foley is probably right on the money in saying there's a big problem. Vince McMahon's globally embraced brand can do well in the short term by bringing in part-timers like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, or even The Rock back for short periods of time, but without young and promising full-time talent to set up the company's future, there's reason to be concerned. It will be interesting to see if anyone from the WWE side will respond to Foley's criticisms, or if the organization will take the note and start to re-evaluate what it's doing with budding talent.

Regardless of who's losing in the rivalry between WWE and AEW, there's no denying that wrestling fans are winning out in more ways than not. Catch up on all the juicy behind-the-scenes details behind the rivalry, such as Daniel Bryan's reason he chose to leave the WWE for AEW.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.