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It may seem like yesterday to some and like forever ago to others, but it all seemed to start when an underdog wrestler decided to take an insane off of the top of a cage on a WWF PPV. In that one famous moment a lot of things changed in the wrestling world, for better and for worse.

On one hand, a star was born. And not your typical WWF star, either. Mick Foley didn't have the chiseled physique or textbook good looks. He didn't appear overly athletic and had never before truly made it to the "big time." Boy, did that all change. With two very insane bumps and a laundry list of injuries, Foley rocketed to the top. From that moment on, Foley was a star. He eventually became WWF Champion and enjoyed a storybook rise to wrestling stardom.

But, bad things also leaked from the Hell in a Cell that fateful day. Very bad things. A mindset was created that fateful evening that would permeate and forever change the world of wrestling: The idea that an insane bump can get a wrestler to the top of the game where hard work, charismatic promos, a great moveset, a Greek-god's physique and psychology worked before. Don't have time to work on your moveset? No problem, just watch Foley's Hell in A Cell a dream up a bump even more insane than the two major ones he took that night. That'll do the trick. No need to improve your cardio by running the ropes or increase your build by hitting the gym for four hours a day when breaking your leg or loosing three teeth will work just as well with a much quicker turn-around time to stardom.

There are obviously a lot of wrestlers who have watched that Hell in a Cell match and dreamt of super-stunts to top Foley's insanity. One person who obviously was paying attention to Foley's lessons is Shane McMahon. Last night at King of the Ring, we saw Shane continue his string of superbump, holy-shit, PPV spots in a brutal and grueling match with Kurt Angle. His insane bumps included: A shooting star press onto a trashcan (the landing of which was off) and three, count them, THREE suplex attempts onto pane glass windows that DIDN'T break. Each time the glass didn't break, Shane landed on his head. He could have easily been paralyzed or killed. The glass shards could have seriously hurt either he or Kurt Angle.

But what's a simple suplex through glass to a guy whose Van-Daminated his own father? What's a shooting star press onto a trashcan to a guy who has dove off Titantron scaffolding to deliver an elbow to a battered wrestler lying below? Why would a billionaire's son do this, you night ask. Study Foley, I would say, and it's simple: Shane wants to get over. BAD. And by now, he's proven that he'll do just about anything to get there. He's modeling his career after a man who had to retire in his mid-thirties because his body couldn't hold-up to the punishment anymore.

I can't lie, I enjoyed the match. I chanted 'Holy Shit!' I was emotionally exhausted by the end of the match. And I felt bad this morning because of it. Because of Shane's bump, it didn't even register to me that Kurt Angle got injured. Because of Shane's bumps, the main event fell flat. Austin was almost killed by Booker's excitement and Chris Jericho almost killed himself again with the Lionsault by landing on his head. These three men worked their asses off, but their efforts seemed almost bland and boring. Their match seemed ordinary, and what could be worse, in Shane's mind? Out of this PPV, Austin, Angle, Jericho and Benoit will all probably miss some time or need a lighter work schedule. That's four main event wrestlers. That kind of casualty rate can cripple event the best of promotions.

And that's the problem with Foley's legacy. Every time someone takes an insane bump, the next wrestler looks at the bump, listens the "HOLY SHIT" chants from the crowd and devises a way to up the ante even further. Just examine the chronology of risks in the Hardy/Dudley/E&C TLC matches if watching Foley's or Shane's PPV progression's towards paralysis isn't enough and you need more proof. How much further can the bar be raised? We have become so desensitized that a table bump over the top rope or a Pedigree or Rock Bottom on the Spanish announce table seem commonplace. Almost expected.

So now I have to ask: Shane, what are you after, my friend? The adoration of millions of fans? The cheers, the pops, the **** Scott Keith rating? The ability to one day write one or tow books and talk about how you became a major wrestling star against your own better judgement by taking these insane bumps?

Or maybe you're after the darker side of Foley's legacy. The side few like to talk about. The concussion side? The memory-loss side? The getting-lost-while-driving-home-from-the-grocery-store side? The hundreds of stitches side. The surgery side? The screws in major joints side? The I-can't-play-with-my-kids-because-I-can't-get-down-on-my-hands-and-kness-side? One more question, Shane: Is the risk worth the reward? Only you can decide.

I'm out.


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