This column originally appeared on emzee.com. It was written 24 March 2000.
This week was huge. A monster.
Monday, it was revealed by Linda McMahon that Mick Foley would return to
the WWF, allegedly "for one night only," to compete in the main event at
Wednesday, it was leaked via the 'Net that Eric Bischoff would be brought
back to the creative helm of WCW less than seven months after he was
ousted as the WCW President.
But many people have spent much of the week looking solely at one, or
only on the other. I haven't yet seen a decent article comparing the
impact that each man has on his respective company and settling the
ULTIMATE question: just which move is bigger?
This, my friends, may just be that article, for I have taken it upon
myself to go inside the numbers! With apologies to Nick Bakay, it's time
to tip the scales and weigh the evidence, for the only way to find the
answer to such a monumental question - the only way this mano a mano
battle can be settled is to make the comparisons and go...
...to the Tale of the Tape.
Mick Foley vs. Eric Bischoff
Bischoff: Running things
Foley: Getting run over
Category: Prototypical Prior Associated Ratings
Bischoff: Megadeth (2.1)
Foley: "This is Your Life" (8.4)
Advantage: Foley. Only Lorne Michaels knew better that bad sketch comedy with no punchline could be such a hit.
Category: Last Seen on TV
Bischoff: Nitro, 23.8.99, saying to Mike Tenay, "You're getting the rumours off the Internet, and they're saying that I'M gonna be President of WCW again? That's the Internet for you..."
Foley: Video Montage set to "I Will Remember You" the night after No Way Out
Advantage: Bischoff. Talking about the Internet will ALWAYS give you the duke.
Category: Lying about return
Bischoff: (on returning to WCW as president) "It would take more than an act of congress and slightly less than an act of God." - quoted in the Torch newsletter 4.3.0 and referenced here - thanks tOA!
Foley: "Now when I think of retirement matches, I think back the last five or six I've seen, and I see guys prostituting their names and their careers for the benefit of a couple of extra bucks, more or less taking a six week vacation...but I'm here to tell you the truth, the two greatest things I have in my life are my name and my word, and I gave my word on national television that if I couldn't defeat Triple H in the Hell in the Cell - be the last damn time I ever set foot in the ring as an active wrestler!" - WWF SmackDown, 24.2.0 as transcribed by CRZ
Advantage: Foley. At least Bischoff probably BELIEVED it when he said it.
Bischoff: "It looks like I am going to be back, but I'm not sure in what capacity and not sure when." - WCW Live 22.3.2K, as transcribed by Wade Keller of the Torch
Foley: "I'd like to address the fact that a few weeks ago I stood out here and said I was not going to be like all those other people who put their career on the line and came back six weeks later; no, I showed I was a man of my word - I came back in four." - SmackDown! 23.3.2K as transcribed by CRZ.
Advantage: Bischoff. Notice that the way he says it up there, that previous "lie" might end up being more truth than fiction - why, it's almost Clintonian in its complexity!
Category: Fan reaction
Bischoff: Gone just long enough for some to actually pine for him
Foley: Gone just long enough to piss off quite a few
Category: Reason brought back, nutshell
Category: Instigator of change
Foley: McMahon - pick your favourite
Advantage: Foley. Who the hell is Brad Siegel? I'VE never seen him!
Foley: Newly shorn
Category: Instant feud
Bischoff: Wade Keller
Foley: Triple H
Category: Staying power
Bischoff: Just got a lot longer - will undoubtedly outstay his welcome
Foley: Too soon to tell - may have already outstayed his welcome
Category: Can't resist - but desperately needs to
Bischoff: On-screen appearances
Foley: Big bumps
Category: X Factor to successful return - or lack thereof
Bischoff: Vince Russo
The winner: By the slimmest of margins, Eric Bischoff.
So there you have it; it's all so simple when you break things down
Remember, the numbers never lie.