The Real Reason Mick Foley Retired From The WWE

Some people look forward to retirement; others dread it. And if the testimony of three-time WWE world champion Mick Foley is anything to go by, professional wrestlers dread the end of their careers greater than most.

However, back in 2000, Foley was sure he wanted to retire. According to 411mania, WWE director Bruce Pritchard recollects that the fan favorite was looking to "slow down," and that he had his eye on other pursuits. He had, by 2000, already had considerable success as a bestselling author, and at the time, it seemed he wanted to spend more time working as an author. But his retirement didn't last long — despite Foley having the "perfect" send off.

"I had it. I had the perfect goodbye in 2000 at WrestleMania. I had it again with Randy Orton at Backlash in 2004. I think people take the financials out of the equation," Foley told TalkSport in 2020.

"It's one thing to say I had the perfect exit, but then you're like 'I'm 34, what do I do?' In my case, I realized wow, I've written two best-selling novels. That's hundreds of hours in solitude, months away from your family on the road promoting the book where you don't get paid, and then it's like I could make the same amount of money for a match against Carlito?"

Mick Foley kept wrestling for 12 years after his original retirement

Though Mick Foley was still earning well after his official retirement in 2000, it wasn't long before he was drawn back to professional wrestling. According to, Foley first came out of retirement in 2004 and would compete in a further 40 matches before finally retiring in 2012.

"With the economy falling apart a couple of times, and you have half of what you think you have, you owe it to your family sometimes to come back and make a living," he told TalkSport. "So I think the romance is in having the perfect match and the storybook ending, but the reality is we have this skillset that allows us to make a good living, but we can't make that living without employing that skillset."

Comeback after comeback, Foley kept hunting for that storybook ending — arguably until he was well past his prime. He continues to have a strong association with the WWE as a guest referee, pundit, and announcer, and continues to be a success as both a writer and actor.

According to Essentially Sports, Foley has claimed, "I should've retired sooner."