During the summer months of 2012, Dean Ambrose, who had been working in WWE developmental, popped up in a few viral video campaigns confronting Mick Foley in a worked-shoot style manner blaming the Hardcore Legend for ruining the hopes, dreams, and lives of children everywhere due to his reckless style.
Foley responded with shock, dismay, then anger, and it was all supposed to lead to a match at SummerSlam, marking the main roster call up for Ambrose and Foley's first big match back in a WWE ring.
Plans change by the second in WWE but it turns out Foley had been explicitly told by a neurologist never to wrestle again. He simply suffered too many concussions and did far too much damage to his body over the years to give the green light to make it any worse.
This resulted in a delay to Ambrose's debut on the main roster but he would ultimately show up at Survivor Series in November as one third of The Shield alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. The nixed Foley feud may have actually been the best thing to happen to him and Foley himself told the Busted Open Radio Show on Sirius 92 that he's really happy everything went the way it did:
"Dean was probably happier with the break with the Shield and I was the second happiest to see him get that break. I cannot physically wrestle anymore. That break that I thought I was going to be a part of, was just not going to happen. Dean would be at every TV taping, so I would see him and say, 'hey how are things going? Anything on the horizon?' and he would be like, 'no man, not yet. I felt personally responsible. So when he said 'Yeah, they had something', I asked, 'Is it pretty good?' He said, 'Yeah, it's pretty good'. Ironically his career would have really suffered had he done the run with me. It would have been a nice boost, but then he would have been on his own from that point. Getting over long term is really, really difficult. These guys not only did they come up slowly, by the time they had their first match at TLC they blew everybody away at the Barclay's Center. All three guys have the potential to be major stars. I couldn't be happier for Ambrose. He is kind of a weird dude, but it works to his advantage. I've described his style as disturbingly poetic. The way that he moves, he is so fluid. William Regal was the guy that was so high on him. He said 'he is everyone's perfect opponent for the next ten years.'"
So far, The Shield have been booked as well as any stable in WWE since Triple H was pushing Evolution to the sky around 2004. Ambrose is currently the United States champion while Reigns and Rollins are the tag team champions and all three are heavily featured and are now routinely getting the longer matches on Monday Night Raw.
Something that never would have been possible had Foley been cleared for one more match.
Anyone still kind of wish we could have gotten to see that feud play out? Or are you happy with what we eventually ended up with?