Foley was on a handshake deal and explained why he wanted it that way.
When WWE established their 2016 brand split, Stephanie McMahon chose Mick Foley to be the General Manager for Monday Night Raw and Shane McMahon chose Bryan Danielson to be the G.M. for SmackDown.
Foley was relieved from his on-screen duties before WrestleMania 33 in 2017. Several months prior, he had to step away from his on-screen role to undergo surgery.
An episode of ‘Foley Is Pod’ was centered around Stephanie McMahon and during that episode, Foley shared that for that 2016-2017 G.M. run, he was not under contract to WWE. He recalled Vince McMahon telling him the role would be waiting on him when he got back from surgery. Foley added that Kurt Angle was the ‘new toy’ that was introduced as G.M. after WrestleMania. Mick did enjoy how he was written out of his role.
The first person I texted (when I found out I needed surgery in 2016) was Stephanie (McMahon). I said, ‘Stephanie, I’ve gotta get this thing done. I won’t be able to fly’ because it’s really dangerous to fly after surgery. I said, ‘For about six weeks.’ The first thing she said was, ‘Don’t worry about me, do what you have to do’ and I know the cynics will be out there. Of course, she’s Stephanie McMahon. Of course, she’s gonna land on her feet. She always has, she always will but she genuinely cared more about my health than she did the role (as General Manager) and it was sad Vince (McMahon) said the role would be waiting for me when I came back and it wasn’t but I also realized, when you’re the GM — and I specifically asked Barry Bloom not to have a contract. I said, ‘We’re gonna shake hands and we’re gonna do the role for as long as we both –’ we, meaning me, Vince, Kevin Dunn — ‘As long as we both feel like it’s mutually beneficial’ and so, Kurt Angle came along as the shiny, new toy and I accepted that so on one hand, maybe I could’ve gotten paid another six months for doing nothing but I just liked the idea that if you’re not happy, if somebody else could do it better, get that other person. They say you serve at the pleasure of the President. Well you serve at the pleasure of Mr. McMahon and he decided it was time for someone else to do the role and I was pretty proud of what we’d done. But always grateful that Stephanie’s first impulse was to say, ‘Don’t worry about me. Take care of yourself’ and then we did get a great send-off, so I was able to be fired on-air as we all should, and to do it with one of the best promos. The week before I was fired was one of — it was the first time I’d felt I had a pay-per-view match after a promo. I felt that good about it and it was one of those things where it helped — I went out feeling like I’d done a service to the company so it further enhanced Stephanie as a commissioner, it made Hunter look like a real S.O.B. going into Mania (33) against Seth (Rollins) and it was able to give Seth a little boost into Mania as well so I felt really good about everything we did.
In the summer of 2022, Foley shared that he signed a new Legends agreement with WWE.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit Foley Is Pod with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.