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Bret Hart responds to Ric Flair's comments, His latest column
The Mandarin
post Jul 13 2004, 10:07 AM
Post #61


Comments that don't warrant a thread


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QUOTE(vivisectvi @ Jul 13 2004, 09:10 AM)
In the infamous words of Dick Cheney, go f**k yourself Ric and be glad that someone like me doesn’t shove your head squarely up your ass someday.

I thought Bret was still recovering from the stroke. Wouldn't it be a tad..difficult to do that?

But then again, he said "someone like me", so I'm assuming he's saying that someone will come to his defense.
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Guest_Nelly's Bandaid_*
post Jul 13 2004, 10:12 AM
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I'd like to congradulate both men on making me not only dislike both of them, but there fans as well.

There only thing worse than rewriting history is having hords of people ready to write it down in text books.
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post Jul 13 2004, 10:14 AM
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I can't come down on either side, really, just b/c I haven't read all of what Flair's book said, but when it comes to working, I'll admit that I think the Flair/Steamboat matches were and are overrated. Chopchopchop, move around, chopchopchop.

I will stand by that I enjoyed Bret more as a worker, but neither one of them is free and clear in this. Mick at least said that he respected Flair as a worker, but as a person and booker, they had problems.
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Promoter
post Jul 13 2004, 10:21 AM
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Well, it sure is a lot more interesting than what the wwe is currently doing for any feud that's for sure. What if this all leads to Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair retirement match at WM 21 with HHH at Flair's side and Angle at Hart's side and we get special referee Vince Mcmahon? It would sure blow away any other drama the company can concoct.
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chaosrage
post Jul 13 2004, 10:23 AM
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QUOTE(JustJoe2k5 @ Jul 13 2004, 10:39 AM)
I respect both Bret Hart and Ric Flair, but it is kind of sad to see Bret Hart talk about Ric Flair's "routine" when everyone knows about Bret Hart's "Five Moves of Doom" that usually signal the end of his matches.

He covered that by saying what he did wasn't any different than a wrestler doing a finish move, he just used a series of moves to finish. And while that was repetitive, at least it was only the END of his matches, and not the entire match like Flair's routine was.
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Copper Feel
post Jul 13 2004, 10:26 AM
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Third world democracy.


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im glad that bret said all these things as flair deserves it.his coments on owens death were out of line. i dont mind him ragging on foley and savage because that was proffesional not persanol. flairs become almost as repetetive in interviews as he is in the ring.
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post Jul 13 2004, 10:28 AM
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QUOTE(JAxlMorrison @ Jul 13 2004, 06:26 AM)
I take Foley's side on this too, but at least people can say "Well, Mick struck first". What the hell did Bret do to deserve such an attack? Comments he made in the early 90s, and has since apologized for to the man's face?

Bret used his newspaper column to insult Flair for the better part of 5 yrs. in the mid 90s for starters.
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Guest_Loss_*
post Jul 13 2004, 10:30 AM
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Jeez, Mike, would it be asking too much for you to acknowledge that both made both good and bad points? There is a such thing is balance, but when you're lost in one direction and refuse to even acknowledge that the opposite side may have something significant to say, you only serve to make yourself look closed-minded.

Here is a BALANCED dissection of the column:

[quote]I’m sure that if wrestling fans will give some thought to what I’ve
written here, you’ll find it to be more accurate and far more interesting than
Ric Flair’s book.

I don’t know if I’m more infuriated or disappointed by the derogatory
things he wrote, not just about me, but about other hard working members of
the wrestling fraternity, like Randy Savage and Mick Foley. I wasn’t going
to comment because I didn’t want to promote Flair’s book for him, but as has
become usual in wrestling the truth is getting rewritten again and I’m one of
the few guys who is trying to preserve an accurate chronicle of the wrestling
of our era.

It bears mentioning that if I didn’t have some measure of respect for
Flair his comments wouldn’t have phased me one way or the other. Sadly, the
way he has jumped to erroneous conclusions and put them out there for the
public as the truth has eroded whatever respect I had for him. Everybody has a
right to their opinion, but in my view a valid opinion should be backed up by
facts.

Yes, I did make some unflattering comments about Flair and Hogan back
in the early 90’s. I then rethought what I’d said and in the interest of doing
business with them, for the greater good of the business, I made a sincere
effort to apologize to both of them, publicly and privately.[/quote]

This is well known. Bret has actually taken back many of the comments he had made in the past about the quality of Flair's work, and Meltzer recently said that in conversations they've had in the past few years, he's called Flair "inhuman" and he called him a "hell of a worker" on the RF shoot interview he did a few years ago. He never criticized Flair on a personal level. He specifically called him a professional in his Prodigy chat back in December of 1997.

[quote]They each shook my hand and told me not to worry about it and that it wasn’t an issue, but when I got to WCW I was never given any kind of a chance and whether either one or both of them was behind it I’ll probably never know, other than hearsay.[/quote]

Flair wasn't in a position to sabotage anyone by the time Bret showed up in WCW. It has been widely speculated that Hogan was responsible for his burial.

[quote]Now, years later, Hogan and Flair have both spoken inaccurately about me and have tried to debunk and minimize my contributions to a business that I was
born into and have devoted my life to with deep passion and dedication.

Wrestling wasn’t just a job for me, it was the only way of life I knew long before
either Hogan or Flair laced up a pair of boots and took their first wrestling
lesson to see what it was like.

Never, in all my life, have I ever been so infuriated by ridiculous statements made about me. Perhaps they were purposely designed to get my response and sell more books, who knows. Who cares? Flair talks about how I could be the president of my own fan club. All I can say is, he’s one to talk!

Self promotion was an intricate key to any wrestler making it in the business. He convinced a legion of fans that he was the best in the business - and there’s nothing wrong with that. He even convinced himself. But his peers, the guys who worked with him night after night, know better.[/quote]

Most of the wrestlers that worked with him under Crockett speak very highly of him. Austin, in 2002, still thought Flair was the best worker in the company. Sting has credited his career to Flair. Steamboat has called their series his favorite.

[quote]How could any fan know what kind of a worker Ric Flair
really is without actually working with him?

Flair says that I believed my own press and convinced myself that I’m
the best there is. When I boast about being the best there is, it is because
of three reasons. The first and most important is that I never injured any
wrestler in any way despite my physical style. This is something in which I
take a lot of pride and I don’t know of anyone, who worked a schedule on par
with mine for as long as I did, who can truthfully make that same claim.[/quote]

I'd argue Flair in that case, but Bret would go on to debunk that later in this column.

[quote]The second reason is that in the fourteenyears I was with the WWF, often wrestling three hundred times per year, I missed but one match - and that was due to a canceled flight. Again, I don’t think there is anyone who worked that schedule who can truthfully make that claim. Everyone on the road worked hard but I was proud to be counted among the handful of guys with an exceptionally
dedicated work ethic.[/quote]

Vince has confirmed this several times. Bret has gotten praise for this from others as well. By all accounts, this is true.

[quote]The third reason is that throughout my career I never once refused to put over a fellow wrestler - except at Survivor Series ‘97.[/quote]

Bret has contradicted himself here. He admitted refusing to put over Kevin Nash once in 1994, which Nash has also stated, and Bret has even suggested that Nash may have held a grudge when he was booking WCW in 1999.

It's interesting how Hogan, Flair and Bret have all gone out of their way not to bash Nash for his influence, despite him attempting to sabotage each of them at one point or another.

[quote]In a conversation that I had with Shawn Michaels three weeks before Montreal, when I was champion, I told him that despite our differences, I wanted him to know that he was safe working with me in the ring and that I had no problem whatsoever putting him over. Shawn’s exact words to me were, “I appreciate that, but I want you to know that I’m not willing to do the same thing for you.” This was just plain unprofessional. Putting him over would have condoned his disrespect, not just for me but for the honor of old school ways. Vince told me that I could leave any way I liked, not to mention the fact that I had
contractual creative control for my last thirty days. The idea for him to beat me in
Canada was solely conceived to ruin me as a commodity in my home country where WCW had big plans for me.[/quote]

WCW never ran Canadian shows, but who knows, they may have been thinking of doing so before that. They did run two shows in 1999 -- the Nitro with the great "steel plate" angle with Bret and Goldberg and the Mayhem PPV that November. They started doing more international shows in 2000 as well. The '99 shows drew decent houses, the first of which can probably be attributed to Hogan and Bret, since every other headliner was booed that night, with only Benoit and Jericho getting big pops in the midcard. The Mayhem PPV, in the same arena eight months later, saw all the WWF mainstays like Hennig, Hall and Bret get cheered while guys like Sting, Luger and Goldberg got little reaction.

Canada was clearly WWF country. Bret could have helped introduce WCW to a new market, but it's unclear if there were actually plans to do so.

[quote]Not to mention that when Shawn Michaels mocked fornicating with the Canadian flag in the middle of the ring it went beyond being personal to me, my fans, and my country![/quote]

This was definitely pretty tasteless. If La Resistance did this to the American flag now, we'd probably see a riot. Seriously.

[quote]I remember Ric Flair and Bobby Heenan coming up to me in the dressing room in Nashville on May 6, 1989. I was in the Hart Foundation at the time and Flair told me he was honored to shake my hand. I had never seen him work. Being on the WWF road schedule made it nearly impossible to catch any wrestling matches on TV because we were almost always working or traveling when wrestling was on. From what little I did see of the NWA my impression was that
their TV show at that time was poorly produced and made the wrestlers come
off as second rate.[/quote]

Crockett had a much better product than Vince for most of 1985-1988, but Vince was far better at marketing his product and had Hogan, which was a huge difference. Flair was the #3 name in the country, behind Hogan and Andre, although he was a distant third.

[quote]Despite that, I’d been lead to believe, like everyone else, that Ric Flair was the best in the business. I always wondered, if he was the best why wasn’t he in the big league WWF? His popularity at that time was largely concentrated in the deep south.[/quote]

Flair was a touring champion and typically drew a big house wherever he wrestled prior to Crockett going national. He was the NWA World champion, a title Bret has openly said he has respected and Bret has even said he tried to be an NWA-style world champ in the WWF. Flair was doing shows in the Northwest and even occasional spot shows in Long Island, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Flair's biggest cities were probably Charlotte and Atlanta.

He almost jumped to the WWF on several occasions, but it never happened. Perhaps a reason "why" is that he won his first world title in 1981, which preceded the WWF's expansion by about three years.

Bret should also know that the WWF wasn't a wrestler's wrestling company for most of that time period. The best in the company were Bret, the Bulldogs, Savage and Santana while the NWA had Flair, Arn and Tully, the Midnights and the Rock & Rolls.

[quote]I appreciated his compliment and hoped I might have the chance to work with this legend some day.

About a year later Flair was head booker at WCW and he made me an offer
to come work there for money good enough that I had to seriously consider it.
As it turned out, Flair was unable to back up his offer and the deal fell through when he nervously reneged. I lost respect for him and his word and smartly chose to stay put in the WWF instead.[/quote]

Flair was no longer on the booking committee (whether he was fired or resigned depends on who's telling the story) in March 1990, and most of his long-term plans were tossed overboard around that time. He had contact with Bret, Owen, the Rockers, Curt Hennig, Ted DiBiase, Randy Savage and Roddy Piper, and ALL of them considered jumping at one time or another.

The NWA would have been a wrestling haven in 1990 had this happened, as the tag division alone would have featured Bret & Owen Hart, Rick & Scott Steiner, the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express, the Rock & Roll Express, the Rockers, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard and Dory & Terry Funk. Hennig, DiBiase, Savage and Piper would have been mixed in with Flair, Sting, Luger, Muta, Windham and Steamboat on top with Pillman and Foley rounding out the midcard. Flair's idea for turning the company around was to raid the WWF of every good worker and truly become an alternative to the WWF. They would have been competitive at that point.

Most likely, the reason Flair was unable to get Bret in the door at that point was because he was no longer booking and no longer had the pull to get someone through the door.

[quote]Eventually, Flair showed up in the WWF with the WCW belt and I was
somewhat surprised when he shamelessly crapped all over the history of the
territory that made him by not giving them their belt back. To this day I don’t
know what would make him hurt his fellow wrestlers and their struggling company
like that. I admit I don’t know all the facts on this so I won’t comment
any further about it, and Ric should have done the same with me.[/quote]

Bret shows ignorance here. Flair owned the belt. It belonged to him. His name was engraved on it even. He offered to give it back when he got his $25,000 deposit back, which was required of all champions at that time.

[quote]Flair was trumpeted into the WWF with great fan fare and at last, one
night in New Haven, I was thrilled to defend the IC belt against this great
legend in an unscheduled dark match that was taped for Coliseum video. I knew
more about ring psychology and real wrestling at the ripe age of nine than Ric
Flair knew in his entire lifetime yet out of respect I let him lead the match.
Ric suggested a finish that called for me to do a flying cross body where he
would subsequently catch me and stagger backwards with the two of us toppling
over the top rope only to be counted out for the finish. It was a simple but
risky move that I’d done countless times before with lesser wrestlers but at
the end of the match when I dove into Flair he stood too far from the ropes,
mistimed it , and he simply didn’t have the strength to catch me so we fell
down in an embarrassing heap. Ric suddenly came up with a new make shift finish
that, not surprisingly, benefited him and not me. It absolutely stunk but
these things sometimes tend to happen when two wrestlers work together for
the very first time.

Although the match had been taped and can still be seen today I wasn’t going to make any kind of a big deal about it, but back in the dressing room I was annoyed to hear Flair painting out to everybody that somehow I had messed up the finish, implying that I was still a young up and comer. If you understand wrestling, you know that all I could do was dive into his arms and the rest was up to him. He proved to me, right then, that he was full of it and was no legend at all.[/quote]

If there's enough argument over this issue, I'm willing to watch the match again. I do know that Flair had trouble with this spot on many occasions.

[quote]Ric was an old fox that took such liberties every time he thought he
could get away with it. You’ll find nary a wrestler that would describe me,
Savage or Foley as back stabbers or sneaky liberty takers, but with Flair you
better take a number![/quote]

I've heard Flair described as a back stabber, but never a liberty taker. He has made the careers of many wrestlers, so it's hard to really believe that.

[quote]I remember Flair worked with Randy Savage who, like me, was lead to
believe the same crap about how great Flair was when they had a Saturday
Night’s Main Event TV match in Hershey on September 1, 1992. He somehow
became WWF champion and Vince McMahon carefully constructed an elaborate storyline for this very important match. I was standing right next to Vince watching the match live on a backstage monitor when Vince blew his stack as he watched Ric do absolutely nothing he told him to do. Ric has never been able to do
anything but his one routine match, which consists of cartoon high spots
borrowed from Jackie Fargo and midget wrestlers, along with an assortment of tired old ripped off Buddy Rogers high spots.[/quote]

Much of Flair's style was also borrowed from Ray Stevens. I'll talk more about Flair's style as Bret says more.

[quote]My dad always called Flair a “routine man” - because he did the exact same routine every night, every where, and was forever stuck with it. An angry Vince met Flair as he came through the curtain and he furiously ordered both Flair and an exasperated Randy to march right back out and redo the entire match the way he’d told them to do it![/quote]

Flair made reference to this in his book, although he blamed Savage's heart not being in the match at the time, since he was going through a divorce and wasn't overly concerned with wrestling. This is another one that may need to get watched again.

[quote]Even then, as I remember it, Flair was still unable to impress Vince.[/quote]

It's known that Vince was quite hard on Flair during his time in the WWF. Part of it very well may have been due to his own flaws, but part of it may have also been because Flair became a star without Vince and the NWA style was different than the WWF style.

[quote]Personally, I would have been shamed with embarrassment to ever put the promotion, myself, or my opponent through such a farce! I recall telling Randy that I thought Flair was ‘thirty minutes of non stop non psychology’ and Randy
shook his head and laughed along with me at how true it was.[/quote]

I still think Flair was great in his heyday and I still consider him among the best, but there is a myth surrounding how good he was. Many of his "classics" have been overrated, but to Flair's credit, he worked just as hard on house shows as he did on big shows, so many of his best matches took place without cameras present and video footage only exists in subpar VQ, joined in progress on many occasions. One reason Flair had the rep he had was because he worked just as hard when the cameras were off as he did when they were on. Bret's reputation was the opposite.

[quote]I can tell you first hand that Ric Flair was not a great worker at
all. Yes, he did hilarious interviews but, to my taste, I never thought a
world champion was supposed to be hilariously amusing.[/quote]

Flair did better fired-up, serious interviews than Bret ever thought about doing. Bret was underrated on the mic. He wasn't a catchphrase machine, but was the master at getting his points across and making sense. Flair had far more charisma than Bret. Most of the time, his interviews weren't even comical. I think this criticism is better levied toward The Rock than Ric Flair.

[quote]Granted, Flair was entertaining to watch - and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, much like Hogan, Flair’s magnetism and charisma distracted from and offset his limited ability in the ring.[/quote]

This is probably true. Flair was as charismatic as anyone in wrestling ever has been. I think because Flair could wrestle as long as anyone and he was sold as a master scientific wrestler by the announcers, and because he was world champion so long and dressed and played the part of champ so well, his legacy has probably been slightly exaggerated. In some ways, it's a testament to him, and in others, it's something that hasn't held up so well over time.

[quote]The single greatest contribution that Flair ever gave to pro wrestling was the wooo from his silly chops. First off, chops hurt - and in my opinion they look like crap.[/quote]

I never thought Flair's chops "looked like crap", but they did get monotonous after a while.

[quote]For Flair to demean Randy Savage and Mick Foley is outrageous! In my
opinion, as someone who has worked with all three of them (and everybody else
from that era too) Ric Flair couldn't even lace up Randy and Mick’s boots![/quote]

I'd say that's unfair, as Flair was far better than both of them.

[quote]They were both hard workers and exciting innovators who at least made every possible effort to put on some kind of a different show from night to night.[/quote]

Savage was doing offensive moves no one else was doing in the US at the time he was doing them. Foley was innovative in many ways, although it's hard to say which of those innovations were good and which were bad. Flair was a collage of what he saw as the best of all the champions before him. Innovative isn't really the word to describe him, but he was definitely an original.

[quote]Either one of them could call a great match any time they wanted. So what if Randy wanted to put in an even greater effort by designing a great match in
excessive detail? That is a quality, not a flaw, and Flair is too lost in time
to grasp it.[/quote]

I'd agree with that, although some of Savage's more heralded matches did come across as being overly choreographed at times.

[quote]Sure Flair could call a match, the exact same one over and over, talking and telegraphing every move! I can also say that Ric was a blatant expose every time he cut himself. “Hey look, Ric Flair’s blading! ...” Some great pro! If old time shooters like Ed Strangler Lewis or Frank Gotch were to look down from the heavens I’m sure they’d be more impressed with Randy and Mick’s realism and psychology than Flair’s phony chops and upside-down flips into the corner, where amazingly he somehow landed right on his feet! - only to jog down to the next corner - where he climbed right up and - even more amazingly - took ten or fifteen seconds to maneuver his opponent’s hands carefully onto his chest so he could take a phony beal back into the ring![/quote]

It was a flawed, overdone spot. Bret is right on here.

[quote]If done on rare occasions, such silly routines, because they are highly
amusing and entertaining, often go undetected for how ridiculously phony they are.

But this pathetic routine was performed every time Flair went blank, and let
me tell you, he went blank all the time![/quote]

Agreed.

[quote]As for Ric’s criticism of how my comeback was repetitive, all I can
say is that I felt that, logically speaking, why wouldn’t I break into my
patented arsenal of best moves before going into my finish? I did, in fact, change
it up from time to time, but I also recognized that most fans completely
understood what I was doing. It made as much sense as doing the same finishing
move every night, except my finish was a series of moves. The fact that Ric
took exception to this is a simple example of his inability to fully understand ring psychology.[/quote]

One could also argue that Bret going for a pin off of a Russian legsweep when he had never gotten a pin off of the move could show a lack of psychology and long-term growth in his style. This is one case where both Flair and Bret are flawed.

[quote]The day after I wrestled Davey at Wembley at Summerslam ‘92 in front
of 86,000 fans I flew to Baltimore. They were playing a tape of the show in
the hotel bar and I was watching a tape in my room when there was a knock at my door and low and behold both Randy and Flair stood there beaming. They each
shook my hand and I remember Flair excitedly grinning and praising me saying,
“Brother, that was the greatest match I’ve ever seen. The greatest!” [/quote]

I think it's one of Bret's most mundane matches actually, but it was a tremendous carry-job.

[quote]For Ric Flair to say that I wasn’t a draw is just plain ridiculous. I’m very sure that I sold enough tickets throughout my career. Who is he kidding?
Everyone knows that most of the time WCW wrestlers worked in front of empty
chairs in empty arenas.[/quote]

"WCW" also came around after Flair's peak as a draw was long gone. Flair was the only reason that many of those chairs were even filled by that time. He was filling baseball stadiums in 1986 and always drew huge in World Class.

[quote]All one has to do is watch Flair’s DVD to see the empty seats and the exact same match with every opponent, whatever their shape or size. After Vince made him redo his SNME match his days were numbered in the WWF because he clearly wasn’t what he was cracked up to be.

Six weeks later Flair was told to lose the belt to me in Saskatoon on October 12, 1992. As I understood it, Flair declined putting me over on TV, despite the fact
that he himself had just told me that Wembley was the best match he’d ever
seen ! Let alone that I was the biggest draw the WWF had in Europe and all the
foreign markets, consistently main eventing in front of, not sold out
buildings, but entirely sold out tours! And I had a very strong following in
North America too. The WWF was reeling from sex and steroid scandals at that
time and I was seen as a safe bet to carry the belt, in large part, because I
worked hard and I kept my nose clean. When I won the title in Saskatoon that
night I came back to the dressing room with a dislocated finger and a rolled
ankle, both as a result of Ric failing to tell me what he was doing in the
ring. (I generally never got hurt.)[/quote]

It was reported in the Observer at the time that Flair was upset about losing the title to Bret with no build and skipped a week or so of TV tapings as a protest. It's also known that Bret was strong internationally as a draw, but wasn't so much in North America until 1997.

[quote]I worked with Flair every night for a while after that and I finally went to Vince totally exasperated and told him that I thought that Ric was intentionally sabotaging my matches every night since I’d won the belt. To be honest, Ric always worked hard but nothing he did in the ring ever made sense. Just when he’d masterfully worked my leg he’d suddenly grab a headlock and call a long series of running high spots! Just when we had the crowd ready to burst he’d call some lame spot that would kill all the heat we’d built up and I forever found myself shaking my head at how we’d have to build it up all over again. Most of what Ric called made him look like a world beater and in some matches I’d blast him with fifteen or twenty terrific looking working punches only to see him never go down but then finally wobble and take one of his pathetic and comedic face bumps. Sometimes he’d do his upside-down flip into the corner two or three times in a row and in one match, only days after I won the title, he called for a small package out of a figure four and pinned himself without even giving me a comeback! When I finally went to Vince he scolded me and told me that I was his champion and from here on in to take charge of my matches - and that Flair wasn’t as good as he was cracked up to be! I was trying to respect Ric at the time but since he was heading back to WCW I had no choice but to take control. Ric apologized to me saying he was having problems at home but today he’s telling some bullshit story about Charles Barkley and the Ultimate Warrior.[/quote]

Bret is the only person who has ever gone on record and said that Flair sabotaged anyone's matches. I honestly think it was a difference in styles more than it was anything intentional on Flair's part. But most of the matches were not as good as they should have been, to say the least.

[quote]A few months later, when I found out I’d be having a one hour marathon
match at the Boston Garden with Ric, I came up with a brilliant storyline that I ran by Vince, who loved it. When I ran it by Flair in the dressing room the night of the show he immediately interrupted me and began telling me what we were going to do instead. I finally had to cut him off and sadly dress him down in front of several wrestlers saying, “Ric, I’m the champion and this is how it’s going to go.” He dropped his jaw, turned red, and took his seat, saying, “You’re the champ.” He never, ever got over it either.

Scott Hall was there and often told this story to other wrestlers for years. Sadly, old Ric still managed to mess up the timing for every fall, in what I could only see
as intentional. At the time I was furious to read in Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter how Ric Flair carried me for the full sixty minutes!

Ric Flair never carried me, ever! Years later I spoke with Meltzer about it and we cleared the air when after hearing my perspective on it he agreed that he didn’t have all the facts and told me that he’d never seen the Boson match, which was reported to him by a fan who was there. If anything, Flair was not only notorious for sucking up to the office but generally took liberties with his opponents who had been convinced that he was going to make them.[/quote]

I'd like to hear others substantiate this. If this is common, I'm curious what others have to say about it.

[quote]If you watch Flair’s matches you’ll see that he usually made himself at the
expense of his opponents , something I was famous for not doing.[/quote]

I'd disagree with this. Flair had a habit of selling too much actually.

[quote]Enough about this so called great worker. He was a three dressed up as
a nine who left his opponents second guessing their own abilities after working with him.

For shame that Ric Flair should take pot shots at Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Savage, me or anyone else. But none of this is what infuriates me the most. For Flair to denounce me for my role in the infamous Survivor Series in Montreal, all I can say is that he wasn’t there and he ignores much of the truth when it comes to the facts. The most complete and accurate written account of the whole Montreal debacle, for anyone who is interested, is available at brethart.com - written by Dave Meltzer. I stand proud with my head held high for the way I handled myself and the position I took for the business and my fellow wrestlers that fateful day. I find solace in remembering two truly great champions, Harley Race and Dory Funk, who did call me up to tell me they were proud of me for how I handled myself in Montreal.[/quote]

Before anyone says Bret needs to get over it, he's merely responding to a criticism and he wasn't the one to even bring up Montreal, so I don't think that's appropriate.

[quote]That’s all the endorsement I’ll ever need! That’s all I need to say about it.
Far above and beyond anything else Flair said, it is his comment about how I exploited my loving brother Owen’s death that is unforgivable.

Frankly, this is such a low class blow that it is even beneath him! If he wants to
take pot shots at me as a wrestler that’s bad enough, but it is reprehensible
that he would judge me for the way I handled myself in the aftermath of my
brother’s death. All I can say is that I stood by Owen’s widow through a
fierce and bitter time, never once failing her or their children. I did what I
think Owen would have wanted me to do and I answer to Owen’s memory not to
Ric Flair. For him to say that I fueled the law suit because of Montreal
is ridiculous and disgusting.[/quote]

Only Bret knows if it's unfounded or not. Bret had a right to be furious with the comment. Flair was out of line for suggesting this.

[quote]I think it’s fair to say one had to walk in my shoes to fully comprehend the
situation and when I put my story into words in a book about wrestling that is worth reading only then can anyone appreciate all that I lost and all that I gave during such a difficult time. For this asshole to blindly poke me in the eye would be like me declaring that Flair showed great cowardice when he let Bobby Shane die in that tragic plane crash back in ‘75 ![/quote]

OUCH!

[quote]Foley , Savage and Bret Hart have been doing just fine outside of the
world of wrestling. What else has Ric Flair got? I’d like to punch Ric Flair
right in the nose - but I’d probably have to kick somebody in the ass to do
it! In the infamous words of Dick Cheney, go f**k yourself Ric and be glad
that someone like me doesn’t shove your head squarely up your ass someday.

Bret Hitman Hart
July 12, 2004, Calgary[/quote]

There is no 100% right or 100% wrong in this case quite frankly. Both have good points and both look like horse's asses. So instead of saying "yeah Bret" or "yeah Ric", let's focus on what each of them said that was accurate and what each of them said that wasn't.

There's no reason to take sides on everything.
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Guest_MikeSC_*
post Jul 13 2004, 10:33 AM
Post #69





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Sorry, but I've not seen the "genius" of Bret Hart. He was a decent-pretty good worker, but hardly the end-all, be-all of the business that some wish to paint him as being. I've seen TONS of both of their matches and I found Bret to be markedly more repetitive. The beef is that Flair has "attacked" two, well, internet darlings.
-=Mike
...Who thought Vince did the right thing in 1997, just to give you an idea of how long I've thought little of Bret
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chaosrage
post Jul 13 2004, 10:40 AM
Post #70





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QUOTE(A MikeSC @ Jul 13 2004, 11:00 AM)
Never mind that you and Foley slammed him before and, well, he was right about Savage.

He also apologized for it before and oh, yeah.. it was 10 years ago.

QUOTE
Explains your ability to carry total slugs to great matches.

Oh wait, you couldn't.

My bad.


Diesel for one.

QUOTE
"Blown finish? All Flair's fault. I'M BRET HART, DAMMIT! I DON'T MESS UP!"


He's got a point if he always did it right, except for the time that he fought Flair.

QUOTE
Like your "classic" Ironman match with Shawn?


Well since he considers it one of his best matches ever, Shawn says it's his best match ever, and according to WWE, it's one of their best matches ever, yeah that's a good example.

QUOTE
They don't look vicious like a russian legsweep, followed by an elbowdrop, followed---bah, screw the Five Moves mockery.


They suck too, good thing it wasn't all Hart did.
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Guest_wrestlingbs_*
post Jul 13 2004, 10:54 AM
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While Flair has done enough to deserve his own piece of wrestling history, yeah, I aggree with Bret. Flair has always seemed like an SOB, and his matches always seemed a little overblown. Flair basicly used the same tactics in the NWA that HHH used in 2000 (get yourself in a position to influence the booking, then keep yourself champion) and while you can despute the results of that you can't excuse the methods. As for what Foley said, I remember Foley saying that while Ric Flair was a legend in the ring and a great wrestler, as a booker he sucked. In Flair's book he discredits Foley entirely, basicly calling his career a joke (this after basicly handing both HHH and Randy Orton their careers). It's kinda hard to take flair's side on this one.
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Guest_Loss_*
post Jul 13 2004, 10:55 AM
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QUOTE(wrestlingbs @ Jul 13 2004, 04:54 PM)
While Flair has done enough to deserve his own piece of wrestling history, yeah, I aggree with Bret. Flair has always seemed like an SOB, and his matches always seemed a little overblown. Flair basicly used the same tactics in the NWA that HHH used in 2000 (get yourself in a position to influence the booking, then keep yourself champion) and while you can despute the results of that you can't excuse the methods. As for what Foley said, I remember Foley saying that while Ric Flair was a legend in the ring and a great wrestler, as a booker he sucked. In Flair's book he discredits Foley entirely, basicly calling his career a joke (this after basicly handing both HHH and Randy Orton their careers). It's kinda hard to take flair's side on this one.

Ric Flair did not start sleeping with Dusty Rhodes to keep himself in his main event spot. Therefore, the tactics were NOT the same.
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Guest_MikeSC_*
post Jul 13 2004, 11:07 AM
Post #73





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QUOTE
While Flair has done enough to deserve his own piece of wrestling history, yeah, I aggree with Bret. Flair has always seemed like an SOB, and his matches always seemed a little overblown. Flair basicly used the same tactics in the NWA that HHH used in 2000 (get yourself in a position to influence the booking, then keep yourself champion) and while you can despute the results of that you can't excuse the methods. As for what Foley said, I remember Foley saying that while Ric Flair was a legend in the ring and a great wrestler, as a booker he sucked. In Flair's book he discredits Foley entirely, basicly calling his career a joke (this after basicly handing both HHH and Randy Orton their careers). It's kinda hard to take flair's side on this one.

Let's try and keep in mind what he said about Foley:
1) He couldn't push Foley as he had no power himself. Foley was griping when he didn't understand the situation.

2) Foley's ringstyle ISN'T terribly great, as his early retirement shows. A lot of what he did "looked" fake as you're going to get. And I liked Foley's work a lot.

And, uh, I wouldn't praise Foley's "handing people careers" while criticizing Flair, since Flair did it for more people than anybody else.
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haVoc
post Jul 13 2004, 11:22 AM
Post #74


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This is one of those times when wrestlers are absolutely right when they say "You have to be part of the business to understand."

Be in a business for all of your adult life where you're always on the road and living in some type of physical pain and see how you would react if someone questioned your career and hard work you put into it.

And before someone says, "Well, I would...." Just shut up. None of us know how we would think and react because we don't and haven't lived it.
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TheBigSwigg
post Jul 13 2004, 11:28 AM
Post #75





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I see both sides to the argument, and I think both sides are right.
I've never been much of a Bret mark, and as a Southerner, I grew up on Flair. I've realized that a lot of Flair's matches are "routine" matches, but mostly after he'd already established himself as a solid ME worker. If you watch most of his stuff from early on, he'll vary in his matches, but after the late eighties, its a lot of repetition. I would assume mostly age caused this, and learning what gets the best response out of the crowd. This is also a flaw of Foley's, ironically enough.
Bret, though, is much like Benoit is his Old School passion and technical working style. No surprise, since they were both trained by Stu. The big problem is, though, that Bret doesn't admit that routine workers can draw just as much as technical wrestlers and character wrestlers. They may not understand the "proper" psychology, but I would say there are a lot of wrestlers that don't understand it anymore. Just watch WWE and see how many guys barely sell moves that were devestating ten years ago. It's the evolution of the sport, but it's also the degradation of it as well.
I completely see how Flair could be a bastard (especially for the Owen remarks), but I can't say that Bret's 100% right either.
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BHK
post Jul 13 2004, 11:36 AM
Post #76


Eating chicken for the next 2 years.


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QUOTE(TheBigSwigg @ Jul 13 2004, 12:28 PM)
The big problem is, though, that Bret doesn't admit that routine workers can draw just as much as technical wrestlers and character wrestlers.  They may not understand the "proper" psychology, but I would say there are a lot of wrestlers that don't understand it anymore.  Just watch WWE and see how many guys barely sell moves that were devestating ten years ago.  It's the evolution of the sport, but it's also the degradation of it as well.

I'm a Bret mark, but...


Obviously what Flair did can draw. However, let's say a wrestler, Flair, puts on a **** match. Now, if he keeps wrestling the SAME **** match ALL THE TIME, it's not going to always be ****. You're not going to think the man is a mind blowing worker anymore. Flair can carry a broomstick to a *** match, but what if it's always the SAME *** match?

I think that weas Bret's point. When you look at things from a pure wrestling standpoint, and niot a drawing standpoint, the more technical, varied style would be the better of the two.

That's my take on it.
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The Man in Blak
post Jul 13 2004, 11:40 AM
Post #77


And people thought I cared too much.


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QUOTE(A MikeSC @ Jul 13 2004, 05:07 PM)
And, uh, I wouldn't praise Foley's "handing people careers" while criticizing Flair, since Flair did it for more people than anybody else.

You know, not to open up a huge can of worms, but exactly how many careers did Flair make? Lex Luger? Barry Windham? Paul Roma?

I'm not being sarcastic or rhetorical. I want to see the mile-long list of careers that Flair had a direct hand in making. Just for the sake of reference.
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BHK
post Jul 13 2004, 11:54 AM
Post #78


Eating chicken for the next 2 years.


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QUOTE(The Man in Blak @ Jul 13 2004, 12:40 PM)
QUOTE(A MikeSC @ Jul 13 2004, 05:07 PM)
And, uh, I wouldn't praise Foley's "handing people careers" while criticizing Flair, since Flair did it for more people than anybody else.

You know, not to open up a huge can of worms, but exactly how many careers did Flair make? Lex Luger? Barry Windham? Paul Roma?

I'm not being sarcastic or rhetorical. I want to see the mile-long list of careers that Flair had a direct hand in making. Just for the sake of reference.

Well, off the top of my head on the reverse side of things Foley had a big hand in establishing The Rock, Orton, and HHH. Granted, the Rock got over on his own, but his matches with Foley were a big part of his career.
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Guest_The Winter Of My Discontent_*
post Jul 13 2004, 12:17 PM
Post #79





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QUOTE(The Man in Blak @ Jul 13 2004, 12:40 PM)
QUOTE(A MikeSC @ Jul 13 2004, 05:07 PM)
And, uh, I wouldn't praise Foley's "handing people careers" while criticizing Flair, since Flair did it for more people than anybody else.

You know, not to open up a huge can of worms, but exactly how many careers did Flair make? Lex Luger? Barry Windham? Paul Roma?

I'm not being sarcastic or rhetorical. I want to see the mile-long list of careers that Flair had a direct hand in making. Just for the sake of reference.

None. Flair didn't put many over unless his hand was forced. In 87 he blatently put the belt on a lemon (Garvin) to gloriously win the title back at Starrcade.

He made Sting, thats all I can remember. I wouldn't necessarily say he made Steamboat as he had had already been considered one of the greatest when they met.
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Guest_Anticrombie_*
post Jul 13 2004, 12:23 PM
Post #80





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Look this is how I see it. I've already seen Flair's hypocrisy and ass kissing tendencies, so I had already decided that Flair's words about respect, honor, etc. (all that stuff Flair criticizes others for not having) don't mean shit.

I didn't take any of his comments about Savage, Foley, or Hart seriously because Flair will rail on people when it's convenient for him, and kiss their ass when it benefits him.

It's the same deal with Hogan, Michaels, Triple H (most of the time), and Vince from what I've seen.

If Austin discussed a person in the business I'd care because he has a good rep as far as his word is concerned (his WORD not his wife beating skillz, you vultures), same deal with Foley, Hart, Race, Steamboat, etc.

I didn't mind that Flair criticized these guys because as far as I'm concerned Flair's already proven himself to be a jerkoff, but if Flair is going to take shots (and I have little doubt that Flair exaggerated or outright lied his ass off to sell books and stir up controversy) at people to sell books then he deserves to be called out.

He's being a douchebag on Missy Hyatte levels by saying personal things like that about Bret.

Some you guys criticizing Bret, what would you expect him to say? "Thank you Mr. Flair, I'd like to have your babys now"
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Guest_Loss_*
post Jul 13 2004, 12:40 PM
Post #81





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Magnum TA
Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Morton
Sting
Lex Luger
Bret Hart
Ted DiBiase
Kerry Von Erich
Mike Von Erich
David Von Erich
Barry Windham

... just to name a few.

There are many more, obviously, but he had a hand in all of those guys becoming big stars. Some of them he didn't even job to, but he wrestled a style where he made them look so good that he didn't always have to lose.

I'll explain any anyone wants to know, and if I think about it, I can probably think of more.

As for Steamboat, Flair totally made his career. He did a job to him when he was a rookie for the Mid Atlantic TV title in an angle very reminiscent of Razor Ramon/1-2-3 Kid, which is where he initially made his name. He was immediately challenged by him backstage after winning the title at Starrcade '83 and they feuded for most of '84. Steamboat should have won the title that year, but Dusty ran him out of town because he was more over than Dusty was. He also put Steamboat over in 1989 to enhance the world title feud. The Von Erichs were legitimized because of Flair. DiBiase went on a big face run in Mid South because of Flair. Bret Hart won his first world title because of Flair. Luger and Windham got over because of Flair. Magnum TA immediately got over, despite being green, when they moved from the Carolinas to TBS because Flair put him over strong on TV in a few big angles.

He's made a lot of guys.
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Guest_TheZsaszHorsemen_*
post Jul 13 2004, 12:42 PM
Post #82





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QUOTE(Conky @ Jul 13 2004, 01:23 AM)
QUOTE(Staravenger @ Jul 13 2004, 02:06 AM)
Bret just served Flair a nice glass of shut the fuck up juice if I may say so.

big MOTHERFUCKING time.

That was motherfucking unreal.

And can anyone not claim that the majority of Flair's "all-time classics" are a tad overated?

Can anyone not dispute Bret's criticisms of Flair's work?

And really

Did anyone not think Flair's comments about Owen's death were tasteless?

Flair had more great matches then Bret did.

And let's face it, Bret's been nothing but a tired, bitter old man since the Screwjob.
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Guest_Anticrombie_*
post Jul 13 2004, 12:57 PM
Post #83





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QUOTE
Flair had more great matches then Bret did.


I don't know if that is entirely accurate, but even if it's true wouldn't that be more attributed to the fact that Flair is much older then Bret, so maybe he's been around longer.

QUOTE
And let's face it, Bret's been nothing but a tired, bitter old man since the Screwjob.


I think you're exaggerating there, he's dealt with more then the screwjob. I don't mean to cry for Bret but, the screwjob served as a catalyst for a bunch of other screwed up shit in his life.

I guess it all depends on what you choose to focus on.

I go to his site every now and then, and he seems fine to me, maybe I've been typing in the wrong URL.
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Guest_Loss_*
post Jul 13 2004, 12:58 PM
Post #84





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It's worth pointing out that I've seen Bret do the same. He helped get Michaels up to the main event level, made guys like Razor and the 1-2-3 Kid look freakin' awesome in title matches, pretty much made Nash, made Owen's career, made Yokozuna's career, helped get Austin to the main event level, and was on the verge of doing the same for Chris Benoit in WCW.

You might find it interesting looking at the careers Flair and Bret have helped and contrasting that with the guys Michaels and HHH have helped make big stars.
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Guest_The Winter Of My Discontent_*
post Jul 13 2004, 01:06 PM
Post #85





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QUOTE(Loss @ Jul 13 2004, 01:40 PM)
Magnum TA
Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Morton
Sting
Lex Luger
Bret Hart
Ted DiBiase
Kerry Von Erich
Mike Von Erich
David Von Erich
Barry Windham

... just to name a few.

Having a good match is one, but making a career is another. I'll give you Lex Luger and Sting. But Flair never put over Windham to win the World title. Flair hardly deserves credit for Bret Hart's popularity. Steamboat broke through at WM3. I guess I can't comment on the Von Erich's or Dibiase, but obviously he didn't put them over all that tremendously if I don't know about it.
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Guest_TheZsaszHorsemen_*
post Jul 13 2004, 01:10 PM
Post #86





Guests






QUOTE(Conky @ Jul 13 2004, 01:06 PM)
QUOTE(Loss @ Jul 13 2004, 01:40 PM)
Magnum TA
Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Morton
Sting
Lex Luger
Bret Hart
Ted DiBiase
Kerry Von Erich
Mike Von Erich
David Von Erich
Barry Windham

... just to name a few.

Having a good match is one, but making a career is another. I'll give you Lex Luger and Sting. But Flair never put over Windham to win the World title. Flair hardly deserves credit for Bret Hart's popularity. Steamboat broke through at WM3. I guess I can't comment on the Von Erich's or Dibiase, but obviously he didn't put them over all that tremendously if I don't know about it.

The Flair/Windham matches in 87 MADE Windham.
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Guest_TheZsaszHorsemen_*
post Jul 13 2004, 01:11 PM
Post #87





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QUOTE(anticrombie @ Jul 13 2004, 12:57 PM)
QUOTE
Flair had more great matches then Bret did.


I don't know if that is entirely accurate, but even if it's true wouldn't that be more attributed to the fact that Flair is much older then Bret, so maybe he's been around longer.

QUOTE
And let's face it, Bret's been nothing but a tired, bitter old man since the Screwjob.


I think you're exaggerating there, he's dealt with more then the screwjob. I don't mean to cry for Bret but, the screwjob served as a catalyst for a bunch of other screwed up shit in his life.

I guess it all depends on what you choose to focus on.

I go to his site every now and then, and he seems fine to me, maybe I've been typing in the wrong URL.

Flair was just a more versatile worker than Bret, he could have a good match with just about anyone just by working them into his forumla for a match.
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Guest_Loss_*
post Jul 13 2004, 01:24 PM
Post #88





Guests






QUOTE(Conky @ Jul 13 2004, 07:06 PM)
QUOTE(Loss @ Jul 13 2004, 01:40 PM)
Magnum TA
Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Morton
Sting
Lex Luger
Bret Hart
Ted DiBiase
Kerry Von Erich
Mike Von Erich
David Von Erich
Barry Windham

... just to name a few.

Having a good match is one, but making a career is another. I'll give you Lex Luger and Sting. But Flair never put over Windham to win the World title. Flair hardly deserves credit for Bret Hart's popularity. Steamboat broke through at WM3. I guess I can't comment on the Von Erich's or Dibiase, but obviously he didn't put them over all that tremendously if I don't know about it.

Every guy that you mentioned is a guy that Flair got over or helped get over, or in guys like DiBiase, played a key part in a key angle that changed their careers drastically.

It's not Flair's fault you don't know about it. It's just that very few know about anything that didn't happen in the WWF, something I've lamented for years.
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Jobber of the We...
post Jul 13 2004, 01:30 PM
Post #89





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One other thing I feel like complaining about in this article:

QUOTE
Ric has never been able to do
anything but his one routine match, which consists of cartoon high spots
borrowed from Jackie Fargo and midget wrestlers, along with an assortment of tired
old ripped off Buddy Rogers high spots. My dad always called Flair a
“routine man” - because he did the exact same routine every night, every where,
and was forever stuck with it.


Kind of inappropriate for a guy who phoned in so many matches that he wound up spurring the catchphrase "five moves of doom" to complain about something like that.

Keep in mind that I wasn't watching wrestling during all but the most recent chapter of Flair's career, and I missed Bret's career entirely, and I even missed Montreal having started watching only in 99, so I don't really have any nostalgic favoritism here.
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Guest_Anticrombie_*
post Jul 13 2004, 01:31 PM
Post #90





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QUOTE
Flair was just a more versatile worker than Bret, he could have a good match with just about anyone just by working them into his forumla for a match.


I would disagree, the criticism that I have heard of Flair was that he always did the same song and dance and anybody working with him always had to change to fit his style. In that respect Bret is far more versatile then Flair, since Bret seemed to be more open minded when it came to his opponents.

I disagree with Bret that Flair made himself at the expense of his opponents. Flair made guys, many times at the expense of looking like a fool, but a lot of Bret's comments about Flair being a "routine man" are not out of line. He is what he is, some like it, some don't.

And for those who are saying that Bret is also a routine man, if he's a routine man then so is Austin, Rock, HHH, Michaels, and a whole list of others. They all mixed it up way more then Flair did.

I agree that some of Flair's routine was incredibly comical, to the point where some might not be able to take him seriously when watching his matches (his bladejobs, the flip run climb fall on his ass routine, the fall on his face routine)

Of course a lot of times that is what I enjoy about his matches, he can really be a clown sometimes.
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