Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ric Flair comments on working with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff

NOTE: We didn't get a chance to catch Raw Monday after all; we'll try to see if we can find highlights tonight other than just recaps, but listen to our thoughts on what went down either way tomorrow night on our In This Very Ring podcast.

Ric Flair appeared on the BUSTED OPEN satellite radio show this Tuesday (airs Tuesday and Fridays 4-5pm ET on Sirius 127 and/or XM 242) to discuss his upcoming appearance on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff's HULKAMANIA tour in Australia. He acknowledges having had issues with both men (he and Eric Bischoff feuded publicly while both worked in WCW 10-15 years ago, and Flair's temper ... well, flared ... again when Bischoff arrived in the WWE a few years later. Flair says:

"What really upset me about Eric in the past ... what I didn't like was being put on the sidelines in lieu of people coming in from New York that I didn't think were at my level ... I understood. I was so loyal to the company. I should have left long before I did. I didn't and I came back and things didn't work out again. We've talked about it and we've agreed to disagree. They're paying me a lot of money to do this and it's through a huge promotion company overseas. I've really gotten along with Eric since the thing initiated. He works with his attorney through my attorney and that's it. We don't have to do a lot together. On the other side of it, at the end of the night we've always been able to drink a beer together, so I feel very comfortable now with Eric."

It's also been widely known that Flair has had past issues with the Hulkster himself, although those were always more professional than personal, which Flair acknowledges:

"Clearly, Hulk and I have disagreed over the years, but it's never affected our personal relationship. Business and pleasure are two different things in my book. As far as my relationship with him goes, he's always been a standup guy... Every time when we've gotten in the ring we've either drawn numbers or put 20,000 people in the building."

BOTTOM LINE? Obviously what these guys can agree on is ego and money, and there's a chance for all 3 to draw again in a significant way. And I don't say that as disparagingly as it might sound. I in fact respect people who can look at the bigger picture - be it giving fans what they want, be it creating a better nest egg for themselves in retirement, be it giving back to an industry they love - and put aside personal issues to achieve that goal. Hogan and Flair have both recently gone through what appear to be messy (or at least expensive) divorces, their children are grown, and they know each other well, having worked together before. Neither has a particularly dangerous or challenging style to work with, and if there are still wrestling fans, which there are (myself included!) interested in seeing these two men (who are 117 years old between them!) go, then the more power to them for keeping their names out there and as attractive as they are after all those years.


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