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Future-Shock #18



25 July 2004

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Another Future-Shock, another Major Issue: Where does Scott Future stand in the Bret Hart vs Ric Flair debate?

Rather than in a ring, a war of words has erupted as a result of Ric Flair’s statements made about various iconic figures in the wrestling business, in a new book to be released as an autobiography. These statements have been met with bitter responses. It’s a battle that interests fans and wrestlers alike, and I like everyone else has an opinion on whom should be the most upset and why. This issue is going to be the theme for the next few Future-Shocks’, as I try to do the debate justice. I’d certainly welcome any input by email!

For Bret Hart, having his ability to draw money questioned is a major issue and that is the basis of many of the comments made by “The Nature Boy”. All wrestlers make a career from promoting themselves as the hottest ticket in an effort to gain main event status and make the big money. It seems that Flair is in the camp that believes Bret’s final contract with the WWE was over priced and that the WWE had to find a way to let “The Hitman” go. Such comments would serve to destroy the future career of a younger wrestler in the same position. Perhaps it’s for the best then that “The Excellence of Execution” is no longer in the running for main event status as a full time career.

Although Flair’s opinions may not be damaging to prospective work opportunities for Bret, they do serve to tarnish a legacy that he has left – one that sees him largely unchallenged as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

I can’t help but wonder why the Triple H’s of this world are spared such criticism in Mr Flair’s book, whilst the likes of Mick Foley and Bret Hart, whose powers within the industry have diminished, take such a beating. That said, if Ric’s comments are really what he believes, and he writes these thoughts in his own book, who’s to stop him having an opinion and honestly detailing it? One of the things that I have found most disappointing in wrestlers autobiographies is the way that they have ‘spared the dirt’. So, whether you agree or don’t agree with Flairs corner, at least, respect the fact that he gave an honest account of how he perceives iconic names in the business.

So what did Ric say? Let’s start with his assertion that Mick Foley was over rated and lacking in the wrestling skills department. This one, like much of the issue is subjective. There’s something that needs to be clarified here. Flair is not saying Foley wasn’t entertaining. What Flair is saying is that his ability to work with other wrestlers was floored. It’s important for fans to understand that a wrestlers opinion of another wrestler is determined not by their entertainment value, but their ability in the ring to work a solid match with their opponent. For example, and I’m going to extremes, Jim Duggan was hugely entertaining from a causal fans perspective, but for other wrestlers, applying proper technique, he hardly set the world on fire.

So, for Ric to day Foley’s technique wasn’t great, is not the same as saying he wasn’t entertaining. I defy anyone to argue that Foley wasn’t entertaining, but I can see where Flair comes from when he says that Foley relied more on stunts, and gimmicks, and brutality, than he did wrestling technique. Whilst I can see Flairs point here, and I sympathise with all wrestlers who have learned their craft only to be replaced by someone because of their willingness to go through a table, I think it unfair in this day and age to measure a wrestler purely on their amateur background, or their technical displays. Feel like getting into this debate on how we measure a wrestler? Send me an email and Ill pick up where you leave off in the next “Shock”!

Before I close, just a quick note to say I look forward to my debut for UWL and meeting those of you that make the trip to UWL - Lessons in Anarchy. Venue: Bugbrooke Sports & Community centre, Northampton, doors 6.30, show starts 7pm, all tickets £5 Wrestlers scheduled to appear include: MTX, Shabazz, Gonzales family, The Murderers and more. Contact : Carol-Ann 07901652722 Email : ultwrest@hotmail.com Url: www.uwluk.com for further information.

Scott Future



.

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