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COMMENT





Nature Boy still has Flair
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun



Nature Boy Ric Flair's a kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin', jet flyin', limousine ridin', son of a gun. And there's no way he's going to take any guff from a guy who calls himself The Excellence of Execution. Flair, who in his book, To Be the Man, took some shots at Bret Hart, says he hasn't read The Hitman's response, which included this gem: "I'd like to punch Ric Flair right in the nose, but I'd probably have to kick somebody in the a-- to do it."

"(Hart's) a mark for himself," Flair says. "Some guys actually believe they're the best there ever was and the best there ever will be, but when they gave (Hart) the belt, he couldn't draw money.

"Only Eric Bischoff, the idiot that he is, would give him $2 million to sign. He talks about being the best. He didn't wrestle Harley Race, he didn't wrestle Bruiser Brody ... he didn't wrestle the best, so how can he be the best there ever was. (Hart) was a great ring technician, but he had no charisma."

Flair is very content these days. One of the few wrestlers who could walk the walk and talk the talk, Flair is a legend, no matter what Hart says about him. In To Be the Man, Flair digs up plenty of funny anecdotes and provides a truly insightful look into the politics of wrestling.

"If I opened up a can of worms (in the book) on anybody's life, it's my own," Flair says. "It's been a tremendous life. My only regrets are for the people I hurt ... with me being selfish, so wrapped up in my career, I sacrificed family and I wish I could have that back. At the end of the day, we're all close. You can only say you're sorry so many times."

There are not many heels who get so much support from the fans. That speaks of Flair's work ethic and the "It Factor," that certain something that makes you want to love him and hate him at the same time.

"I'm very happy now," Flair says. "If it ended tomorrow, I'd just like to shake everyone's hand and walk out the door. I know that they respect me and I didn't know that for awhile.

"Whether it's 30 years or tomorrow (that I quit), the fans know that, whether there are 200 or 20,000 watching, I've given them my best performance."

And will that charisma lead to one last WWE title run, even if it's a brief one?

"I'm very content," Flair says. "If I get the title, great. You can't make a 55-year-old the lead guy in the company, but I'd give it everything if I had the chance.

"I've been to the nuthouse, I've had a heart attack on TV, I've been buried alive in the desert and I've played musical chairs," Flair says. "There's not too much I haven't done."

One word about sums up Flair's career: Wooooooo!

RELATED LINKS

  • Ric Flair: To Be The Man reviewed
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  • Order the book everyone is talking about
    Ric Flair: To Be the Man

    - What if Hulk Hogan wasn't Hulk Hogan any more? WWE is suing comic-book company Marvel Enterprises Inc. so it can continue to use the Hulk Hogan name. WWE would like to use Hogan in video-on-demand and DVDs. Marvel says a licensing contract it had with WWE expired July 9. WWE says the deal ends in March next year.

    - How about Edge to Randy Orton on RAW?: "I'd have some issues too if my dad spent all those years being Rowdy Roddy Piper's bitch." Ouch!

    - The Pro Wrestling Superstars pay-per-view, which first airs on Tuesday at 8 p.m., features the ring return of Sid Vicious, from the Internet Wrestling Syndicate's fifth anniversary show.

    - Set for tomorrow night's RAW is a 60-minute Ironman match between Triple H and Chris Benoit for the heavyweight title. Expect Eugene to get involved.