WCW - Flair lawsuit reveals truth
Flair to appear at Unforgiven?
Could it be? Professional wrestling is staged? That's the shocking accusation a promoter has made in a lawsuit filed against champion wrestler Ric "the Nature Boy" Flair - whose real name is Richard Fliehr.
It turns out that Flair -- known for his blond tresses, thirteen WCW World Title reigns, his piercing battle cry, "Woooooo!" and sparkling robes, including one that has 7,200 rhinestones and weighs 45 pounds -- is an entertainer, not a sports star.
The suit filed in state court by World Championship Wrestling claims Flair's failure to show up at a series of bouts this year played havoc with "story lines" planned out for the performances.
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Flair, 49, has a three-year contract worth nearly $2 million to wrestle for World Championship Wrestling which is owned and operated by the Turner Broadcasting System.
Flair did not return phone calls left at his Charlotte, N.C., home and gyms.
"Wrestling is action-packed sports entertainment," WCW spokesman Alan Sharp said Thursday.
The disagreement between WCW and the well-known wrestling legend began when Flair did not show for an episode of the top-rated WCW Thunder television cable show. A show, which according to plan, was supposed to feature the return of the Flair-led popular Four Horsemen wrestling gang. According to Flair, he had asked for the day off so that he could watch his nine-year-old son Reed in a AAU national wrestling tournament in Michigan. WCW officials deny that Flair ever made such an arrangement or notified them of his plans.
The Thursday night in question was apparently the breaking point in a relationship that had been going sour for many months. Flair felt he wasn't getting the push he deserved remaining backstage at numerous prime time broadcasts.
Fans are launching their own protest in defence of their wrestling idol by logging onto the feedback section of World Championship Wrestling's official site (http://wcwWrestling.com/) and punching off angry e-mail to WCW sponsors such as Valvoline motor oil (http://www.valvoline.com).
The rival World Wrestling Federation is teasing through its weekly e-mail, and on its phone hotline that Flair may appear at the Unforgiven PPV, since it is deep in the heart of Rich Flair Country -- Greensboro, N.C. This could set-up a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin - Ric Flair feud with Flair being WWF President Vince McMahon's choice for a sophisticated WWF World Champion rather than "working man" Austin.
-- SLAM! Wrestling, with files from Canoe wire services