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Author: Subject: The Age Old Debate: Hogan vs. Flair
Parvini
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posted on 7-4-2004 at 12:10 PM Edit Post
The Age Old Debate: Hogan vs. Flair

This is an old topic, debated a thousand times.

I'll just put in my "two pence" (from the UK you see):

Hogan:

I've never understood WHY Hogan was so popular but the fact is that he WAS. I think you'll find, whoever said it, that the low ratings in the 90s came after Hogan left... the lowest drawing champs ever are who? Diesel, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Sorry folks, but that's a fact.

Hogan's 1992/3 run was very poor. Booed at RR 1992, his feud with Sid was a career low. However, for whatever reason the crowd is ABSOLUTELY pumped for hsi match against Money Inc. and title win at WM IX. Fact.

Now I hate Hogan for all the obvious reasons: not doing the job to people who could have been put over - not Austin, not Bret Hart - I'm talking Ted Dibiase, Randy Savage - people with talent and workrate. But does it matter in the long run? Savage got his title run and Dibiase is remembered as one of the best, if not THE best heel ever. He could have let Mr. Perfect win the 1990 Royal Rumble, but he didn't, but maybe that's just the way it was booked. The real reason I don't like Hogan is because I just don't relate to the character - a cheesy, vitamin taking, Christian, All-American? I'm not a Christian, I'm not American and I don't really take vitamins, brother! But I can understand why so many young Americans did back in the day - that doesn't make his abysmal 1991 feud against Slaughter right - just understandable.

And, no matter what anyone says, the 1996 Bash at the Beach NWO promo is one of THE defining moments in wrestling. The previous ten years of the sickly Orange goblin (not to mentions his AWFUL 1994-6 face run in WCW) had all been worth it just for that!

Hollywood Hogan was a genuinely cool character and, because it was half based on reality (Hogan's backstage pull, his refusal to job etc.) it got over big time.

His final run in WWE was worth it, wasn't it? We got to see two memorable Wrestlemania matches out of it and a whole plethora of Hogan doing the job for various others.

Flair:

I'm a huge Flair mark, I really am. Everything I dislike about Hogan's character, I like about Flair's. His arrogance, his fluidity on the mic, his down-right heelish ways. Flair is and always was literally "the best thing going... today" (direct quote from WM 8 promo).

However, he is guilty of many of the criticisms levelled at Hogan:

1. He booked HIMSELF into many of his greatest feuds. He literally handpicked Sting, Savage, Windham, Luger etc. because he knew he could work great matches with them and it would keep him a) in the limelight and b) in the world title picture.

2. If Hogan kept Bret Hart down then what did Flair do to Foley?

3. The wrestling world according to Hulk Hogan is a world which he created and a world of "I told you so" when things go wrong (usually involving him not having the title or being de-centralised). The wrestling world according to Ric Flair is EXACTLY the same, anyone who's read any of his book will know this. Interesting discussion about this here: www.onlineonslaught.com/O...p?tid=9159

4. If you listen to other wrestlers talk, most notably Bret Hart and Randy Savage, they all say the same thing: Flair is a great wrestler but you have to wrestle on HIS PAGE. A Ric Flair match is a Ric Flair match, he wouldn't wrestle any other way. The same set-pieces, the same spots, the same momentum swings, Flair-flops, missing from the top rope, flipping over the turn-buckle and running along the apron, begging off, using the knucks etc etc. How is he any different to Hogan in that regard? That's why Hogan vs. Flair was a rubbish match because neither man could adapt to the other, they are incompatible. Hart, Savage, Rude, Steamboat, Sting ALL had to adapt to wrestle a Flair match. If you think about it a typical Hogan match involves Hogan getting punished for ten minutes, Hulking up and winning. So a wrestler could actually fight his own stlye of match against Hogan until the finish. Hogan is actually a great seller of moves and he's not often credited for that.

Conclusion: Whilst I still love Flair and hate Hogan the old smark myth that all things Hogan is bad and all things Flair is good is not true at all true.





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Canadian Bulldog
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 01:10 PM Edit Post
Sorry, what's the question here? Who was more valuable to the business? Or are you just looking for opinions on each?

If you're talking about value, I think you're comparing apples and oranges.

Without Hogan, you would have never had the national expansion in the 1980's, regardless of what Vince McMahon wants to take credit for himself. Hogan was the right guy at the right time. He had the combination of the superhero look, a natural charisma that, really, only The Rock has come close to rivalling in the past 30 years, and was one of the earliest masters of the microphone.

Even if Cyndi Lauper, MTV, etc. had agreed to get on board at the time of WrestleMania as they did, do we really think wrestling would have been anywhere as popular as it was with, say, Jimmy Snuka or Andre the Giant in the main role? Probably not.

I'll never forget in the summer of 1987, seeing Hogan in his famous battle against Paul Orndorff in front of 60-odd-thousand fans in Toronto. This was Hogan at his absolute peak, and even though there was a smattering of support for "Mr. Wonderful", the sound for Hogan's entrance was deafening. Deafening. You look up 'over' in the dictionary, and you'll have a reference to that match.

Hogan is WAY smarter than people give him credit for, too. How many other people in the wrestling business have survived as long as he has in a top or near to top role. Only one I can think of:

Flair contributed to the business in a very different way. He kept the regional wrestling promotions and even the NWA alive far longer than it probably would have been without him. His moves, his facial expressions, his mic skills and his reputation absolutely MADE the careers of his opponents and partners. You can probably name a dozen off the top of your head whose careers were bettered by being associated with Nature Boy.

And, like Hogan, he's still riding high 20 years later, still getting that crowd reaction, and still being placed at the top of, or near the top of, the card. That's something.

So if you were looking for the more valuable wrestler, I don't think you can have one without the other.





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G-B
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 03:57 PM Edit Post
Flair and Hogan will be forever linked through history, much like Austin-Rock, Hart-Michaels, etc.

And I think that’s the way it needs to be. Even though Hogan and Flair were in separate companies at the high points of their careers (different from the other pairs I listed), the mystique of them wrestling added to their legendary status.

In the end, personal preference wins out. I prefer Flair over Hogan, but I also recognize that without Hogan, pro wrestling would never have made it to its current level. Watching Hogan got me hooked 20 years ago, but Flair really made me enjoy watching during these 20 years.

It seems as though Flair will have more longevity, thanks to his willingness to step to the back and support the younger stars. Even though he has one of the biggest egos in the business, he seems to understand what it will take to keep the business moving forward.

To build on what Bulldog said: Wrestling couldn't have had one without the other.






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AKS
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 05:04 PM Edit Post
Flair did not book himself in his best feuds. That is totally wrong.

He was the NWA champion and had to go into the regional promotions and make their top guy look good, which he always did. He kept, not only the NWA and WCW alive, he kept regional promotions alive.

Jim Cornette made ag reat point on the Flair DVD - shortly before Turner bought Crocket, they were still selling out arenas in the south with Flair on top. WWE was selling out the North East, but WWE was hardly killing Crocket. They were expanding faster and hurt Crocket because he was always playing catch-up, but they were doing very well in the South, a place WWE was not doing well.

Flair recommended Steamboat. He does not take credit for reccomending Sting. He certainly did not want Luger. And let's not forget that Flair made Sting, Luger, Whindham etc. Without Flair working them, they weren't nearly as big stars.

Flair was in the middle of everything because he was the go-to guy.

Flair aboslutely did not ever hold down Foley. Look, i love Mick as much as the next guy, but Flair was bang on in his assesment of Foley in his book - not until Vince made jumping off a cage a great thing, did Mick become a star. He was pushed well in WCW, certainly above his talent level. If willingness to hurt himself is the measuring stick to greatness, then I know a lot of backyarders who should be world champion. Flair never held Foley down. Hell, he put over everyone, including Ron Garvin!

As for Bret's comments, it;'s funny that FLair says the same thing about Bret, that Bret would get hot if Flair tried to change up his match blueprint at all. In fact, I was recently told of a very funny exchange between the two the night Flair dropped to Hart in Saskatoon. They arguued over who would call. And apparently, this is fairly obvious in the tape of the match as Flair, at one point yells 'I'm Ric Flair, Wooooooo! And I get to call!' And then one of then said 'fine. let's see who gets blown up first.' and went into a series of grappling holds to start.

Hogan was made by Vince far more then Vince was made by Hogan. Hogan was nothing special. He was big, strong, looked ok, cut good promos and had a willingness to be a star. But he is not a diamond in the rough. In fact, Vince Jr tried desperately to convince his father to turn Billy Graham face years earlier and expand with him. If Hogan turned Vince down, Vince would have found his musclehead somewhere else. In fact, I dare say, if Vince had used a man with more wrestling skill, WWE would have expanded even larger, to Crocket's markets.

I agree that Hogan is a great. As is Flair. Think of it this way, if you could go back to 1980 and draft one of them, but not both, who would you take?

I'd take Flair, because with the same marketing, money, glitz and glamour behind him in WWF circa 1984, Flair would have been as big as Hogan. the fact that he is nearly as big as Hogan with so much less proves that.

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Blade
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 05:25 PM Edit Post
First off, sorry, no, Flair was NOT bang-on about Foley. Yes, Foley was never a scientific wrestler, that much is true. But it is not being a tubby jobber that made Foley a star; the HitC gave him a break, but he'd already beaten the Undertaker before that!

What got Foley was over were his promos, his character, his ability to connect with fans, and the storylines he helped create. And whether Flair likes it or not, that's part of wrestling too.

He's also full of it when he says Foley wasn't in demand anywhere until Vince "made" him. Right. Cause those Japs like Tajiri don't count, right, Naitch?

Really, if scientific wrestling is the only barometer to measure someone by, then frankly, Flair's very, very far from the top of the list.

Flair used his book to get even with anybody who'd publically questioned how great he was in any way. It's understandable, I suppose, but not very admirable, and I don't feel obliged to think he's right just because he's Ric Flair.

As for the point of the thread...Hogan. Who's the average person know about? Hogan. Not Flair. Who made wrestling what it is today? Hogan. Not Flair.

Hell, who was it that not only built the WWF and carried it on his back, but then went to WCW and was instrumental in making IT the leading promotion for the only time in its existence? Hogan. Not Flair.

If I had a wrestling promotion and I wanted it to SUCCEED, I'd pick Hogan. He simply had more impact on wrestling, by any standard of measurement. Sure, Flair is enormously influential and successful too...but so were Randy Savage and Shawn Michaels and a host of others who cannot seriously be compared to Hogan in terms of impact, popularity, or effect on the sport.

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AKS
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 05:55 PM Edit Post
Hogan did not carry a wrestling promotion on his back. Orndorf, Savage, Debiase, Hennig were all guys that made Hogan look like he was a superhero. They were all the Flair to Hogan. In Crockett land, they did things the opposite way, using a strong heel to make everyone look good. Crockett was just as successful in the south as WWF was in the north.

Foley did death matches in Japan.

And don't forget Flair worked with non-scientifics such as Luger, so I don;t think he has a problem with non-scientific workers.

Foley was pushed as a mid card worker in WCW. What did he want, the world title? Flair could not have worked with everyone. I bet Maxx payne wished he had a title too.

Flair also did not have the bookign stroke everyone thinks he did. He was one voice on a committee.

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Blade
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 06:13 PM Edit Post
Yes, Hogan did. WWF would have survived without Curt Hennig, without Paul Orndorff, without Ted DiBiase, without Randy Savage. It would have been poorer without them, and if all four of them weren't there, there might have been a big effect.

But without Hogan, the WWF would be unrecognisable. Even if it's a comparative loss, it still takes ALL FOUR of those guys to equal Hogan. And frankly, I doubt all four of them would have as big an effect as the loss of Hogan.

Yes, Foley did death matches in Japan. He did regular matches too. He did hardcore matches. He did all sorts of matches. And he was in big demand.

And Flair's said so many good things about Luger, right? Besides, he doesn't like Foley because Foley pointed out he made big mistakes as a booker and was personally dismissive of Foley's chances at the big time. Otherwise, I doubt he'd even have mentioned him.

Actually, the situation WAS that the booking commitee wanted to expand Foley's role in WCW because he was over, and Flair vetoed it. Steve Austin was a midcarder in WCW too. That no-talent hack.

Really, what booking stroke Flair had is irrelevent. He's wrong about Foley, and he's wrong because he's bitter that Foley dared criticise him and is thus hitting back. Much like he's dismissive of Hart, a far better scientific wrestler than Flair ever was, precisely because Hart dared say he wasn't that impressed with Flair's ring skills.

I mean, you don't seriously think that's a coincidence, do you? That he takes major shots at popular, influential, successful wrestler who all happen to have criticised him publically in recent memory?

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TarheelMike
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 06:20 PM Edit Post
I think to sum it all up, it goes back to what Blade said: who does the mainstream audience know? Hogan. However, because they are the mainstream audience, they aren't aware of all the details of the business.

For Vince McMahon's marketing concept of "Sports Entertainment," Hulk Hogan is clearly the guy. He put wrestling on the map in the 80's and made Vince a ton of money.

However, for those of us who prefer pro wrestling, Ric Flair will forever be "The Man, Whooo!" He's wrestled in more great matches than anybody in the history of the sport and is generally considered the greatest wrestler of all time.

But this is an apples and oranges argument...





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AKS
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 06:30 PM Edit Post
Actually, according to Flair, that is not what happened. if Flair is lieing, then there are a lot of people who could call him on it, so I don;t know why he would.

By the time Flair was on the bookign committee, Foley was suffering amnesia and living in a homeless shelter. Flair admits to not having a clue what to do with a character like that. He admits it. I remember that angle and can't really say that Foley was so over at the time. If I recall correctly, Foley admitted that when he came back from the homless shelter, the angle had fizzled.

What you don;t understand is, Hogan was hand picked by Vince. if Hogan had said no, Vince would have hand picked someone else. You're trying to lay the WWF's success at his feet. He was hot from 84-88. By 88, fans were cheering for Savage over Hogan. So you're talking 4 years here. His impact certainly lasted longer, but the fans were changing by then. They wanted better quality matches. They wanted more realistic based angles. Savage was cool. Debiase was cool. hennig was cool. Hogan was not. He kept taking breaks so he'd be fresh. WWE could have booked Steve Larmbardi in that role by then and made him a star - Vince built the entire WWF around making Hogan look good at that point. if he had run with Savage/Debiase on top instead and position Hennig as a top heel to Savage, he likely would have done just as good business.

And when Flair left, Hennig should have been pushed to that top heel role.

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Parvini
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 07:10 PM Edit Post
I still have absolutely no idea why the Hogan character was SO over but then many things about America baffle me (like what on earth is a Twinky bar??!). But the fact remains that it was OVER big time.

Contrary to what AKS has just said Hogan maintained his heat through 1988 all the way to 1992. Savage may have been the champ but everyone knew it was Hogan's belt - who got turned heel in 1989 Savage or Hogan? The fans DID turn on Hogan a number of times:

1. At the 5th Survivor Series when the UT wins the title. I have a TV taping and the crowd goes MAD! But, having said that, at Teusday in Texas a few days later they go equally mad when Hogan wins it back. Old school marks eh?

2. In the 1992 Royal Rumble when he protested at being eliminated - just came across as a cry baby and a bad sport. BUT he came back for some MAJOR pops at WM VIII and even more so (for some reason) at WM IX.

3. At the first King of the Ring the crowd was pretty happy to see him lose as is well documented by The Rick and Adam over at the OO mainsite.

Apart from these three occasions Hogan was the biggest draw and absolute number one face around. It's true that it was NWA style to have a heel champ who made everyone else look good. But didn't Hogan make Savage, Dibiase and Andre look good? If you watch a Hogan match he spends at least 90% of it taking punishment. Everytime he meets Dibiase he'll take a suplex, a piledriver, a backbreaker, the Million Dollar Dream, a couple of Million Dollar Fistdrops and so on before hulking up and winning. The same with Savage. And what happens? Hogan wins, loses none of his heat, and makes his opponent look GREAT in the process. He was much, much better at this than most people give him credit for, much better than say... The Ultimate Warrior who no-sold EVERYTHING or even Goldberg... I even think Stone Cold was guilty of no-selling sometimes (and don't even mention RVD). Ok, Hogan wasn't Mr. Perfect, but then he didn't need to be - he just needed to make the other guy look good, over come the odds, and win.

The fact is that Hogan COULD take a suplex or a backdrop. Maybe he had a poor reportaire himself but he'd be the first to tell you that Savage and Dibase was MUCH better technical wrestlers than himself. Add that to the fact that he was better-than-most on the mic, especially in terms of intensity, and had a perfect physique and Hogan was literally the only man for the job. Lex Luger prooved he couldn't do it, and who else was there?

Flair, on the other hand, is not, as is often claimed, the best technical wrestler. Neither is Flair the biggest physically. What Flair has (had) is two things: great psychology both in and out of the ring and the best promos known to man. Flair's ability to work the mic coupled with his sheer presence, rather than his in-ring talent, are what has made him a great.

Think about it: Steamboat, Dibiase, Savage, Curt Hennig, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, HHH are all CLEALRY better wrestlers than Flair. It's not even a point of debate. Each of those wrestlers listed have 100+ moves in their move sets and flair doesn't. Compare Flair's often wobbly vertical suplex to Dibiase's textbook effort or Benoit's awesome snap suplex. Compare his sloppy inverted atomic drop to Bret's precision masterpiece.
Get the picture? I love Flair, I mean I LOVE him but this is a fact. Sure he carried the likes of Garvin and Valentine to **** matches but I reckon any of the above could have.

What sets Flair and the rest apart is his character, his undeniable charisma, his arrogance. I reckon Dibiase, in the same spot, would have done the same. Bret Hart and Chris Benoit lack the mic skills. HHH has arguably has reached that plateu. Kurt Angle has the potential. Hennig had bad luck but also wasted his opportunities, he was perhaps a little too lightweight to be a major champion. Michaels, ditto, I don't really think that HBK is good enough in any catergory to be considered in the same breath as Flair. Savage was good in his own way but was limited by his strange behaviour and slightly odd in-ring style.

So what does all this say? Well, that both Hogan and Flair are one in a million, but both have their deficiancies (see my new thread for invidual ratings).

But it occurs to me that if Flair had not been around, Dibiase WAS in 1983 and he would have been in that spot, and would have pulled it off, albeit in a different way, but brilliant none the less. Who would have been there had Hogan not been around?

And on that bombshell I'll leave you.

[Edited on 5/7/2004 by Parvini]





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posted on 7-5-2004 at 07:32 PM Edit Post
I agree with a lot of what you have said, however...I did not mean to imply that Hogans days were over by 1988. But the tide was turning. Vince and company did everything they could to stop it.

Case in point...who was turned heel? Savage. Why? to feed him to Hogan. It certainly did not help Savage's career. In fact, i felt Savage looked much better in his feud with Flair (not just because he won).

Even the mark mags had to list Savage in the most popular rankingswhile also listing him as the most hated man on the planet for attacking Hogan. But the WWF media machine never ever allowed Hogan to be seen as anything less then a super human babyface.

Look at RR 92. The fans popped like mad when Sid eliminated Hogan. They booked like crazy when Hogan pulled Sid out (until the realised Flair had won). Buy a WWE DVD of that. They re-dubbed the video so the fans pop for Hogan and heel on Sid. Even the commentary is re-dubbed with Monsoon and Heenan heeling on Sid like crazy and putting Hogan over.

So why did Hogan walk into Wm 8 being cheered? Because the WWf machine battled back against the fans genuine desire to heel on him.

My point is, Hogan's era is defined by 1984 - 1988. A beautifully protrayed heel by Savage allowed a re-birth in 89, but the fans were 100% behind Warrior at WM VI. And cool heels that could work, liek Dibiase and Hennig only showed Hogan up.

It wasn't until Yokozuna that WWEfinally stopped fighting the fans and told Hogan to take a hike.

Flair reigned supreme for far longer. I think WWE would have survived Hogan's departure at any time. Crocket would not have survived Flairs.

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promoter2003
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 08:56 PM Edit Post
Yes, this is indeed the age old debate and I think it was answered by Ric Flair himself. Hogan was the man. Seriously, I don't understand when people say Vince would have found someone else to fill the position Hogan did in 1984-5. Yeah, if that was the case why did Vince have problems replacing Hulk Hogan for years and years until Steve Austin came along? Why didn't the Lex Express take off if everything is really up to the promotional skills of the wwe? How about the gameplan of the new generation where Vince had Diesel basically copy the Bruno title win forumla in MSG to lead a new boom, but failed miserably. How about crowning HBK as champ to lead the new generation in 1996? How about the opening the wwe had to bring in the Ruthless Aggression era with the animalistic Brock Lesnar? It's not that simple because the wwe did not reach Hogan levels under those marketing campaigns. The Attitude Era campaign began when Austin was on his way to the top. Was Austin at the right time and right place or did the company mold the company after Steve Austin's attitude with cuss words and anti-authority?

Remember Hogan was wanted by both the NWA and WWF in 1983 and Vince got Hogan because of the better money and the promise of world championship gold. Hogan was going to be at Starrcade in 1983, but Hogan jumped to the wwf. Now suppose the roles were reversed and Hogan made Starrcade and the NWA into the juggernaut the wwf was in the 80's. Would Hogan be in the right place and the right time as well? Hogan made it the right time and right place because he was the man who the promoters molded pro wrestling after. Do people remember the RIOT that happened in the AWA when Hogan did not beat Bockwinkle. A RIOT!

Do you know why Hogan was so over? He was really over because he was unlike anyone the wrestling world seen before as champion. Yeah, I know about the Superstar Billy Graham reign and the behind the scenes stuff there. I can safely say Hogan in 1985 was a physically superior athlete than Superstar was as champion. As Flair has said himself, people don't give enough credit to Hogan's mobility for a man his size.

Hogan's interviews were unique because they were so spaced out. You have to understand that Hogan's interview were suppose to seem like a superman taking on God-like natural forces. I agree that Hogan's match with Orndorff at the Ex and his match with Andre at WM 3 were the peaks of his popularity and that is why Vince booked those venues at the time he did. Hogan's "overness" started to slide because he beat all the odds by 1988. It was time for him to get a new obstacle and that was regaining the title he was wrongly robbed of.

I will address the times people point out where Hogan did not have his peak Hulkamania backing.

1. Survivor Series '91 against Taker
Yes, Taker did get his face pops, but people are also not stating that Undertaker was the hottest thing going at the time. Taker was also getting better pops than Ultimate Warrior at house shows in the year. That is why months later he was turned face for WM 8.

2. I have the original footage on tape and yes Hogan does good booed. The wwe tried to spin it as soon as the SNME special aired with Sid suddenly getting booed. Sid again, was like Undertaker in 1990-91. Fans were behind Sid who many thought was the second coming of Hogan. The booking leading to the Rumble portrayed this somewhat. Hogan for all intents and purposes was at the crossroads in 1991-1992, while new faces like Undertaker and Sid could have been guys to take the wwf to new levels. Don't forget the whole steroid thing going on at the time with Hogan lying on the Arsenio Hall show.

3. Hogan was DONE and should have stayed in retirement after WM 8, but the wwe as we know go back to the workhorse that use to get the job done. Vince has been doing this in the modern era. Just look at early 2003 for example with bringing back the old guard.

The reason Savage turned heel in 1989 was that it made more sense to do so. In some ways, Jesse Ventura pointed out things which could have showed Hogan was actually the heel in the whole storyline, but fans weren't about to turn on Savage. I think Savage's real problem was that he won the title with Hogan's help. With that I will say the wwe always did things to make Hogan look good, but that is what they are suppose to do with their wrestlers. Savage got the clean pins on the house show circuit to further the feud for money.

Hogan was cheered at WM 8 because the wwe made it seem like it was Hogan's retirement match. It also seemed that way because of all the steroid stuff going on and Hogan was just going to get the hell out of the fire. That is why Hogan got cheered. I agree that Hogan did work well with some seriously top heels of the time, but it doesn't take away the fact that Hogan was so over that fans paid to see him be the victor over the dastardly heels.

I think there are many things that went wrong with putting the title on Hogan in 1993. The biggest problem was that Hogan went internationally in public and said he won the wwf title so many times it became like his toy. He didn't want to defend the thing on a constant basis as before in his prime. That was the message that was sent to Vince Mcmahon more than fans telling Vince not to promote Hogan. BTW, I agree Hogan was done for all intents and purposes in 1993, but the wwf was in bad shape with no one to replace him.

Flair imo supremed for about the same time as Hogan did. The rising popularity of wrestling came and went in the same timeframe as Flair helping to be apart of the big boom beginning with the Starrcade show in 1983. Flair and Hogan started to dwindle mainstream wise about the same time in 1991-1992 imo and that's why the draw of their dream match wasn't what it could have been in say 1986-1987. Let's do say Flair lasted longer(and I don't), but that was so because Hogan was much more exposed over the same timeframe than Ric Flair was. The wwf was all over the place, while the nwa wasn't. It was all over the place because of Hogan being the bigger star to pull fans in the cities all over. This is not to take away anything from what Flair brought to the business though. He has brought a lot as we know, but if we go by picking one over the other for who is the bigger star and had more impact on the landscape of the business it is Hogan.

[Edited on 7-5-2004 by promoter2003]

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Y2G
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 09:21 PM Edit Post
I can't possibly go into great details about this denate. Also, most of the srguments were made to both sides. I'll just say that we can only say how much of an impact Hogan made, after it was done. He definitely made a great impact and i'll give him credit for that.

But, try to clean your head from him. Try to imagine that he never existed. Do you really think that he's the only one that could have been used?

No says I. It's hard to ignore his existance and his contribution for bringing the pro wrestling to the main stream. But if you try and shut it off, You will realize that there might have been others who could have been just as influencial as Hogan.

The names were mentioned in previous posts. If one or two of them was given the chance, I trust that the Fed would not have been to far from where it is now.





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AKS
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 10:01 PM Edit Post
The reason why WWF had trouble replacing Hogan later on (Luger) was because the reason fans turned on Hogan was because they wanted something different.

if fans still wanted a big, musclehead with limited skills, they could have just kept Hogan.

I don;t recall Savage ever gettign a clean pin on Hogan, houseshow or otherwise.

Sid could very easily have replaced Hogan in 91/92. He was insanely over with the fans and much more athletic then Hogan. WWE purposly turned Sid heeled, forced his heel turn on the fans to try to keep Hogan face. And then they fed Sid to a returnign Warrior. Warrior was soon gone again and thus two good opportunities to replace Hogan (Sid & Warrior) were wasted.

Hogan would never have lasted in the NWA because the southern based fans were born and bred on more scientific wrestling. That;s what they loved. hogan would have been stretched by the boys and booed out of the buildings.

And Flair's popularity did not wane when the boom period was over. Remember, he was in WWE in 92 when Hogan left. And in the fall, he went right back to WCW and promptly saved Starrcade 92 by beating Vader for the strap.

Flair was always on top in WCW. Even during the Monday Night Wars, Flair was sent out every single week at 8:00 to cut a promo because that's when RAW came on the air and WCW knew that less fans would turn the channel. Hell, even after Bischoff tried to run Flair out of town, he was eventually given the World title again (and even well he was out, he was heavily rumoured to be heading to WWF to become Vince's Corporate Champion that eventually went to The Rock).

Flair's longevity speaks for itself.

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promoter2003
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 10:12 PM Edit Post
Well, look at it this way. Has the wwe reached the plateaus it had without Hogan or Austin on top? It can be argued that it COULD have, but the fact is it hasn't ever happened. You take into account they never existed and we got the slow periods of the last 20 years. We can look at the apathy of Diesel getting somewhat of the Hogan/Bruno formula push of squashing the champ and having a lengthy reign. It basically went nowhere. Look at the Luger push of 1993 similar to the patriotic theme of Hogan of 1984 that went nowhere. We can go into hypothetics, but the truth remains that the men who did revolutionize wrestling revolutionized wrestling, while others didn't.

As have been said before. Dibase was actually a Ric Flair type wrestler for Vince. Ultimate Warrior was supposedly passed the torch in 1990. It was said that Slaughter or Snuka would get the push of Hogan's in 1984-1985 if Hogan didn't sign. Look at what these men did in the same timeframe compared to Hogan. If you take Hogan or Flair out of the 80's you have a completely different landscape. This alone says these two were/are irreplaceable, while the others were.

The same longevity stuff with Flair can be said with Hogan of course. It's not like Hogan just vanished into the bottomless pit of former wrestlers after WM 8. We know Hogan was sort of reborn in 1996. Hogan and the nWo was the driving force behind raw and the wwf changing.

[Edited on 7-5-2004 by promoter2003]

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microplay_24
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posted on 7-5-2004 at 11:15 PM Edit Post
Without a shadow of a doubt, both Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were the top guys in their respective companies, and this could not possibly be argued. When this debate about revolutionizing the wrestling world comes up though, Hulk Hogan was undoubtedly the one who did it.

Remember, Vince McMahon’s dream of the WWF was to lean it completely towards ‘Sports Entertainment’, something his father probably never dared, nor thought of. Hulk Hogan was the right guy, at the right time, and he certainly fit the bill for Vince and his company. Vince really was a genius here, because he used Hogan’s movie credentials at the time to further him to new heights, and boy did he do that ever. Then, it was Hogan who basically worked like a bitch to do what McMahon had told him to do.

The result of ‘Hulkamania’, and the success and revolution of the wrestling industry was the result of the ideas of Vince McMahon, and the hard work and practical aspect of these ideas by Hulk Hogan. So really, it was both who get credit.

Now, in terms of people helping Hogan rise to the top, there was none better than Andre the Giant. If Hulk Hogan was the ‘new’ super hero of wrestling, beating Andre was the proof in showing it. Talk about timing.

I think Vince was smart enough to know when to launch his ideas in the wrestling business, but timing ended up being what made help things become better. Andre was there to help Hogan rise to supremacy, and then later, the re-birth of Hulkamania was helped completed by Randy Savage.

So, in comparing Flair and Hogan, Flair was NOT the top Sports Entertainer in the world of wrestling, it was only Hogan. Vince wanted to revolutionize the industry with the idea that wrestling SHOULD be sports entertainment, and that’s what led the sport to where it is today.

Flair however, was just a top guy of an industry, NOT a guy who really revolutionized the sport. The difference between Hogan and Flair I believe is that one revolutionized the business, while the other just stayed on top of it (Flair).

So, you’ve got two guys who were on top of their respective companies, so certainly, they were the greatest thing in wrestling. But if one was to have single handedly revolutionized the sport, folks, that was ONLY Hulk Hogan.

The confusion in comparing Hogan and Flair is that many believe they were in many ways, the same. They were NOT. They both did their part in pro wrestling, but only one single handedly changed it, and that was Hulk Hogan.

In my opinion, Hogan and Flair can really only more logically be compared in terms of their differences as opposed to their similarities, because really, each one contributed to the sport of wrestling in their own ways, despite both being considered #1 in the industry.





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G-B
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posted on 7-6-2004 at 04:58 PM Edit Post
Okay, I don't have time to read every long post, so I might repeat something.

But Flair is the COMPLETE wrestler.

He can:
1. Wrestle with the best of them
2. Brawl with the best of them
3. Give great promos
4. Believably sell any move to make his opponent look like gold
5. Get the crowd in the palm of his hand, and make then turn him face or heel in a dime
6. Maintain a presence in wrestling that can never be matched, only imitated (*ahem* Triple H)

I honestly believe we owe wrestling to Hulk Hogan. Yes, he was the right guy in the right place at the right time, but he took that ball and ran with it, and no matter how many times Vince tried (Diesel), no one replaced Hogan. The fact that Hogan was never adequately replaced makes me believe that he was more than just lucky in achieving his success.

But Flair is the all time, greatest wrestler, ever. Triple H will never surpass him (he’s just not good enough), Kurt Angle is too injured to try, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels peaked during a low point in the business, Steve Austin was mired by injuries/wife beating/walking out, and The Rock will always be more movie star than wrestler in the general public eye.

But “Nature Boy” Ric Flair will always be the man.






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posted on 7-6-2004 at 05:50 PM Edit Post
Flair SAVED Raw last night. Absolutely saved it. His character, promos, comedic timing, work rate - everything. He is still the man.

My only hope in this business is that Flair gets one last run with the strap. He deserves it and I think a packed house would literally break down in tears to see the man win it one last time.

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Blade
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posted on 7-6-2004 at 06:44 PM Edit Post
Right. Let's give a 50 year old man whose moveset can be counted on your fingers and can barely beat Maven the World Title, because he's entertaining to watch in a non-wrestling capacity.

Then again, hey, Chavo Classic was entertaining outside the ring too. The WWE should hire him back and give HIM the world title!

Because god knows, both of them need it a lot more than...oh...say...Chris Jericho. Or Benoit. Or Guerrero. And you know Ric Flair, World Champion, is just what the WWE needs to move forward and build a new generation of superstars. Hey, maybe they should get back Hogan and Nash and throw them into the World Title hunt too!

Maybe not, eh?

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microplay_24
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posted on 7-6-2004 at 07:14 PM Edit Post
You know, the comparison of Chavo Classic to Ric Flair is irrelevant, because the idea is that even though Flair is in his 50s as well, giving him the world title would make it amazing to believe, because he has done everything in the sport, so why not a miracle run then?? Since he is, and always will be THE MAN, it would be pretty cool to witness one last world title run, even if it was for a brief time.

But realistically, I do believe his time is past and done. If there really was one last ounce of hope in Flair winning the world title, it would have been last year, when he had that brief feud over the world title against Triple H on RAW a year or so back, in which he lost. If he’d won the title right then and there, even for a brief time, it would have been cool. To me though, that was his last straw.

It’s good to see Flair still wrestling, but he has no place in the world title picture anymore in my opinion.


[Edited on 7-7-2004 by microplay_24]





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AKS
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posted on 7-6-2004 at 08:53 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Blade
Right. Let's give a 50 year old man whose moveset can be counted on your fingers and can barely beat Maven the World Title, because he's entertaining to watch in a non-wrestling capacity.

Then again, hey, Chavo Classic was entertaining outside the ring too. The WWE should hire him back and give HIM the world title!

Because god knows, both of them need it a lot more than...oh...say...Chris Jericho. Or Benoit. Or Guerrero. And you know Ric Flair, World Champion, is just what the WWE needs to move forward and build a new generation of superstars. Hey, maybe they should get back Hogan and Nash and throw them into the World Title hunt too!

Maybe not, eh?


No, i would still say he deserves the run. Hogan did when he came back. The story called for it and a story could easily point Flair towards to title

I will say, you do appear to be an idiot, however.

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Parvini
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posted on 7-19-2004 at 12:00 AM Edit Post
I think a Flair title run would be a little far-fetched nowadays, surely we're counting the days to Naitch's retirement from the ring.





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