Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Sure, everyone (even me) knows that wrestling is fake. Outcomes of matches are predetermined, feuds are scripted, hated enemies frequently hang out together once they leave the ring, etc.

I recently got a great inside look at all of this via the very entertaining book, Ric Flair: To Be the Man. Flair (pictured above in the clutches of Dusty Rhodes) explores his 30-year history in the wrestling business thoroughly, if not in the most brilliant prose style. The book (a New York Times bestseller, according to the cover) reads like you're listening to Flair wax nostalgic over the course of one long brag-fest, yet so much of the information is intriguing.

The line between real-life conflicts and the foes his in-ring persona battled is often quite blurred. Shrewd promoters have capitalized on Flair's endless charisma, as well as his ability to hold a grudge to the grave. Learning the back story to many of the matches and plots I witnessed as an impressionable "mark" (a fan who believes wrestling is real) was great fun.

One thing that surprised me was learning how delicate Flair's ego could be; dropping the championship belt to an opponent who hadn't paid his dues seems to have brought him a great deal of genuine anguish. It is clear, however, that he truly loves the wrestling business - despite the frequent backstabbing and professional jealousy that is part and parcel of it.

Weird but true: Flair's trademark "Woooooo!" - a crowd-inciting vocalization - is, in fact, trademarked! Is this possible? I think I said "Woooooo!" just the other day, though in an entirely different context. But still: am I liable for having uttered this, uhm, "word"?


Blogger yournamehere said...

I used to watch serious redneck rasslin' from Memphis featuring Jerry "The King" Lawler, Bill "Superstar" Dundee, and "Dirty" Dutch Mantel. It was great because these guys were only kinda in shape. They were muscular I guess but still had giant guts, kind of like offensive linemen in football.

12:38 AM  

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