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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 01:15 AM
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Default State Your Case: Better NWA World Title Run? Flair or Race?

I'm creating a new series that may not make it past this original post, but it's a start.

State Your Case is a simple concept. State your case as to why what you believe is true. In this case, who had the better run with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title? Harley Race or Ric Flair?

THE CASE FOR RACE

Harley Race wrestled in the late 60's to early 80's and was champion on seven different occasions during this era. Race defeated the likes of the Briscoes', Terry Funk, Dory Funk, Jr., Jerry 'The King' Lawler, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and a host of other top tier talent. Race went to each territory, wrestled 45-60 minutes a night, and walked out the champion. Race was known as a legit tough guy who would wear you out and use his superior conditioning and meanness to beat you. His reigns were also consistent.

THE CASE FOR FLAIR

Ric Flair was NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion for the better part of the 80's and some of the 90's. Flair lost to some questionable opponents (Kerry Von Erich and Ronnie Garvin), but also beat the best in Harley Race, along with Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Terry Funk, Antonio Inoki, Sting, Lex Luger, and Barry Windham, just to name a few. Flair was the '60 minute man' due to his famous 60 minute time limit draws in many territories. He escaped with the belt constantly during his reign thanks in large part to the dreaded Four Horsemen. He was the face of the NWA for years and was unbeatable at times during his title reigns.

So who has the better run with the NWA title? Harley Race or Ric Flair?
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:51 AM
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Awesome thread! This is an old school question that many of the younger readers probably won't care too much about but for me, a older fan, this is great! Harley Race was a wrestler. He didn't have the great mic skills that Flair had. Race did his talking in the ring and he WAS the 70's to many fans of the era. When Flair came hit the big time, really sucked me into the world of wrestling. I looked forward to his promos AND his matches. Flair took wrestling to the next level for me so for that, his NWA title runs were mor important but you have to know that without Harley Race, Flair may not have made the same impact when he did. Both were GREAT performers but I go with Flair.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM
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First, Kerry Von Erich wasnt a questionable opponent. He was extremely talented, great look, if not for drug issues and his 1986 motorcycle accident he would have been as big as Randy Savage, bigger than Luger & Sting.

As for the comparison, both men wrestled different styles but were very successful, carrying the promotion to major financial success for a decade. In the end I'll vote for Flair, he was able to be a star in multiple eras and able to compete as a a very popular good guy (see Starrcade 83, Great American Bash 85 & 89) as well as a villain. Maybe Im not giving Race enough credit but Flair did help elevate multiple stars to legit main event status. Flair more than anyone made Von Erich, Luger & Sting, his 85 feud vs Nikita Kolloff established him as a legit main event star who wrestled at the top of the card vs Magnum TA, Tully Blanchard, and Luger after feuding with Flair.

People also forget how hard Flair's schedule was, he routinely took bookings in Japan, Puerto Rico, etc plus when allowed wrestled in other major US promotions. He wrestled in title vs title matches vs WWF Champ Bob Backlund in 83 and AWA Champ Rick Martel in Tokyo in 85. From 81-85 Flair averaged more matches per year than there were days due to double bookings on weekends and multiple matches at TV Tapings.

Great talents, lots of success, I vote Flair, he was more versatile, wrestled during a financial boom period for the industry, and I believe he elevated more new talent.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:39 AM
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Ok, you know it's pretty tough to pick one, the fact that flair wrestled in the boom era doesn't mean he's better than Race, I mean it isn't harley fault the era that he was born and competed wasn't the "boom of the 80's" which I don't care at all, what he did in wrestling is superb and is better than almost anybody in wrestling today.

Now to the facts

FLAIR: BEST MIC EVER, LITTLE BIT MORE AGILE, BETTER COMBINATION OF THE WRESTLING/SHOWMANSHIP

RACE: BETTER VILLAIN, VERY IN YOUR FACE SADISTIC PROMOS, TOUGH, JUST A MASTER OF PSYCHOLOGY

REALLY HARD TO PICK ONE AS I SAID, BUT YOU KNOW HARLEY HELPED MAKE FLAIR WITH THAT INCREDIBLE ANGLE FOR STARRCADE 83, WITH THE 25,000 DOLLAR BOUNTY AND ALL OF THAT STUFF, WAS AMAZING, BUT FLAIR ALSO PUT OVER A LOT OF PEOPLE IN WINDHAM, STING, LUGER, NIKITA, CARLOS COLON CREATING THE UNIVERSAL TITLE IN PTO RICO, I MEAN IS JUST AMAZING.

EVERYBODY THAT KNOWS ME, KNOWS MY FAV OF ALL TIME IS MR. FLAIR, SO I PICK FLAIR, BUT NOT FOR MUCH AND RESPECT THE HELL OUT OF RACE, BOTH LEGENDARY PERFORMERS!!!
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:58 PM
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Default Ric or Harley?

As Rated R Champion stated, Naitch came right at the beginning of the mega wrestling organizations where he could be seen worldwide on cable tv every week. He also came at a time when you had territories drying up and the big two loading up on talent which gave him a constant supply of new competitors without even leaving Charlotte.

Yes, Ric had the heavy schedule with travel, but if you read Harley Race's book, so did he. Yes, Ric helped make Sting, Luger and Nikita Koloff along with agreeing to some transitional champions some of us wouldn't have picked. But so did Harley. Yes, Ric was the face of pro wrestling for years, in some cases still is and I'm guessing Race was the same, but I'm not old enough to confirm. I base this on solely the number of times the NWA Committee voted to make him the champion.

If we add in where the person came from to make it, that goes to farmboy, high school dropout Race. Mic work and showmanship of course goes to Naitch. If we look at who I would rather hang out with, during the days of the Horseman it would of course had been Naitch, but today, I think I'd spend more time with Race getting to know more about the business itself.

Wow, after all that, I still can't decide.
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