Out With The Old, Who Knew? by TheOneBigWill

Discussion in 'Columns Lounge' started by TheOneBigWill, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. TheOneBigWill

    TheOneBigWill [This Space for Rent]

    May 28, 2007
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    Note: This was an article I wrote BEFORE No Way Out, of 2008. When I wrote this, the Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair match was not officially confirmed. I just felt that since this was originally suppose to be my first article, I'd still post it for everyone to see.

    One on One with Will:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my first official article for Wrestlezone. Please allow me to state openly and up front, any views, opinions, statements, or remarks that I make are my own and have no connection to anyone from the website. Any offensive nature, or outlandish remarks that are said by me, are out of my own accord. Now then, on with the first topic.

    Out With The Old, Who Knew? by TheOneBigWill

    Its more than apparent that in today's Wrestling industry, the top two companies (World Wrestling Entertainment, and Total Non-Stop Action) are out to best serve their own personal needs and goals. However, at what cost will that effect them in the long run? Its been said in recent weeks that W.W.E. is being naive and even blind by not "pushing" their younger talent, but instead continuing to give top spots, and high profile storylines to their older talent, that are for the better part with one foot out the door, on the highway to retirement.

    The perfect and prime example of all of this, would be the current Ric Flair storyline/angle. In which Ric Flair must win, in some manner, each of his following matches otherwise he must retire. Now the question truly needs to be asked, Why? Why would you push someone his age, on an undefeated streak? Much less over your best top, young, talent?

    Now please understand I'm holding a great deal of respect for the man that basically paved the way for a lot of the newer talent. However, there comes a time when the proverbial "torch" must be handed down to someone who will continue to be the Golden ticket, so to speak, to continue carrying the company in years to come. Ric Flair is one year and some change away from being 60 years old, (according to Wikipedia) so I ask the question again. Why continue to allow someone, who has a great risk of literally falling dead in a Professional Wrestling Ring, the ability to get clean victories over your fresh, young and future talent? Talent like M.V.P., and Mr. Kennedy? Who by definition of "New Breed" are the two top guys who seem set and primed to take the reigns of the company, for the future of its business.

    I understand that when you compare all the storylines that are currently happening right now, this one isn't exactly "the" main storyline, however the shear fact that it is held in such a high light, and added onto that, Ric Flair hasn't really been challenged remotely by anyone from his generation, or the generation after him.

    All of that basically leads to saying, in the W.W.E.'s mind, they feel a 60 year old man still can go out, and out perform better than the talent they're assumably going to hand the company over to, to lead them into the future. In other words, to put a fine point on it. W.W.E. is NOT comfortable with assuming their new batch of talent, can be anything that their 80's version was. And to be quite honest, to me, thats a direct slap in the face of anyone who is under the age of frankly, 35, who believes they could be anything big in Professional Wrestling.

    Now to put and ending on this specific part of my discussion, I'm not saying Ric Flair doesn't deserve his tremendously fair share of respect for everything he's done. And whether any of you like it, or dislike it, there will NEVER be another man like him. He has set standards in Pro Wrestling, and he has been a cornerstone in this industry, that will never be forgotten. But that simply leaves me with the original point, why continue to push someone who's already made a name for themselves, when you can instead take this golden opportunity, to push your newer, unknown even, talent. To allow them to build their own legacy, instead of continuing to pad an already great one.

    Now this slowly connects with the next topic, or rather issue, that I have with the Old vs. New story. And that is, the rumors of Shawn Michaels being the one, who'll in time, possibly at Wrestlemania, be the man to "end" Ric Flair's career. Once again, I find myself simply asking, Why? Shawn Michaels at this point in his career will undoubtably go into the Hall of Fame for just as many legendary accomplishments as Ric Flair, so why allow him the highlight of "ending" Ric Flair's legacy?

    To me, this is something that should've by all intensive purposes happened 10 years ago, when Shawn Michaels was still on top of the World Wrestling Federation (at the time) and Ric Flair, by all means, should've been on his last leg then. It should've been then, that they allowed the "torch" to be passed to Shawn Michaels, but instead, they've prolonged this issue.. in which the guys from the 80's never truly passed anything to hardly anyone from the 90's, and now, when guys from the 90's should truly be preparing to pass everything to the next Generation of stars, we seem to be a decade behind in how things should be.

    So if you ask me personally, with all the respect in the world to guys like Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels. I simply don't feel either one, should be allowed the ability in doing this, when its only hurting the younger talent, by more or less causing them to slowly age themselves.. and rot in the midcard section, without any purpose, or direction.

    Now, the one difference that I definately want to point out, is Shawn Michaels still has the ability to go out in front of millions and put on a show that can even eclipse that of any of the new talent on the current roster. Ric Flair doesn't have that ability anymore, because times have changed, and what he once did that captivated an audience, no longer even makes them cheer or boo any longer. In todays world, unfortunately most of the wrestling viewers will take your average Ric Flair match and use it for a bathroom break, or merchandise run. That should speak volumes to the company, about why they need to end this angle, instead of continuing to draw it out, just so it can end on their "Biggest Show of the Year."
  2. jpfizzle

    jpfizzle Pre-Show Stalwart

    Aug 5, 2007
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    All in all Will good article, well written and some strong points, I often find you have a way with words and am mythed that you dont go into journalism quite frankly, that being said, not all the points made I agree with :p

    I expect a huge HUGE push for the younger wrestlers in WWE this year, the likes of kennedy, CM Punk, Morrison and MVP will all be bought into the main event making it the most new stars in the main event we've had in a long while, I dont think WWE is being blind, just careful. They dont want to push people too quickly, think of this as a transitional period, we are about to move into the Orton/ Edge/ Kennedy era rather than say the Trips/ Flair/ Taker and Michaels era... think of Batista and Cena as two guys in the middle of this transition.

    The retirement angle was original, different and has really given Flair back some of the credibility he was loosing. Some of the matches were toilet breaks as the outcome was obvious, but he didn't always get clean wins, I seem to remember a lucky count out, and the odd low blow/illegal move here and there.

    IMO Kennedy and Flair have alot in common, Loud, Obnoxious, Platinum blonde with a cathphrase, the proverbial torch being passed onto kennedy would have been very very big... however, it may be taking it's time but a push for the likes of kennedy and MVP will come, particuly now Flair is out of the picture. It was good to see Flair show who's boss to the youngsters, and it's a testimony to the respect they had for Flair that they went ahead and let him go over despite his age. Change will come, theres no need to rush it.

    It added intrest to the mid-card, Id rather see this angle than alot of the other mid card crap we are fed, for example this is/ was more intresting than rhodes earning hollys respect, if it had been rhodes earning Flairs respect then that would have been much more worthwhile and intrest, Flair added alot of credibiltiy to the mid card and I feel he has left the WWE in a really good shape. The WWE in good shape I mean.
    Flair is not any old 60 year old man, and this last yeear should stand out on it's own, a seperate, epilouge chapter to his career. I dont believe WWE are uncomftable with there new batch, I just think they are waiting for Flair to retire to make enough space for them... like I said, think of this as a transitional period, now, after wrestemania, WWE is in a really strong state, with true depth to his roster, the new batches time will come, but up until mania the last few months belonged to Flair. I have been turned into a Flair mark from them if that's anything to go by. Mania was the perfect time to retire Flair, and the long, long build up to this match and the angle was worth it.

    Ric Flair put over alot of people in the time before this angle came about. Just think of it as a closing chapter, people shouldnt look back on the career and say "yeah he was good, but near the end he was just there to make up the numbers and put people over." they should say "yeah he was good, he was still going over people right up to the very end!"

    Shawn Michaels deserved to end the career, Flair is a close friend, Flair has given so much to the buisness that to have someone new go over as part of his retirement is disrespectful and not really neccisairy. people like kennedy and MVP will get there push, just let these guys like Flair and Michaels create some more great moments on there way out. The end of the Michaels/ Flair match was touching... a Wrestlemania moment, it would not have worked with anyone else.."[/QUOTE]

    A fair point... but I think because of it we are left with a strong Roster who have the potential to steer WWE into a whole new direction, I actually think it's an exciting time to be a WWE fan again.

    That's what these columns are for, your opinions, and kudos Will, you have presented your points really well, I've had great fun putting my input into the things you have said.

    Yeah, I know you wrote this long before Wrestlemania, but following the reaction Flair got at Mania, and the touching ceremony on RAW, you have to have changed your minds. WWE got it right on this one. The end to Flairs career and the angle and storylines has, for my money been one of the most positive things so far this millenium! They didnt mess it up like the invasion angle, they truly gave him a memorable send off, with Taker and Shawn arguably retiring within the next few years, this will be hard to top.
    TheOneBigWill likes this.
  3. Cage917r

    Cage917r Pre-Show Stalwart

    Feb 24, 2008
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    Great article, well written, here are some of my opinions on it:

    Regarding the lack of young talent being pushed: I agree with your point that up til now the younger talent has not received the pushes they need to be receiving. Guys like HHH/Taker/HBK are not going to be around forever, but I also think that this will be a year in which a number of younger talents get there push. I think guys like CM Punk, Kennedy and MVP will all be in the main event title picture by the end of the year and expect one of them to be holding either the WWE Title or WHC by the end of the year. And while wondering why it has taken so long, WWE has been ready to push Kennedy in the past and things always go wrong(injury or suspension), so they have tried, it just hasn't worked out yet.

    Regarding the Flair storyline-I think that the Ric Flair retirement storyline was given to Flair out of respect from WWE. I mean Ric Flair is arguably the greatest of all time, I think WWE really wanted to show there appreciation to him, by letting him go out with a bang. More or less I think this storyline was a sign of respect and the WWE saying thank you to the Nature Boy.

    Regarding HBK going vs. Flair-Again I agree that this was a great chance to propel the likes of Kennedy or MVP to main event status, but I think again it was a sign of respect to the Nature Boy. Instead of having him lose to a young guy, they let him lose to the showstopper, let him lose to one of his good friends, it was simply a sign of respect from WWE saying we want you to go out looking as good as possible.

    I agree with your point that Michaels has the ability to put on a better show than any of the young talent currently on the roster. This is another reason why I think they chose him, although it wasn't pushed as the main event, in most peoples minds it was, and out of any wrestler currently employed by WWE, I think that Michaels is the one that could get the best out of Flair, which is what everyone wanted to see.

    All in all, this was a great article. I agreed with most of your points on the young talent needing to be pushed and think that you really chose a great way to write it. I really look forward to reading your next article...Great Job.

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