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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Hitman vs. The Nature Boy: The way I see it!
July 27, 2004 by Angel Martinez


Much has been said about the off camera feud of these two wrestling legends, wish instead of makes fan interested, makes us sick of how wrestling is drowning in the shadow of McMahon and Co. Non of this Icons should be ventilating this crap in public and perhaps they should shake hands and forget about it. However, I'm gonna make a 10 points match to declare a winner:

BACKGROUND- Everybody knows that Ric Flair comes from the Mid Atlantic and Southern Indy wish is was as good as anything going on right now, with real wrestling and gimmicks well done. Mid-card players were way much better than most champions nowadays. Bret Hart is the Ultimate definition of the Dungeon, and Hart battles everything Canada has to offer, wish it was Crème de la Crème. Both has memorable feuds and only a coin would resolve this. DRAW

TECHNICHAL SKILLS- Flair is an above average worker and his 16 reigns are not coincidence. The Naich is a little bit repetitive in his choreograph but still pulls a match with almost anyone. Bret is in the top 5 of all time (in my mind) in wrestling technique but don't be fool, he can also be grunge when he need to. Ask Steve Austin and Yokozuna (RIP) about that side of Hart. WINNER HART .

QUALITY OPPONENTS- That's depend on when you start watching wrestling, and since I'm kind of old school, I guess Battle Hartley Race, Von Erichs, Carlos Colon, Bruiser Brody and Dusty Rhodes are better opponents than Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Yokozuna, Owen or Damn Goldberg. Ok, those Flair defeated are done by now in the other hand the other 5 are almost done as well. WINNER FLAIR.

BETTER GIMMICK- Is the Woooo vs. the shades, the golden hair vs. the grease hair, the silky white vs. the pink, the 4 Horseman vs. the Hart Foundation. God everything is even to me besides I really likes the Woooo. WINNER FLAIR.

QUALITY CHAMPION- Both wrestle in the same companies and pretty much they wrestler over the world. It is unfair to say wish one is a better champion when you have a 16 times world champion in Flair and a multiple World, Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion. So I wont diminish those reigns. DRAW.

BETTER PARTNERS- Everybody knows that Flair is not a Tag Team kind of guy, but The 4 Horseman are the epitome of what a wrestling faction should be. The Hart Foundation with the Anvil and the mouth of the south were more entertainment and well balance. In my book I prefer an Anvil vs. Arn or Mongo. WINNER HART.

CHARISMA- This one is unfair, or better said one-sided, since The Nature Boy is all charisma and he can enamor the audience just with his presence. Bret always need a sidekick and his mic skills are average as best. WINNER FLAIR.


BETTER MATCHES- I'm not going to put every single wrestler or match of this two colossus but I would say that Flair can entertain but Hart can amuse you. I can't forget that Yokozuna battle or the Montreal screw job. Ric could battle anyone, Bret can make anyone better, even Goldberg (Damn Goldberg). I really like The Nature Boy but when it comes to scientific, technique and quality the Pink and Black shines even more. WINNER HART.

ICON- They Both are the presidents of their fan clubs. Flair says he's the best of all time and Hart proclaims that he is the best there is, the best there was and the best there will be. So who's the better Icon, the answer is: DRAW.

Damn it, it still tied and I don't wanna keep writing, but you can resolve this. Send your feedback and let me know who's the best of the best, because for me is a tie game and that's the way I see it!

PD- 10 years ago the world lost a great wrestler, someone that put fear in opponents hearts and a smile in my face. Bruiser Brody died at the peak of he's career and the killer is still loose, Damn Invader #1.

by Angel Martinez..


John Skender wrote:
Great Column Angel.

In early 81, I was watching Stu Hart's stampede wrestling which began to air in British Columbia. Being a die hard fan of the 70's "all star wrestling " promotion with Kiniski, Bulldog brown, John Quinn, Dutch Savage, et al, I was amazed at what pro wrestling was really all about when the stampede show came to town. I had never heard of the dynamite kid, Bret Hart, Bruce Hart, Archie gouldie, Bad news Allen, Kerry Brown, Mr Hito, Leo Burke etc, but these guys put on such an incredible show from top to bottom, that vintage stampede tapes are in demand around most places in the world.

During this time, Bret Hart was invoved in the following matches:

Dynamite Kid - In my opinion, the greatest wrestler to ever put on a pair of boots in the world ( then and now). The ferocity, pace and wrestling skill of these two was unbelievable. Calgary fans liked their wrestling stiff and believe me, you could hear the shots in Vancouver! The wrestling holds and moves were years ahead of their time, with mouthfuls of blood and 30 - 60 minute time limits the norm. if todays fans get a chance to see some of these matches, they will make most modern main events seem pale by comparision.

Archie Gouldie - Aka the Mogolian Stomper. When in Calgary, this man was an arch villain, always wanting to beat the %^&* out of Bret. Hard hitting, long, grueling battles where brawling was the main ingredient. These matches showcased Bret's ability brawl with the best. classic stuff.

Kerry Brown - Probably the one wrestler who should have been world class but never was. Incredibly talented with pure wrestling skill and tougher than a nail coffin to boot. These matches were so realistic that theres actually a tape of Brown tko'ing a fan who decided to enter the ring ( this was common in those days). Most people thought that "fixing" matches between these two was about 25% and the rest was for real, thats how good they were.

Bad news allen - No one told this guy that wrestling was a show. Bad news took the entire roster of legit tough guys in stampede ( most of which had to be to survive the dungeon) and kicked the living &^*( out of all of them. The matches with Bret were so stiff that fans would actually cringe when bad news got on a roll. This must have tought Bret that fear was not a part of this brutal game, as he survived these matches without braking bones ( i think). This showed me that Bret was as tough as anyone in ring, and it showed in later years in the WWF as the hart foundation.

These were incredible years and the best wrestling I have ever seen, anywhere in the world. Japan comes very close, but were talking about Hart/Flair, so I'll stick to the topic. As much I respect the Ric Flair of the 80's, for pure wrestling explosiveness, he cannot come close to Bret Hart during this era.

When stampede closed down, there was about a 2 year break until Crockett's NWA hit the airwaves in Vancouver. Holy *( )& , finally a wrestling show that comes close to stampede! To see Ric flair during these glory days ( and others), was an event that i could not bear to miss each Saturday night. This guy oozed charisma, and watching him wrestle Ron Garvin ( ouch), Magnum TA, Wahoo, Ricky Steamboat ( incredible stuff) and others, and then use the microphone as weapon to draw even more heat was fantastic stuff. This guy was known as the 60 minute man, and he cranked with the best. truly one of the best in the world.

The big difference for me was the fact that watching Bret during these years made me ( and several others) think as to how much of his matches were scripted, and how much of it was real! Bret, and the huge stampede talent made it look that good, and thats what I consider to be the main ingredient of a true superstar. I know that today these standards are impossible to replicate for many reasons, and falling off a 12' cage into a pile of tables just doesn't do it for me. So...... with the above criteria being the acid test for me, I must give Bret Hart the title of being the SECOND greates world in the world, right after the Dynamite Kid. the Kid's matches even made Bret's look second rate........ but thats a rant for another time!
Mike Petralia wrote:
Pretty interesting article but i do see somethings that i dont understand or feel to be wrong.

A. Ric Flair first of came from the AWA trained under Vern Gangne not the southern indy circuit, whic wsa known as the NWA not some typical indy circuit from now a days lol.

B. Quality of champion. I dont know hoe you can call it a draw inless you kind of give us your thoughts on what make a great champion. Ric Flair was 16 time world champion his first reign was 2 years without loosing and has been a world champion of over 2 decades in different promotions.Bret Harts longest reign was 8 months in what many consider the two worst years in the WWF 94 and 95. Now grant it he was champ in WCW but i wouldnt say WCW was quite the same when Bret got there.

C.Better Partners come on is that really a fair topic on deciding whos better lol. How about better factions. You say your old school well me too so I go with the 4 horseman over the hartfoundation of 97.

D. Better matches well isnt this a contradiction with better opponents if Flair had better opponents shouldnt he have better matches" Its one or the other. I would call it a draw, I would say Flair had more better matches but Bret didnt have much to work with during his time. To say Bret could make anyone look good and Flair couldnt thats a very bold statement by you no offence. Ric Flair was known for making his opponents look like gold he made every single opponent of his look like a contender and made alot more careers tha Hart did...exp sting, steamboat, windham. How many could say they made Ronnie Garvin look good lol.
Jerry Gerardi wrote:
I'll take Ric Flair for this very good reason: Bret Hart was born into the business coming from a wrestling family: namely some of his brothers, but especially his father Stu (lord rest his soul), the master teacher in his Dungeon of many big names, a pretty good wrestler-an even better promoter of his Stampede organisation. In short, nepotism played a role in Bret's career taking nothing away from his work ethic in and out of the ring, but bottom line it sure helps to have a dad in the biz. Conversely, Ric Flair had no parental connection to the business whatsoever; Supposedly, his own parents weren't too fond of wrestling! It is safe to say that he has succeeded and continues to contribute to the business that he loves to this day. WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Bobby Heenan: "You know, if you want to be fair to Flair, you've gotta be fair and say that's heckuva robe. Only a man as fair as Flair, would show up at Wrestlemania... "

Gorilla Monsoon: "WILL YOU STOP!!!!"
Scott Putnam wrote:
I shoudn't even be a discussion to whether who is better. Angel Martinez calling it a draw is completly false.

BACKGROUND: You say draw!" Nobody can have the background and experience of The Hitman. His father was a wrestler and a promoter. He taught Bret everything he knows. Ric Flair was an ameture wrestler. The fact of the matter is this: Bret Hart was born into wrestling, Ric Flair was not. WINNER: HART

TECHNICHAL SKILLS: You have to be an idoit not to know Bret was the greatest who ever lived. CHOP CHOP CHOP and phony summersault in the corner, then falls down on his face. WINNER: HART

QUALITY OF OPPONENTS: It really is what era you like better. But I have to say that Davey Boy Smith, The Dynimite Kid, Chris Benoit, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Randy Savage, Mick Foley, Shawn Micheals and Owen Hart is alot more impressive than Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race, Sting and Barry Windham. Simply because Bret oppenents are better wrestlers and bigger draws Bret gets the desision. WINNER: HART

QUALITY GIMMICK: I really likes the woooo aswell. But all Ric Flair did was talk about himself. Bret was more of a peoples champion. He was a hero to many growing up. Leading people in the right direction without being all cheesey like another BROTHER we all know. Face it. The pink and black would give naitch a heart attack! WINNER: HART

QUALITY CHAMPION: I would have to say this one is tough. 16 times World champion. Too bad he only had one riengh in the big leauges. Bret has held the title 5 times in the WWE. He was there when they were down and out. Ric Flair walked out of his company with thier world title leaving his friends and co-workers in a limbo. WINNER: HART

BETTER PARTNERS: What does that have to do with anything" Bret was Tag Team champions with Jim Niedhard. Ric Flair is more for himself. The 4 Horsemen were an elite group. But like the nWo, when you change the members of the group, it just aint the same. Just ask Van Halen. WINNER: HART

CHARISMA: Well Flair did have some funny and entertaining promos, but I really can't take him all that seriously. Bret was a great story teller, Ric Flair was not. Bret definatley know what ring pshychology is, Flair is on Space Mountian. WINNER: HART

BETTER MATCHES: Bret will forever be the best there is, was, and ever will be. Ric Flair is and old man. He wrestles like an old man. In the prime of his carrere he was still and old man. He wrestles like a cartoon character. Bret is negotiating a DVD release. We'll see how many times more Bret's DVD will sell. ICON: They are both icons. But Bret is not only a Legend, he is something of a role model, and a blueprint of what a man should be. Bret style is ofter immitated but never duplicated. HBK and HHH grew up idolizing Ric Flair. Look at the people they have become. Benoit and Jericho grew up idolizing Bret. Look at the people they have become.

THE WINNER AND STILL THE BEST THERE IS THE BEST THERE WAS AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE, BRET HART!
Pimp Daddy Grand Master Flash wrote:
I am from Edmonton, and grew up watching Bret Hart. His matches he had with Dynamite Kid and Bad News Allen are still talked about 20 years ago. I never saw any of flair until he went to WWF in the 90's but I have read about him. I am huge fans of both for being old school wrestlers, they both have their faults. For Flair, his matches always look the same, no where near as bad as Hogan's, but they look the same, he is entertaining in the ring though. Bret's main fault is the whole Montreal thing. He was wrong not dropping the title to whoever they wanted him to. Why should he care who has the title since he is leaving. If I was getting a better paying job, I could care less if the devil got my old job. He also complained about it for waaaaaay to long. He may not have the mic skills flair does, but I would watch a Hart match first. I am sure if Greenberg didn't kick Bret's head off, Bret would still be wrestling. He always kicked ass at what ever match he had. Oh, and by the way Shawn Micheals fans, Bret Hart vs Dynamite Kid was the first ladder match I ever saw, I think in 83'.
Brad Dykens wrote:
To Pimp Daddy, I know it wasn't Bret vs Dynamite, I think it was Bret Hart vs Bad News Allen Coage...
Joseph Jaffray wrote:
Although I agree with some points of what your saying, I must totally disagree with your suggest of Quality of Opponents, Hart Wins, but Ive got some problems with what you said..

Sting and Ricky Steamboat are far better than many of those. Flair and Sting, you cant beat that. There matches are classic while when most people think about Hart, all they think about is the Montreal Screw Job. Come on, Many of the wrestlers you stated as Flair's opponents are Legends, wether people like it or not!
Harold Adcox wrote:
Read the article and it was a great article. Here is my opinon. I didn't get to see alot of there matches but from what I read and remember Overall I think Bret is the better champion.

A. BACKGROUND: With Bret growing up into wrestling I'd have to give this one to him.

B. Technical Skills: I would have to give this one to Bret because Flair only does Chops and the Figure four Leg lock.

c. Better Gimmick: I don't really remember to much about Bret. If I took the flair that was there now I'd have to give it to Bret anyways because Flair has always been with a group and I feel he shouldn't because he could do a lot better if he was on his own.

D. Quality Champion: Well everyone says that Ric Flair is the 16 time champion but that also means he lost it 16 times. My question to everyone is this. How many days did he have the belt during those 16 times. The same question can be asked about Bret. Until this is answered I feel that it should be a draw.

E. Better Partner: This is another one I can't say too much about I didn't get to see the Four Horsemen wrestle with flair and I didn't see the Hart Foundation. So I'm going not to count this one.

F. Charisma: I have to give this one to Flair because he has alot for a guy that a lot of people don't like. I like the way he whoooo's and the way he falls down.

G. Better Matches: I would have to give this to Bret because you always hear about the Screw Job but you hardly hear any of Ric Flair old matches.

That means that I'd have to give this one to Bret.
XtremeFalls wrote:
Ok i think both are great wresters but Ric gets my vote only because bret and all though Bret Bangers who can't get over the Montreal screw job just needs to get over it. It was 7 years ago for god sakes..

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