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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Legend vs Legend
March 16, 2002 - By Brad Dykens

VS

Not since Wrestlemania 3 has a collection of Talent been assembled like we are about to see at tomorrow night's World Wrestling Federation Wrestlemania X-8 PPV.. Never has a card seen a quadruple main event.. Hulk Hogan returns to Wrestlemania for the first time in nine years to take on The Rock, the man who, in many people's minds, represents today's "Hulkamania".. The first ever Undisputed World Champion, Chris Jericho, defends his prized titles against Triple H, with the Stephanie-Factor luming like a dark cloud at a family picnic.. Stone Cold will try to extract the thorn from his side, that is, Scott Hall, and last but not least, the Nature Boy also returns to Wrestlemania for the first time in ten years to take on a man who has never lost a match at the annual PPV in nine appearances, The Undertaker! How can one justify Ric Flair vs The Undertaker as the 4th most anticipated match on the card?! The eight guys on the top of this card could main event any event, in any federation, in any country, on ANY night.. ALL LEGENDS! That is how..

The Point of this article is this.. Everyone is making a big deal out of Hulk Hogan returning to Wrestlemania after a nine year absence.. Well sure, that is great and all.. But what about Flair's 10 year absence?? Let the debate continue, who is more of a legend? Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan? I'm sure Wrestling fans all over the world could fill countless hours discussing the matter, and still come back inconclusive..

This is how I look at it.. A legend to me is somebody who 1) has a passion for what they do, 2) does it well, and 3) is so attached to it that they get emotional over it.. Now compare Hogan and Flair.. We know both of them have a passion for the business, and obviously they both are incredible performers, but what about emotion.. Think back to when the Four Horsemen reunited in the ring with Flair, Steve McMichael, Chris Benoit, Arn Anderson & Dean Malenko.. Tears.. REAL tears.. How about when Russo brought Flair back, Flair again got choked up in the ring during his redebut.. More recently, when Flair announced that he was selling his stock back to Vince McMahon, even though it was all storyline, the Norfolk crowd cheered so loudly in support of the Nature Boy that it brought tears to his eyes.. When have we ever seen Hulk Hogan cry for real? I was exposed to Hogan more than Flair growing up and I cannot think of one time Hogan was brought to tears by emotion while performing... Now maybe Hogan's just a good actor, and maybe Flair's just a big wuss, but this is the kind of thing that makes me respect a wrestler..

Add this to the evidence box; Flair has a reputation of helping guys get over.. Hogan has a reputation of holding guys back.. What else do you have to say? Sure, Hogan's name is worth a million bucks, but just having Ric Flair around is priceless.. So for me, I ask the real Wrestlemania injustice is Ric Flair once again getting screwed by the Blown Up Legend of Hulkamania..

By Brad Dykens



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