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Monday, October 02, 2006

From the Vault: The Flair/Foley Nightmare

8/01/06: Mick Foley has the creative leeway to say pretty much whatever he wants, as evidenced by his promo a few years ago where if you don't hold a title in the WWE, there is something wrong with you, said in ring on Raw.

Foley's current promo's do irreversable career damage to Flair. Flair doesn't get less old, broke down, or washed up when this feud is over.

The problem?

Flair is the babyface.

Foley is putting himself back over hard at the expense of the angle and at the expense of what's left of Flair's career. Why does this make him the best promo guy ever?

Foley has had some entertaining nights on the stick, I will not deny. However, to call him the best of all time is irresponsible. You think Foley is the only one that can come up with good shit to say nowadays? No. He's just one of the only ones left with the ok to say it.

When he essentially shot on Flair, Flair was left in the ring like a wounded dog. The next week, Foley used that vulnerability against Flair. Why was Flair only able to come up with Fat Boy? I dunno that he had any idea the verbal assault that he was about to receive.

And to be honest, half of wrestling fans are not internet smarks. Just because Foley's book is a best seller doesn't mean every wrestling fan read it. I know guys that go to WWE shows TODAY that think they will see Austin and the Rock.

Shoot promos get over with a certain audience, but because you are allowed to make them and it satiates the Internet Wrestling Community, that doesn't make you a great talker.

Great talkers are the guys that used the stick to get them somewhere in the business.

Hogan
Flair
HBK
Austin
The Rock
Triple H

Hell, then you had the guys that said absolutely nothing that ever made sense, but people listened:

Warrior
Savage
Sid
Vader
Dusty Rhodes

Then on top of that, you have the guys that could just flat out talk. Talk about wrestling, talk about matches, and make you care.

Rick Rude
Jake Roberts
Ted Dibiase
Curt Hennig

Then you had the managers:

Cornette
Heenan

Who did more to get the story and the emotion where it needed to be than those guys?

I think Foley stomps on his ability to cut promos every week nowadays, because he cut some of the best ever, but now he is simply a patsy of the internet, and in every promo he cuts, I hear him begging for the internet's approval. Foley has never had any self-esteem in the business, because he knows deep down that his stunts did get him to the top.

He is truly one of the all time greats, but the more he begs for our acceptance, the more he brings himself off the pedestal and back on our level.

I think that it's a telling sign for the current state of the product when last night's verbal showdown between Flair and Foley is so critically acclaimed.

Foley again flip-flops and puts under Flair. Flair is incoherent and babbly. I much prefer the limousine riding, jet flying cocky son of a bitch to this crazy heart attack having old man.

It seems when Flair and Foley and Funk for that matter are out there, they have a general outline, but ALWAYS forget where the hell they are going. Flair will start yelling and screaming just to make sure someone is saying something. Foley appears to be waiting for the cue that never comes. Finally Flair remembers, oh Melina.

That sets off the Foley family man comments 5 minutes after they should have originally come.

Don't get me wrong, they are two of the best. I mean that. I just don't see last night as the magic moment that many others seem to.

I think they are two men who believe their own hype. Foley is tearing down Flair's legacy, but Flair is doing business and actually building Foley's further.

I am happy that they are getting fans into their future encounter, but am worried when the talent that the WWE actually needs to propel them into the future is losing time to very long and often multiple promo segments between Flair and Foley.

These aren't classic promos by old standards. They are just way above the low bar set by current superstars.

The fact that Foley ever referred to anyone in the industry as an "imaginary badass" exposes the business. It was cool to hear Flair tout legends that normally don't get their due on WWE TV, but that a good promo does not make.

We all will have our differing opinions. My personal opinion is that if this promo is at any other time when the business is up, and if any of those other great talkers we mentioned are anywhere insight, we look at this as being long, unfocused, and probably a 6 or 7 out of 10.

At points, Flair seemed like a deer in the headlights. Luckily he has his crazy old man act to fall back on.

At one time, diamonds were forever, and so was Ric Flair. This program with Foley has shown that perhaps Flair's time is running short.

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