“Surprise, Surprise”

Nick Paglino

How is this the majority of fan opinions? Is the WWE creative team supposed to actually book a retired vet to look stronger and better than their current champion? Let’s not forget the basis of this angle which is rooted in the fact that Flair lost his bout at Wrestlemania 24 – to a younger competitor I might add – and that he is now retired as a result. He has not wrestled in over a year, and yet he is supposed to conquer one of WWE’s top young athletes on his very first try? It only makes sense that Flair be the underdog against Orton and the audience should have to watch him fight his hardest to get what might be an impossible victory over the champ.

Additionally, you have to look at the way the angle is actually being booked. Orton did not get a win over Naitch’, he simply worked in about 6 seconds of offense before the scuffle was broken up by Batista. I liked the way this played out as it sets up a nice dichotomy between Orton, Batista, Flair and the fans as now the question each week becomes, "could Flair realistically beat the current WWE Champion?" We haven’t received the opportunity find out at this point because there are too many talents within WWE that are uncertain whether Flair is up to the task, so they persist in coming to his aid. To me, this is not only good booking, it’s smart booking. It makes sense from a realistic standpoint because if this were a real shoot between the two, one would have to believe that Ric Flair would need to overcome what seem to be pretty insurmountable odds against a much younger, quicker, and recently practiced Champion.

Throughout all this, though, I have not yet mentioned the deeper implications with which the conspiracy theorist sect of the IWC is concerned. To that sect, WWE is of course booking Flair to look weaker than Orton because they want to bury him for making the decision to work with both WWE and Ring of Honor simultaneously; an act generally frowned upon by WWE officials. As we have reported on WrestleZone.com, Flair is not currently signed to a contract with WWE, and he of course has signed a deal with ROH which he is currently honoring. 

I have to ask honestly, are there people out there who truly think Flair’s status as one of the all-time greats in this business would even sustain so much as a small dent due to a short term, non-wrestling program he is currently working in WWE? Of course not. The Ring of Honor audience would welcome Flair with as thunderous of an applause as if he were the WWE Champion right now. Ric Flair is about as established of a talent in this business as there ever could be, and there’s virtually nothing WWE could do to him in a short program such as this that would tarnish his reputation to the point where fans would suddenly turn away in droves to avoid seeing him in other promotions. Even if you could fathom an argument against my point, it’s still way too early in the program with Orton to say any damage has been done or has even been attempted by WWE.

The above is an example of the conspiracy theory at its weakest and most desperate folks, probably because there’s not much to love about pro wrestling right now, so why not just lump it all into one bucket with The Nature Boy on top? Does that make sense? No, but then again, remember the fan base we’re talking about here.

Surprise, Surprise.

Thanks as always for reading, and remember, you can send any and all feedback to VOWNick@gmail.com



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