War of words finally leads to war in the ring

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June 24, 2006

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Ric Flair confronted Mick Foley on RAW, prompting a war of words between the two arguing over the merits of hardcore wrestling and Mick Foley’s professional wrestling legacy. But the bad blood between these two grizzled veterans of the squared circle goes back much further than just two weeks ago. In fact, it goes back to the very early stages of Foley’s career.

“Ric and I have a very storied past,” said Foley. “He was actually the guy that hired me in WCW in 1989, so in some ways I will always be grateful to Ric Flair for bringing me in to my first decent-paying job. But I will always resent him for his treatment of me back in the mid-90s when I really thought my skills warranted a better position with the company. So, from there, there were some hard feelings dating back to my first book (Have a Nice Day – A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks) in which I talked about those mid-90s days, and it’s one of those scenarios that we will actually see playing itself out in Charlotte.”

Ric Flair is widely considered one of, if not the greatest professional wrestler of all time. On RAW, Flair said that it angered him that when some fans think of some of the greatest moments in history, they think of Foley falling off of the Hell in a Cell. To him, that’s not really what professional wrestling is all about.

“I respect him as a man, I respect him as a combatant, but I don’t look at hardcore wrestling as professional wrestling,” said the 16-time World Champion. “He’s recognized as the man in hardcore wrestling, and I respect the physical abuse that he goes through, but I’ll go on record as saying I don’t think professional wrestling is about who can fall off the highest ladder or jump off the highest cage.”

Well aware of Flair’s take on Foley’s reputation in the squared circle, the Hardcore Legend decided to throw out an offer that Flair couldn’t refuse. Foley challenged Flair to a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match at Vengeance – a match that Flair helped make famous. Some consider Flair’s 2-out-of-3 Falls Match against Ricky Steamboat at Clash of the Champions to be one of the greatest matches of all time. Nonetheless, Foley wants to beat Flair at his own game and prove that he is more than just a master of hardcore.

“This way I hope to beat Ric twice in a short amount of time, which would humiliate him in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C.,” said Foley. “Although, if the match goes past 15 minutes, it may be me being humiliated as I just don’t have the cardiovascular conditioning that I had when I was younger and in my prime.”

Flair said that he thinks the match will definitely work to his advantage.

“I’m thrilled about it,” said Flair. “I think that he’s overmatched himself. I think that he thinks he’s going to pull a fast one on me, but that’s not going to happen. I’ve been in this position before with guys like him, and I’m prepared for whatever he brings to the table.”

Flair’s hometown crowd in Charlotte will surely be a factor as well. In fact, Foley said that he may have a surprise for those same fans.

“I have a lot of confidence going in because I feel like I’ve put on two great shows in a row, but I’m toying with the idea of having a bad one on purpose just to embarrass Ric in Charlotte,” said Foley. “Ric is a lot like me. I don’t think he cares as much about winning or losing as he does putting on a great show for his fans. So, what better way to humiliate him than having a stinker in his hometown?”

Will Foley prove to Flair that he’s more than just a hardcore wrestler, or will Flair show his hometown fans in Charlotte why he’s considered one of the greatest of all time? Tune in to Vengeance, live on pay-per-view, Sunday night at 8/7 CT to find out.

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