On a recent edition of his WOOOOO! Nation podcast, Ric Flair talked about various topics including: if he thinks Triple H buries talent, CM Punk’s exit from WWE, managers and not being a big fan of the way Paul Heyman manages Brock Lesnar.
Flair talks about how good professional wrestling managers should put heat on the in-ring performers, not themselves.
“I think (managers) are good in the (professional wrestling) business if they understand the boundaries and their place.” Flair added, “I just feel like the people doing all the work in the ring should be having all the heat put on them.”
Flair criticized Paul Heyman’s role as Brock Lesnar’s manager because he feel that Heyman puts all the heat on himself. He also doesn’t like how Heyman doesn’t take any bumps, since he puts all the heat on himself.
“I don’t like that Paul talks for Brock because, to me, that heat goes on Paul. Does that make sense? I just think if you look back on a guy who talks a lot like Bobby Heenan, well, Bobby Heenan had a ton of heat on him, but he got the crap beat out of him. And Paul, I don’t think he [has] been passed, physically, to be taking bumps.”
The Nature Boy went on to talk about how he would love the opportunity to manage Cesaro and how he thinks Cesaro should face Brock Lesnar at this year’s SummerSlam.
“I would love that role, but I verbally said that because I don’t think they think he is strong on the mic, but he is certainly strong in the ring. In my opinion, you could make Cesaro a contender that people believe in, right off the bat, for Brock Lesnar. Within one month, you could get him that hot. Hey, don’t be surprised if it’s a SummerSlam match. When that kid comes back, man, I know they’re going to reassess the way they were using him and if they’re going to put a big push on him. He (has) gotten over with the fans anyway. He (has) gotten over huge. He has a huge following. But if he had someone talking for him in the role of being a bad guy, he could be huge, I think.”
The 16-time World Champion talked about CM Punk’s exit from WWE, stating that it seemed to affect AJ Lee’s run in the company as well, and that he can’t imagine Triple H would ever put Punk, or anyone for that matter, in a position to get hurt.
“I thought (Punk) was a good performer. I don’t know if I’d call him ‘great’, but I thought he was good.” Flair continued, “I just know he left here in a lot of controversy and it seemed to affect AJ (Lee)’s run here too. I don’t really know. There (are) so many sides to the story. I just know that Hunter is arguably my best friend aside from (WOOOOO! Nation co-host Conrad Thompson) and I can’t see Hunter doing anything to hurt anybody. And I know Dr. Amann. I can’t see Dr. Amann putting someone in a position to get hurt, so that’s all I can say. Hunter certainly wouldn’t do anything to screw him. What does Hunter gain by screwing anybody, right? I don’t think he has to worry about going anywhere.”
Flair also discussed whether or not Triple H buries talent, which is a popular opinion among many fans.
“I say ‘bulls–t’ to that. He (doesn’t) bury anybody. He doesn’t have to. It doesn’t make sense. If you are the best, all you got to do is go out to the ring and be the best. Does that make sense? Nobody can hold back your talent if you’re in the ring. If someone said, ‘I’m not going to give you the chance to get in the ring’, then, they’re holding you back. If they’re letting you get in the ring, you can simply distinguish yourself from your opponent or anybody else around.”
Flair goes on to discuss Daniel Bryan’s retirement, why Ron Simmon’s was never given another chance as WCW World Heavyweight Champion and more. You can listen to this episode in its entirety right here.
Thanks WrestlingInc for transcribing the quotes.
Mark’s reaction: I love the idea of having Lesnar vs. Cesaro at SummerSlam, but I don’t know how I feel about Ric as a manager. It obviously works for Charlotte because that’s his daughter, but it would be interesting to see if he can be successful managing other wrestlers.
His comments on Heyman’s managerial skills are probably not shared by most as Heyman’s universally loved as a manager. However, I do see Ric’s point. The heat should definitely be on the wrestler, but if associating yourself with a manager who garners heat for themselves gives you heat in return, doesn’t that help? It’s a sticky situation, but I can definitely see both points.
In regards to Triple H burying talent, it depends on how you define bury. Ric talks about being buried as not even getting the chance to wrestle or be on TV. Others describe being buried as someone who often loses or isn’t pushed to the position they feel like they deserve to be. Especially with Triple H currently being WWE Champion, the debate seemingly never ends as to whether or not it’s a smart move considering all of the talented new faces/underutilized wrestlers on the roster. The ultimate plan for having Triple H hold the title in the first place is for him to put someone (Roman Reigns) over big time when he drops the belt; but wouldn’t having the WWE Title on a new face, instead of Triple H, help make them look like a legit star as well? It’s an interesting discussion to have.
Leave your thoughts on any or all of the above in the comment section below.