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Ric Flair - Will he bump at TNA's Bound For Glory so Hulk Hogan doesn't have to?

We're less than 48 hours away from TNA's biggest show of the year Bound For Glory and most attention is not on the match scheduled to go on last between Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight championship, but on Hulk Hogan's "fight" with Sting.  There's a good reason for that.  Roode's big singles push began in earnest five weeks ago after he beat Gunner and Bully Ray to win the horribly booked Bound For Glory Series at No Surrender, while angles for a match between Hogan and Sting have been shot off and on for over 18 months now.  Indeed, Hogan vs. Sting would have likely taken place at last year's Bound For Glory, if it wasn't for the fact that Hogan was still recovering from one of his many back surgeries this time last year.

Even though his back problems haven't flared up since then, he knows that one bad fall on his back would mean many more return trips to the operating table, which is why he's very sensibly declared that he won't take any bumps in his match with Sting on Sunday.  But that begs the question, how on earth is Hogan planning to work a match as a heel without bumping for his opponent's offence?  The psychology is all out of whack, as only babyfaces can get away with walking tall and kicking ass without giving their opponent any shine.

According to Bryan Alvarez on the October 13th Wrestling Observer Radio show the original plan was for Ric Flair to liberally interfere in the match (unsurprising given that he's positioned between Hogan and Sting in the Bound For Glory poster) and take some bumps, so Hogan wouldn't have to take any and his physical limitations would be kept well hidden.  That plan was thankfully scrapped by TNA management after Ric Flair tore his triceps in a depressing match with Sting at the TNA Impact TV tapings on Monday September 12th and Flair was pencilled in for surgery to repair the injury.  But could a recent change in Flair's health status mean the plan is back on?  

In convenient timing, exactly one week ago, Flair announced he was postponing the surgery after his doctor told him his muscle tear "was healing itself " and it was a "miracle", just like he avoided getting similar surgery earlier this year for a torn rotator cuff.  Given Flair's well documented financial troubles and his need to keep earning big money, I was immediately sceptical at such a diagnosis, as Flair would be looking for an excuse to save on medical expenses and return to the ring faster.  He also comes from the old school mentality where barring breaking your back in a plane crash you work through injuries and gut it out, which you might be lucky enough to get away with in your thirties, but keeping it up in your sixties is asking for major trouble.

So Flair has given TNA management the plausible deniability to be lazy and stick with the initial script for the match.  Will they take him up on his kind offer or will they use one of the many other heels in Immortal to take his place?  Hopefully they choose the latter, as the former risks making a sad scene even sadder.  It's bad enough having one banged up legend in the ring looking old and frail, do we really need another one added to the mix in an unannounced scenario when plenty of other younger and healthier wrestlers could be used in his place?  Please, find something else for Ric to do, if you have to use him.

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