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Ric Flair is playing silly games with TNA management again

Ric Flair doesn't do unpaid overtime, not even for Dixie Carter.  (Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10542402@N06">daysofthundr46 on Wikimedia Commons</a>)
Ric Flair doesn't do unpaid overtime, not even for Dixie Carter. (Photo by daysofthundr46 on Wikimedia Commons)

If you thought that Ric Flair somehow managing to pay off his debts to Highspots at the last minute would end his recent run of negative press, then think again, as he played some silly games with TNA management over the weekend.  Despite being advertised for a major TNA house show at MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on July 1st, Flair did not perform at the event, leaving some fans upset at the promotion.  Where the story gets strange, as Dave Meltzer explained on his July 3rd subscriber only radio show and later for free on his website is that Flair was actually backstage at the show, but refused to go out.  His excuse for not doing so was flimsy, as he claimed that he was never told he would have to perform at the show, only do a pre-show VIP autograph signing, so he did what he was supposed to do and wasn't going to do anything more.  I know TNA are undoubtedly incompetent, but it really does stretch credibility that they wouldn't have told Flair in advance all the things they expected him to do at a show that they built around his appearance.  Moreover, it wasn't an unreasonable request even if it was at short notice.  Whatever communication problems existed between Flair and TNA management were quickly sorted out, as TNA made clear that he was expected to cut a promo during their house show the next day in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and Flair obliged in fulfilling their request.

Given Flair's track record, the likely cause of these "communication problems" is Flair being difficult in an attempt to extract more cash from the promotion.  As Greg Price found out much to his chagrin, Flair doesn't do unpaid overtime anymore, even when autograph signings naturally overrun.  Indeed, money was at the heart of his problems with TNA management on their European tour in late January.  Flair refused to board a bus for the airport in Dublin after tour manager Craig Jenkins refused his request for an advance on his pay for the tour, which he urgently required to pay his hotel bar tab that had maxed out his credit card.  Similar to the problems this weekend, they were quickly patched up and Flair only missed one show on the tour.  Soon after, Flair claimed to his friend Mike Mooneyham that he was only asking for an advance on the considerable amount TNA owes him in back pay, though those claims have never been substantiated.

According to Wrestlezone, unsurprisingly some TNA wrestlers are upset with Flair's refusal to perform in Brooklyn, just like they were with his behaviour on the European tour earlier in the year:

"He was already there, so why not go out and thank the fans who showed up?" mentioned one TNA wrestler this morning on the phone.  "It just didn't make sense.  We're all out there doing our best to promote this company and try to keep it alive, and Flair is acting as if the entire wrestling business owes him.  I was really disappointed in him."

Another TNA wrestler said, "Flair used to be the most popular wrestler with the boys everywhere in the world, but this entire TNA run has been a real embarrassment to his career.  I grew up a fan of Flair, and I'll always respect his work, but this was a real shame!"

Sadly, I doubt this will be the last time Flair will embarrass his colleagues and employers with his cash strapped prima donna behaviour.  I expect more such silly games will be played by Flair in the future.

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