* Notice to readers *
First off , I would like to apologize to Brady Hicks for this column being late. The bad weather and thunder storms that have rocked the south last month have put me behind. I’ll never watch another disaster movie again after what we’ve been through.
( Typing on a computer in a violent electric storm is never a good idea. )
Second , I highly recommend the new Bolin Alley podcast on AMP’D radio. Kenny and the Prince really earned your 99 cent this week. They buried everyone and stayed entertaining for an hour and a half ! ( Poor Shawn Waltman got smoked like a crack pipe this week. )
Now….Today we have a true main event to enjoy !
We’re going to compare two heel legends side by side. This is only my opinion. I am a true fan of both men who once made wrestling exciting every week . Today I compare ….Ric Flair & Nick Bockwinkel. Two former champions from Minnesota. Two well dressed promo cutting machines. Two heels.
Fans paid a lot of ticket money for MANY years to boo , cheer, & scream at these two. Now fans STILL pay money at meet and greets to tell both men …just how much they meant to them.
My goal of this article is one thing: To remind people how great wrestling used to be.
If anyone You tubes or googles these two pro wrestlers to learn more about them, I’ve succeeded. The WWE is crap. The old school fans know this , and KNOW what the younger fans today are missing out on. HOW GOOD WRESLING USED TO BE ! Most Cookie cutter wrestlers end up as jobbers. It took a real personality to get over with the fans , and stay there. Stars were made into a SOMEBODY for life !
—-Read on and I hope you learn something today about what a great performer is —
*** Fasten your seat belts! We’re going to back to the good old days ! ***
We all know who Ric Flair is. We’ve watched him on TV for the past 40 years. Some of us remember his heyday in the NWA and WWF. New fans may ONLY know him from his recent WWE and TNA appearances. Ric Flair truly has done it all and then some. I mean …for goodness sake…The guy was the flagship member of the 4-Horseman!
If you’ve ever seen him , you’ll always remember who he is just by his feathered robes. To the new fans out there, who only know him as an old man on TNA , I feel sorry for you.
Nick was an unknown wrestler to ME…..until this decade. I never watched the AWA TV show. It just didn’t appeal to me at the time it was on ESPN. Plus I didn’t live in the AWA territory, so…….” WHO are these people ? ”
The AWA, as I remembered looked much ” cheaper ” than the flashy WWF shows. The WWF talent was much more kid friendly with their characters. Nick didn’t wear anything flashier than a suit or just plain trunks!
Looking back at my younger days , I can see just how plain he looked to a 80’s neon clothed kid. Thanks to YouTube , I know who he is now !
I was searching for anything ” Bobby Heenan + primetime ” and kept running across this guy ..Nick BockWinkle. Bobby Heenan managed him in the AWA , so I listened to a young Bobby cut promos with him. Then I started watching more clips just to to hear Nick BockWinkle talk ! WOW… what find… Who knew how cool this guy was ?
Click here and watch the first 1:40 seconds , if you’d like to hear a Nick Bockwinkle promo….all I can say is it’s MONEY !
I’m going rate them in 3 categories on the scale of 1 to 5.
In Ring Wrestling performance:
Bock Winkle – 4
Flair – 5
Nick looked like a movie star, who started wrestling. He had blonde hair with a huge tan well built body. His charisma was awesome. What helped Nick more than anything was his natural wrestling ability. He was an second generation athlete with movie star looks. Watching him wrestle was like watching a proud Lion fight. He was a big confident guy that could just muscle his way through anyone. I’ve recently watched his matches with Sgt. Slaughter and Kurt Henning. The man could go. It may look a little slow compared to nowadays, but the matches were entertaining. Nick held the AWA belt eight times , and we all know the champ is who sells the most tickets. Nick carried the AWA for a long…long time.
Flair is the measuring stick for 60 min matches. His body wasn’t huge , but he made up for that with energetic performances. He has wrestled every one you can think of…. twice ! I’ll admit …….he did wrestle the same match just about every night, but it worked ! It didn’t matter. You believed who ever Flair was against that night was important and mattered. ** I’ve only seen him land one elbow off the top rope in 20 years. HE NEVER HIT THAT SPOT ..LOL…every time his opponent would slam him off the top…yes this same spot happened for 40 years.
What puts Flair higher in this category is his CHARISMA. No matter who Ric was in the ring with , you don’t ever take your eyes off Flair. …….That’s called Charisma. You are just watching him the whole time, waiting for him to cheat or pull off a move. Not wanting to miss anything he did. All eyes in the building stay on Flair. You watched Flair because he has the magic. Flair is like a panther. Smooth , quick , and awe-inspiring.
( Even during his matches with Hogan.. your eyes stay on Ric Flair…not Hogan. WOOO !)
He was the dirtiest cheater ever in wrestling and he wrestled everyday for years. How he’s still alive… is a miracle.
*PS… To younger people who see him now…and he cuts promos talking about surviving a plane crash , it’s true. He walked away with a broken back and started wrestling again with in months.
Interviews and Promos:
Nick Bockwinkle had the most intelligent promos ever spoken on TV. He comes across as serious, smart , and better than you.
AND HE KNOWS IT FOR A FACT ! Fans of the AWA watched him bully and threaten people for years. Just look this up on YouTube: – Lawler and bockwinkle in a prematch interview – Two of the best guys on the mic, preparing to slug it out for the AWA belt.
* Nick the cool AWA champ with his custom made clothes , stands side by side farm boy Jerry the King Lawler. ” Under the circumstances , I believe I should stand up here with Jerry. Just so the people can …you might say… have a visual comparison. ” — That small amount of SMUGGNESS to the Tennessee HERO Jerry Lawler was all it took for the entire state to hate Nick to THIS DAY. —
With Bobby Heenan at his side , Nick could beat an opponent without even getting into the ring. The two of them together was instant death for anyone in range of a microphone. The team of BockWinkle and Heenan could talk Andre the Giant into looking like a jobber. Nick was so proud , sharp , and full of conviction that he sold tickets with just his promos.
Flair on the mic was and still is amazing. Ric turned into a crazy man with a mic near by. He would tear off his custom made clothes, FIRE HIMSELF UP , and with his
” WOOOO ! ” would whip fans into a frenzy.
I’ve seen him bleed on promos , foam at the mouth , and nearly cry with anticipation of getting into the ring with someone. To this day , I still love to hear Ric Flair pick on ….fat old Dusty Rhodes !
Flair — ” I’m taking this opportunity to talk about… myself. Ya SEE BIG DUST… This belt , belongs in MY house. WOO.. It’s only just begun …YOU UNDERSTAND ? Brother , I’m CUSTOM MADE compared to your T-Shirt!
You nothing son of a plumber! You’re ALL just playing catch up ball to the nature boy. If you’re not carrying the big gold , your second best no matter what you tell yourself. WOOO ! ”
Crowd Heat from fans
BockWinkle – 4
Flair – 4
Nick BockWinkle was never really liked in the AWA. People hated him because he WAS EASY TO HATE. ( This was old time 70’s and 80’s wrestling. The wrestlers didn’t have to announce if they were a ” bad guy ” a performers actions,promos, and in ring work did all the talking. . BockWinkle was good looking , SMUG , and richer than the fans. He also spoke like an educated man with his razor sharp wit. Then he walked to the ring with Bobby Heenan…. OF COURSE YOUR AVEAGE WRESTLING FAN WOULD HATE HIM ! I’ve seen videos of him nearly causing riots in Memphis and Minneapolis. When all the fan wants you dead, that’s accomplishing something.
I’m sure Nick has kicked more than one wrestling fans head in. Then told him the fan ” Don’t ever attempt to hit a world champion. You’ll only get hurt … as you’ve just found out.”. Then walk away proudly. Nick carried the AWA for years as the monster heel a young baby face would have to conquer. ( as in…Rick Martell , Kurt Henning, Jerry Lawler ) Nick was the Anti-Hogan. A strong heel that never lost , only to have to fight another young pretty babyface. next week. Hogan did the opposite. He was the monster Babyface heels chased every week.
Ric was hated and loved by the fans. Most fans LOVED TO HATE FLAIR. He was always on TV bragging about something. He was the best talker and that carried over into his matches. He had such a good TV persona , many fans didn’t care what he did. They could boo him one minute, then turn around and cheer for him. ** Nothing gets a bigger pop than a Ric Flair standing face bump. Flair would stand up as to say ” Bring it on ! ” then get dizzy and fall right on his face.
As I close , I just want everyone to know how much I love both guys. Flair was the hero of youth. Nick is hero of my adulthood. Both are classic and should never be forgotten. THEY SHOULD BE STUDIED. These guys made a lot of fame and money just off their natural personalities. HOW COOL is that ? Can you imagine getting paid to be… JUST YOU… on TV ?
At a young age , I always cared more about the bad guys.
The bad guys are fun , cool , and caused everything to happen. I’ll never forget rooting for Ric Flair at his first Royal Rumble. Myself , my brother, and some friends piled around our TV and ordered a $30 PPV. ( I still don’t know how we talked our Mom into it. ) Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan called the match , as Ric Flair drew number 3 in a 30 man match!
I was heart broken … knowing he’d never make it. But for 1 hour I watched , and believed he could win it ! He was barely hanging on for most of the match, and at the end… he CHEATED to win be WWF belt ! As my brother and friend’s sat there shocked that Hogan lost , I was ” WOOing ” like no tomorrow.
Nick Bockwinkle will ways be another hero in my eyes. He was a fearless heel who kicked butts and enjoyed being the best.
Ric will ways be a hero in my eyes. Because he made everyone else look so boring and goody two shoes.
Join me next week , as I look at a REALLY OLD BAD GUY. This guy was a heel before you were born.