MOONEYHAM COLUMN: Flair: Injury could have been worse
Ric Flair, whose legendary rivalry with Sting began more than two decades ago, is happy that he came out of last week’s bout with nothing more serious than an injured elbow.
Twenty-three years after Flair put Sting (Steve Borden) on the professional wrestling map with a career-making match at a 1988 Clash of the Champions show in Greensboro, N.C., the two locked horns once again on last week’s edition of TNA Impact.
Things, however, didn’t go nearly as smooth as their classic 45-minute draw years ago.
Forget the fact that Flair is now 62 years old, and Sting is only 10 years behind the Nature Boy.
Flair says he’s lucky that the injury he suffered in his latest encounter wasn’t worse. Initially it had appeared that Flair might have suffered damage to his left arm after taking a jarring superplex off the top rope. It’s a move that he’s taken hundreds of times during his career. This one, he says, was different.
“It was brutal. I thought I had broken my arm on that spot. I don’t know how I did it either,” Flair said Friday night.
Fortunately Flair didn’t break his arm, but he did suffer a broken bursa sac in his left elbow.
“Sting put me down flat on that superplex, but somehow I hit something. It broke the bursa sack in my elbow. But at that moment I was sure I had broken my arm in half.”
Flair says the move was perfectly executed.
“I must have put my arm down wrong or something,” he said. “I really don’t know how it happened. I’ve got one arm twice the size of the other right now.”
Flair says the injury definitely affected the rest the match, even though the two were able to finish, with Sting winning with a Scorpion Deathlock.
“When he hit me with the (Stinger) splash and went for the Scorpion, I couldn’t even take a face bump. I couldn’t put my arm down to take it. I couldn’t hit him either. It was brutal.”
The 16-time world heavyweight champion, who suffered a torn rotator cuff in a match last January with Doug Williams, says he’ll be fine.
“I went to the doctor today (Friday) and he said to just keep an eye on it for infections. But I feel great. Nothing hurts.”
Triple H said in a Moviefone interview last week that he thought it was time for Flair to step away from the business.
“Ric is one of my best friends,” he said. “Ric doesn’t know when to walk away. Ric doesn’t want to be told to walk away. And Ric can’t afford to walk away. Ric has lived every day of his life like it’s the last for almost the 50 years he’s been in the business.
“In Ric’s mind, it’s still 1982, he’s on top of the world, he’s young, he’s got a lot of money. Ric has never questioned spending. We have a term on the road where if you go out and you have a crazy night, that you spent a ludicrous amount of money or you just lose it one day and you can’t go through another airport and you’re trying to get a jet instead, we call it ‘Naitching.’ Ridiculously spending money for no point is called ‘Naitching.’”
-- It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but Matt Hardy is in trouble with the law again.
Hardy, who was released by TNA on Aug. 20, only hours after being charged with DWI after crashing his car into a tree on a North Carolina road, was arrested Monday on similar charges near the Raleigh Durham International Airport.
Police, upon receiving complaints about someone driving erratically, followed Hardy and observed him swerving across traffic, nearly hitting two cars. Officers pulled over Hardy, who was described as having slow, slurred speech, sleepy eyes and a very lackadaisical demeanor, according to the police report.
When officers asked him to step out of his 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, Hardy first tried to get out without putting the vehicle in park, the report said.
Police said a Breathalyzer test was negative for the presence of alcohol. Hardy, however, failed a field sobriety test by being unable to walk more than a few steps in a straight line without losing his balance. A drug recognition officer determined that Hardy was under the influence of drugs.
Hardy told police he was at the airport to pick up his girlfriend.
Hardy, 36, who is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 30, claimed on his Twitter page that he was framed.
“For the first time in my life, I was framed. 0, 0 and O,” posted Hardy, cryptically referring to his blood alcohol content. “I’m truly appalled. This will not go down without a fight. I’ve got a bull’s eye on my head.”
It was the third recent driving infraction charge against Hardy.
Hardy was charged with driving while impaired when he crashed his 2009 Corvette on Aug. 20. The Fayetteville Observer reported last week that Hardy also had been involved in a car accident a day earlier, on Aug. 19, in a 2006 Cadillac in Southern Pines, N.C. Hardy reportedly told police that a car ran him off the road.
Hardy, who already was on probation when he was fired by TNA last month, hasn’t exactly been keeping a low profile.
He claimed to have undergone a miraculous “rebirth” following his car accident, only to be rushed to the hospital days later after inexplicably falling down his stairs. He blamed ghosts in a You Tube video after trashing his house. And, if that wasn’t enough, he posted a fake suicide note on You Tube and Twitter, prompting authorities to make a welfare visit to his home.
Hardy later issued an “apology,” but not before blaming fans for misinterpreting the video, claiming that it was his career that he was ending due to “severe head and brain trauma” that he allegedly suffered as a result of recent accidents. He then declared that he wanted to start a program for people dealing with suicidal thoughts, depression and addiction.
It will take a lot more than that, however, to rehabilitate his tarnished image.
-- Karen Jarrett, ex-wife of TNA champ Kurt Angle, disputed a recent Hulk Hogan claim regarding Angle’s driving skills.
Hogan, who was asked on a radio show to comment on Angle’s recent DUI charge, said he didn’t know all the facts, but he did elaborate on a conversation with Jarrett.
“I talked to his ex-wife and she said he’s a horrible driver,” said Hogan. “The whole time they were married she wouldn’t even let him drive the kids. He texts when he drives, he’s great in the ring as far as focusing, but his people skills are horrible. He’s got two left feet, and it translates into his driving.”
“People should never make false statements and say they had conversations with people they didn’t,” Jarrett responded on Twitter.
Angle was arrested Sept. 4 in Warren County, Va., and charged with driving under the influence. He faced similar charges for a March 25 incident in Grand Forks, N.D., and was sentenced to a year of probation and a 10-day jail sentence that was suspended. A judge ruled that he could not be charged with DUI at the time because he was not actually driving when police found his car pulled over in the median of a highway.
-- Roddy Piper remains hospitalized following surgery last week to repair a broken neck.
Piper, whose surgery lasted more than six hours, says he intends to spend time visiting the children’s cancer ward at UCLA as soon as he is able to walk better.
-- Ric Flair — or at least his voice — will appear on the season premiere of FOX’s “The Cleveland Show.” According to the preview, Flair hosts a camping trip for Cleveland and his friends “that quickly turns into a dangerous redneck, hillbilly huntdown.”
The show will air at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25.
-- Latest love match in Hollywood is actor George Clooney and former pro wrestling personality Stacy Keibler.
The former Dancing With the Stars contestant recently flew to Italy to spend time with Clooney at his villa in Lake Como.
“I’m in heaven,” Keibler, 31, tweeted about her trip.
The two have been acquaintances for some time and reportedly were set up by a mutual friend.
Clooney, 50, regarded as Hollywood’s most-wanted bachelor, broke up with longtime girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis early this summer.
Keibler, who was a communications major at Towson University and a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader from 1998-1999, was romantically linked to David Fliehr (David Flair) and the late Andrew Martin (Test) during her wrestling days.
Keibler appeared on Season 2 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars in 2006. She placed third with dance partner Tony Dovolani.
-- Give C.M. Punk credit for not holding anything back.
Punk responded on Twitter to a recent comment Triple H made that UFC needed to evolve more than WWE.
“Ridiculous!!!!!” Punk wrote. “Laugh out loud ignorance ... If you don’t evolve, you die.”
-- WWE has announced that The Rock and John Cena will team in five-on-five Survivor Series match in November.
-- George’s Sports Bar, 1300 Savannah Highway, will air WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view at 8 p.m. today. Cover charge is $5.