Let’s face it; if you’re reading this website, you are very likely a “smart mark” (a fan of professional wrestling who is aware that the matches are scripted but enjoys them nonetheless). Gone are the days of protecting kayfabe. With the advent of Twitter, podcasts, and easier access to dirt sheets, a line is blurred between what used to be talked about amongst those on the inside and the rest of the world. Due to the business’s more open nature today, fans know how matches work and how the business operates.
Back in 2004, however, professional wrestling was still evolving. During this time, Ric Flair shared some strong words in an interview with Australian Sports Entertainment (H/T: ‘Wrestling’s Glory Days’ Facebook page) about the original author of his first book and the Internet Wrestling Community in part to them using the terminology wrestlers use and for talking like they are on the inside.
With the changing nature of the business and with Ric having once hosted a podcast of his own, The Ric Flair Show, we do wonder if he feels the same way he did years before?
Ric Flair on “Smarks”
“Everybody wants to think that they’re a wrestler.
“The guy who wrote my book the first time, I’d go on record as saying is a fucking idiot – it had to be re-written. He took everything I said and wrote it like he was on the inside. He will go down in history – and I will make sure he does – as the biggest idiot ever be given an opportunity and completely fuck it up because he talked like he was on the inside.
“You know fans want to talk to us using our terminology, and it’s a lot of our guy’s fault because they want to talk to the fans and get their opinions. They want to talk to them like they’re on the inside. I do have a lot of respect for the fans, but I don’t like the fans who think they can talk like they’re on the inside because they’re not.
“We’ve got too many guys in our business that rely on the opinion of some fan who thinks he’s smart. It’s a real issue for me.
“Fans who use terms like ‘Face’ and ‘Heel,’ I have no respect for because they’re not wrestlers. I don’t like outsiders using inside talk – I have no respect for it whatsoever.
“We have a lot of people who think that the end result of what we do lives and breathes on what the Internet thinks is right. I mean, that would be like me trying to write an article on Mercedes Benz. Do I like four doors? Yeah, but do I really know anything about it? No. I wouldn’t know anything about the design of a Mercedes Benz from the inside. I could use the terminology, but I wouldn’t know anything about it.
“It would be like a doctor going home and getting medical advice from random people who have posted something on the net. You know, our guys are the worst for it – they tell the fans what’s going to happen. Some of the Wrestlers are marks, you know, they’re catering for the guys on the Internet! ‘Please say I’m good…say something good about me…I’ll tell you anything you want to know…’
“They have fans they will cater to, just so they say, ‘You were great!’
“That’s was why it was so successful in the past and why we had riots in stadiums because people didn’t know. Now we have guys tell the fans what’s happening the week before, and they’re like, ‘Don’t tell anybody I told you – just say that I’m really good…’ (laughs)
“It’s a shame. It kills me. And if the fans are honest with themselves, they wouldn’t want to know either. It used to be riotous – people were so wound up!! They couldn’t punch it in on the Internet and find out what’s going on.”
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure not to miss the following articles on our site:
- Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat – The Story Behind The Magic
- Ric Flair and Triple H | The Greatest Short Story in Wrestling History
- Ric Flair and Mick Foley – Their Real-Life Beef and Backstage Encounter