Ric Flair revealed earlier this week in an interview with BANG Showbiz that Hulk Hogan 's health issues at this point in time are "overwhelming" , but did mention Hogan could still return to the ring.
As for himself, Flair emphatically said he would "never retire again" in an interview with Digital Spy.
In the former interview, Flair said:
"His heart is in the ring but he has health issues and at this point in time they are overwhelming. His back has been really bad. He's got an artificial knee, an artificial hip, which don't bother him at all. But his back is causing everything to hurt."
Normally, that quote would have confirmed suspicions that Hogan would not step into the squared circle as a competitor anymore, as he has carefully avoided any significant in ring action, unlike counterpart Flair who does not seem to be in the mood to quit just yet.
However, the Nature Boy did have this to add:
"We might still see him (Hogan) in the ring if his health issues get resolved."
As for himself, Ric's latter interview addressed the Internet fans:
"I can't even turn a computer on and if I could I wouldn't pay any attention to it anyway! It's not that I don't respect the fans, but it's just what can a wrestling fan tell me about wrestling? One of the problems with the young guys is they are more concerned with what the fans think about them than what they are achieving as individuals and what their boss thinks of them. But that's normal with young guys and I get it but it's nothing that will ever affect my role or thought process about myself. I know when I am in the ring when I am good and on, and when I leave the building if I was good and on. And 99 percent of the time I was on or I wouldn't be here today!"
Do wrestling fans want to see either of these two legends continue to compete?
Ric Flair is no slouch, even at this stage of his career. As evidenced by his performance on March 8, the Nature Boy will still take a fall or two that the average 60 year old would pass up on.
The 16 time World Champion is not afraid to put other wrestlers over, and you would have to believe that Flair really does have the interest of TNA's young stars at heart. In an interview with the UK Sun's WrestleCast, Flair mentioned former TNA tag champions Beer Money as being very talented.
As for Hulk Hogan, he remains the most mainstream star wrestling has ever produced. Hogan's media tour ahead of March 8 did see journalists raising an eyebrow at the decision of Hogan to return to the ring. The press attention was not a game changer, but it did at least make the press in certain outlets.
Television ratings do matter, and the readings from the March 8 show when Flair and Hogan faced off in a tag match in their TNA in ring debuts did not make for good reading.
The beginning of their match scored the lowest rating of the night, a mere 0.76. Whether the rating would have improved if TNA's overall show had been of a higher quality is a valid query, but a subjective one very much left to debate.
The combined age of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair is 117. In contrast, Wrestlemania was headlined by the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, who are both in their mid 40s. TNA may want an older demographic compared to PG rated WWE, but they might just be shooting way off target.
Irregardless of their intentions, the continued presence of ageing stars reduces the on screen time for younger talent. Even in the occasions when the younger wrestlers such as AJ Styles are involved, more often than not they have not been the focal point. A far cry back to the Attitude Era when older talent was pushed aside in favor of fresher acts.
I have to go with the down side. As much as I enjoyed watching Flair and Hogan back in the day, I strongly feel TNA will not reap any notable benefits from either of these two men stepping into the ring once more, even if only for a few minutes. Flair's wheelchair gimmick was fun to watch, but in an active in ring capacity they might be best served to not lace up their boots.
What do you think? Would have Ric Flair wrestle again? With Hulk Hogan too? Or just one of them? Should they pack it in instead?