Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair: What Makes Legends Tarnish Their Image and Legacies?

Chinmay@@iTsChinmaySenior Analyst IIFebruary 4, 2011

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24:  Hulk Hogan guides Rick Flair back to the ring during the Hulkamania Tour at the Burswood Dome on November 24, 2009 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Paul Kane/Getty Images

Ric Flair is arguably the best pro-wrestler to step into the ring. Hulk Hogan is most likely the biggest draw there has ever been. Both of these are the greatest legends of last century.

However, both of them have legacies that are not only tarnished but have also become parodies.

We the fans have often wondered about why these two (along with countless others) had to squash their own greatness. Why after achieving so much, did they have to strive for more? Legends that they are, they are part of the very few who've reached the ultimate zenith.

There was nothing left to conquer, then why in the world did they have to fight one more time?

All the legends could have simply sat at their respective homes and there is no way they would have slipped into anonymity.  

Then, what was the reason that forced them into the downhill slide? What was the motive behind this relentless struggle? Did they want more money? Was it another compulsion? Or was it perhaps their own legacy?

I have always thought of pro wrestlers as artists, those artists who not only exhibit their sublime skills but also put their bodies on the line to mesmerise us. Like every other artist in this world, these stars also love their craft; heck, in fact they are addicted to it—there is nothing wrong with that.

However, every art comes with a load of passion and passion gives way to incessant dreams. And these dreams come with obsession, self-absorption and jealousy. No wrestler dreams of becoming a jobber in his or her life. Everybody invariably dreams big.

What comes afterwards is a tough road, a struggle to break through and a struggle to forge your way into the main event.

Then someday we have likes of Flair and Hogan, who have not only realized their dreams but who are simply living it too. Continuous adulation from millions of fans and those thousands-strong chants filling up arenas become routine.

The very first rendezvous with glory turns any human being into her lover. Secondly, performing your flair in front of the people has its own kick. Once it becomes a lengthy relationship, glory becomes an obsession.

With legacy comes a relevant lifestyle and Ric Flair has damaged himself several times due to his. There is one little fact that, with a changing life, so too should your lifestyle. Flair undoubtedly has not changed. This is the sole reason for monetary woes of half the stars.

When these megastars look into the mirror, only their own perceptions appear—and not the truth. Nobody could ever convince Hulk Hogan that he is not a superhero in real life;it was always about what he thinks.

Before moving on, let me just clarify that these things apply to most of the legends.

It is not just Hogan or Flair, almost the entire fraternity suffers through the same syndrome. Glorious exceptions are very few.

In the end, most of the legends become slaves to their own legacies. Every morning as they wake up, they hear the chants of their names in their heads. It is not the sunshine that lights their faces, it is the spotlight.

With time the body wears down, but not the passion. Their mind hobbles around the same desire. And just like an addict has to pick up the next fix, they have to enter the ring one more time. Just like the last fix ever, there comes the last match.

It is easy for us to judge them, to deride them, but the life is crazy at its pinnacle. Ric Flair does not only enter in the ring because he needs more money, but also because wrestling runs through his veins and every breath he takes.

Of course I do not really mean to justify their actions in still being here; I wish to look at it from another side.

I hope that these guys would understand that they don’t have mere fame. Fame is momentary.

They have a legacy.

Legacy is everlasting and it transcends generations. We are going to talk about them no matter the decade. However, I just wish there were more glorious things to talk about.