Superstar Spotlight: Eric Young
I have noticed that there has been a string of Spotlight articles featuring a group of WWE Superstars, so I thought someone from Impact deserved some notice. They are just coming off of Lockdown, and I heard groans about the bad crowd for one of TNA's bigger pay-per-view events, but it wasn't all bad. James Storm and Bobby Roode provided a good main event and Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy earned just as much praise, but there's one thing I have to ask. What the heck are they doing with Eric Young? This has much more to do with the overall picture than Lockdown, but I don't see why a comedy character gets such a high spot on a major event. I know I am being a bit hypocritical, because I like guys like Santino and Zack Ryder in WWE, but look at how they were used at Wrestlemania. They were a part of a twelve man tag match with a storyline that was built up over a few weeks. Sarita and Rosita getting a title shot wasn't even given a full month, and they flirted with EY during the wedding ceremony on Impact. (More on that later...)
Eric Young has been with TNA/Impact Wrestling long enough where I think he should have a better direction than the one he has. I guess I am finally getting used to having him wrestle women, and I prefer his goofy character over the 'confused' one who locks up with referees. EY and ODB make a good onscreen couple and it makes sense to have her 'wear the pants' in the relationship since it comes off so well. I really didn't care for the entire thing in the beginning, and I thought their backstage segments were wasting time. I'm not going to sit here and completely bash EY, because for every awful photo shoot, there was a great segment like the bachelor party. EY comes across as offbeat and a nerd, so it was only fitting that ODB crashed his party and brought some beer and chicken wings. I laughed when he had his friends try to do a fantasy baseball draft, then ODB came in and provided a perfect example of how a wrestling odd couple can work. The best part of the whole wedding angle is that they actually went through with the ceremony and it went off without many problems. Sure Sarita and Rosita spoke up, but EY showed he is a sweet guy and got married to the right woman, and we may get a longer angle out of it. I can't think of too many TNA weddings (if any), but WWE weddings always ended with destruction, priests in makeup, secret footage or an elaborate set up.
As far as Eric Young's career goes, I actually think it could have been alot better than what he has been given so far. Teaming him with Orlando Jordan was a bad idea and it didn't work. Making EY get hit on the head and having him go crazy was a terrible idea. There are alot of terrible ideas that EY has been given, and I can go as far back as 'Super Eric' or even longer. Does anyone remember when he had a feud with Danny Bonaduce on 94 WYSP (Philadelphia) radio because Eric thought Danny disrespected him? I was initially skeptical about it, but it made perfect sense for a radio personality to feud with a lower card star. I listened to Danny's show on my way to work and school, and he would constantly promote the match which got me more interested in it. EY/Danny isn't exactly Rock/Cena or anything close, but they used two types of media (hear that Twitter war?) to properly promote a feud. After all of the build up, the match got moved to the preshow. EY has had a history of getting crap every time something starts to look good. He worked well as a member of Team Canada, and another highlight was when he was in charge of World Elite and he had a few reigns as Global Champion. He was being taken seriously as the leader of a stable, and feuded with guys like Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley over control of TNA. I liked when he was paired with Kevin Nash in 'The Band' because he was coming across as a more serious guy, then it all got pushed aside and they broke up for other issues.
Eric Young seems to have found a balance in his character right now, and I just hope he gets a more consistant storyline than he has had in the past. He is still going to be a wacky guy, but he can handle himself in the ring; it's like Santino and Zack Ryder are and it's how everyone should be. All wrestlers from the top of the card to the curtain jerkers should be able to defend themselves, that way when they move up the card they aren't looked at like jokes. I think I can ask for EY to be a more consistant character because I have given up on him ever being stronger than he was with World Elite. Eric Young has been a multiple time X-Division, Global and Tag Team Champion, but the most important thing to consider is that he found a place in the company and doesn't look to be going anywhere.
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A Big House on the Big Side of Town
by Mark Madden
I read the Grantland.com article on Ric Flair.
I don’t understand what all the outrage is about.
OK, so Flair outspends his income. How many Americans don’t? But he’s hardly “The Wrestler.” He’s not living in a trailer. He pays $3,683 per month rent. He’s not working independent shows for $50. He’s making over $250,000 per year working for Impact, and other significant income from endorsements. He’s been part of some questionable episodes. He’s also been swindled and stalked.
I don’t see how the Grantland.com article makes Flair a bad guy, or anything less than the greatest wrestler ever.
I bet his shoes still cost more than your house.
Wrestling is fraught with a host of malfeasance: Sexual harassment. PEDs. Recreational drugs. Frat-boy misbehavior that would shame “Animal House.” Cutthroat manipulation. Old-time stars that really are penniless. And a bunch of guys that dropped dead. It's always been the island of misfit toys.
Ric Flair is 62. He’s alive and, all things considered, in good health. He’s not in jail, or drug-addled. He still cuts promos with the best of them. He’s still an above-average in-ring performer. He still knows how to be RIC FLAIR.
So he’s had bad luck with women and money. That doesn’t exactly make him unique. Ric's got plenty of company there.
Ric’s had a great life. It’s still pretty good. He still gets to be RIC FLAIR.
Sometimes, perhaps, that’s part of the problem. But the pros far outweigh the cons.
Ric doesn’t need to be excoriated by wrestling fans. He needs wrestling fans to close ranks and support him. If that sounds like cheerleading, well – excuse me for being a fan, and a friend, of the greatest wrestler that’s ever lived.
Ric gave you countless hours of entertainment. Do you really care if he owes somebody money? You shouldn’t. Does getting drunk on an airplane dilute his legend one iota? It shouldn’t. Heck, he was just being RIC FLAIR.
I spoke with Ric Thursday night. The Grantland.com article never came up. Ric was excited about some things that he’ll for doing for Impact. The great ones look ahead in hope. Other people can look back in anger for them.
I can’t discount the general accuracy of the Grantland.com article. But it has an anti-Flair feel to it. His jump to WWF with the NWA belt – a belt he owned pending return of a deposit – was presented as a criminal act. It wasn’t Flair’s fault when he got stalked, or swindled.
I’m amazed at the IWC’s self-righteousness over the Grantland.com article. You’ll defend Matt and Jeff Hardy, a couple of big-time sleaze merchants who embarrass themselves and their profession. But if Ric Flair is past due on a few bills, you morph into the Moral Majority.
Doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, he’s still RIC FLAIR. If you don’t understand the magnitude of that, you’re not qualified to judge, anyway.