The other day while looking for something else, I stumbled upon an essay I’d written for high school titled The Unification Match: Hogan vs Flair.

Hmm, I thought. This could be interesting.

I couldn’t exactly place the class or date, but it had to be 1989 or 1990, since I mention Toronto’s SkyDome (now Rogers Centre), and it opened in 1989.

Here it is, in almost its original form — I just made some edits that the teacher (which one?) suggested, spelling and a missing word.

The Unification Match: Hogan vs Flair

The meeting of the f1amboyant style of NWA World Champion Ric Flair and the incredible presence of WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan is currently the most talked about item in the wrestling world. The mega-card, brought to us by promoters Ted Turner and Vince McMahon, can be seen world-wide on pay-per-view and closed circuit television this Monday, Christmas Day.

To wrestling fans everywhere, the Nature Boy Ric Flair is the symbol of wrestling. The champ’s style— arrogant and obnoxious, best hides his repertoire of wrestling holds. His figure-four-leg-lock has brought him three of his six NWA World Championships, Other favorite holds include the bolo uppercut, the spinning toe-hold and the flying knee-drop. Ric Flair is a timed professional, who is patient enough to wait for an opening before attacking. He has an uncanny ability to change his style during a match, usually leading him to a victory.

Power and intimidation describes the WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan. After his film debut as the unbeatable Thunderlips in Rocky III, he rode a wave of popularity to the championship. He is known as a brawler, and rarely shows any true wrestling manoeuvers. This does not mean he does not know any. The Hulkster has, while on tour in Japan, been known to surprise with toe holds, knee drops and suplexes. In the WWF, he simply does not use his scientific skills. His ring presence is often enough to beat opponents. Hogan does not rely on strategy, but instead likes to use the cheers of the crowd to lead him to win after win.

Wrestling skills will not be the only card Ric Flair will play in this colossal battle of the World Champions. Flair is the dirtiest player in the book, and he is proud of that fact. He will sink to whatever level it will take to win the match, and keep his title. We have seen him use chairs, forks, belts, and the ringbell in the past to avoid a loss. Flair is ruthless and bloodthirsty. He wants to do more than win this match; Ric Flair wants to hurt Hulk Hogan.

Hero of millions, voted Nickelodeon Children’s Network Man of the Year in 1997, the Hulkster cannot let his fans down. He professes fair play and honesty. A win would mean a lot to him, but not if it meant tarnishing it with dirty, unsportsmanlike tactics. If the action does get violent though, Hulk will be right in there, fighting for the honour and glory. He hates to see his legions of Hulkamaniacs go home unhappy.

The ultimate battle between good and evil is about to take place. On Monday, December 25th, at the SkyDome in Toronto, Hulk Hogan, the World Wrestling Federation Champion, will face the National Wrestling Alliance Champion Ric Flair, in a title unification match to a finish. There will be no disqualification, countout or other inconclusive endings. The participants have agreed that the match will only end with a pinfall or upon the event that one wrestler cannot continue. Hogan vs Flair: the dream match becomes a reality.

Of course, in the end, the Flair versus Hogan matches that DID take place in the WWF proved anti-climatic. They faced off at a Wrestling Challenge taping in October 1991, impromtu, as Roddy Piper was supposed to be on the show — Flair won by countout. Then three days later, on October 25, 1991, Flair and Hogan met in an advertised match in Oakland, California. In that one, manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan gave Flair some brass knuckles and he knocked out Hogan for the pinfall win (and he cagily hit the knucks in his trunks). To my surprise, I found a fan shot video of that match:

WWE never really went with Hogan vs Flair, and the first actual televised bouts between them both happened on the MSG Network, not on pay-per-view or on a national broadcast, robbing fans — like a 17 or 18 year old me — of a dream scenario.

Sure, they’d really battle in WCW, though neither quite at the top of their game at that point.

Did you like the essay, though?

My teacher did. I got an “A” with a note: “Well written. Good detail.”

Maybe I had a decent handle on this writing thing even then.