Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

Flair-Highspots Lawsuit


rovert
 Share

Recommended Posts

PWInsider:

 

HIGHSPOTS.COM FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST RIC FLAIR, FLAIR'S VERSION OF EVENTS DIFFERS GREATLY FROM THEIRS

by Mike Johnson @ 4:00 PM on 8/3/2010

 

Highspots.com's owner and parent company, Michael Bochicchio and Highspots, Inc. have filed a lawsuit against TNA star Ric Flair in the Superior Court of North Carolina,. The lawsuit was filed over the ongoing issues regarding money Flair allegedly owes Highspots and the original National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight championship belt, which Highspots claimed they were given as collateral for the loan.

 

Highspots has maintained possession of the belt and have previously tried to sell the belt to make up the amount they have alleged Flair owes them, only to learn that another entity, Combraco, Inc., already held a lien on the property for money Flair owes them.

 

Highspots is suing, claiming they are owed $35,000 from money lent to Flair, as well as money spent on photos and other materials created in conjunction with Flair appearances. They are also claiming they are owed one more appearance contractually by Flair, plus interest on money owed.

 

Highspots' side is that they lent Flair $31,000 and $35,000 on different instances. Flair agreed to make appearances to make up the amounts. Flair made two signing appearances and also appeared with Roddy Piper in a shoot interview DVD for a total of three appearances. So, Highspots is claiming they are owed for one final appearance to make up the remainder of the $31,000, plus the entire $35,000 loan.

 

Flair's attorney responded to the lawsuit on 7/21, noting that Flair had accepted a wire money transfer from Highspots to the tune of $35,000, which is the amount in question for the second loan. There is no mention of the initial $31,000 beyond the mention of a "loan that had been previously addressed." The agreement, according to Flair's side was that Flair would then do a series of autograph appearances for Highspots to work off the debt.

 

Flair's attorney claimed to the court that two such appearances were made, which each "generated $10,000 per appearance" while the remaining appearances "were canceled" by Highspots. In the filing, Flair's attorney wrote that the cancellations were made "without prior warning" and that Highspots had "denied Flair the ability under the agreement to repay the balance of the loan."

 

In regard to the NWA championship belt, Flair's attorney claims that "at no time" did Flair pledge the belt to Highspots as collateral. Flair's version of events is that the belt was brought to the autograph sessions and that Highspots took possession and "refused to return it." In noting the lien to Combraco, Inc., Flair's attorney's claimed that at no time did Flair lead Highspots to believe they had "security interest" in the belt. Flair is claiming Highspots has "wrongful, unlawful and unauthorized possession" of the be

 

The filing also mentioned that Flair did call the local police in Charlotte "asking for advice on how to retrieve it." In asking around, there was a story making the rounds in the local wrestling scene several months back that several officers came to Highspots' office, trying to get the belt but left after being shown the paperwork regarding the issue.

 

The filing also featured an interesting claim from Flair's side that Highspots.com had failed to pay Flair after an appearance at a "Mid-Atlantic Fan Fest" (obviously, last year's NWA Legends Fanfest in Charlotte) as he was scheduled to work for seven hours and be paid $7,500. Flair's attorney claimed Flair instead worked thirteen hours and was "compensated only $19,000" - and had he been paid for the "full extent of his services", there would have been "sufficient funds" to repay any debt to Highspots.com.

 

Interesting to note that NWA Legends Fan Fest promoter Greg Price came out publicly several months back regarding his dealing with Flair over the course of that event. His statement, reprinted on Page Two, included a claim that Price cut a deal with Highspots and Flair where Flair received money up front and the remainder would go towards Highspots' debt. Instead, Flair allegedly held Price up for much more money during the course of the event, which Price eventually paid Flair and not Highspots. Obviously, Flair and Price's accounts greatly differ from the other, but if Price was the one paying Flair, not Highspots, one has to wonder how Flair can place the blame on Highspots to begin with and how it is even material to the money owed.

 

Flair's filing asked that Highspots be denied all of their claims, that the court rule that any debt to the company has been satisfied and that the NWA World championship belt be returned to his possession and that Highspots be forced to pay the court costs.

 

Ring of Honor currently has a lawsuit pending against Flair as well for breach of contract and money owed after Flair pulled out of scheduled appearances as the company's "Ambassador" after being previously paid in advance

Price's original account:

On the official message board for the NWA Legends Fanfest at www.nwalegends.com, promoter Greg Price wrote a detailed statement in response to fans questioning the Ric Flair situation we wrote about yesterday here on PWInsider.com:

 

Ok, Kenny, let me address this. But I want you and everyone else to know that no one, not me or anyone else from fanfest, is asking you to take sides here. I understand how it is to idolize someone, especially for a long, long time. I did that with Flair myself. But here's the situation in a nutshell...

 

I think most of Flair's personal issues are well-documented. Surely you've heard of them right? No need for me to go into details here on things I wasn't involved in, but to answer your question about the NWA belt, I believe he hocked it, placed it as collateral for loans that were never repaid. I'm sure others on here can direct you for more info on that.

 

As far as my dealings with Ric, they actually go back 10+ years, but I'll start with the summer of 2008. He'd just retired at Wrestlemania, and I booked him for our August fanfest which ended up being his first non-WWE appearance. I dealt with Elaine Gillespie, Ric's new agent at the time, had everything in writing and everything went great.

 

Then last year, the relationship with Ric and his agent had already gone south, like many of his relationships. I had an opportunity to reunite the Four Horsemen but couldn't without Flair, of course. When I went to LOTR last May, the Friday night before the LOTR show is when Flair walked out on ROH and also the same night I got the word that he wouldn't be doing fanfest last year because he was going overseas. Some folks here will remember me sharing that news as it happened.

 

Well, within a few weeks after that, the overseas trip got cancelled and the opportunity was again possible to reunite the Horsemen. With no agent, I began dealing with Michael at Highspots. Michael had just done the Ric Flair shoot interview, and was in possession of the NWA belt you asked about, looking for ways to retrieve his money as Flair had not made good on a previous loan from Michael. It was Michael that negotiated the deal that allowed Flair to be at fanfest last year, the second year in a row, and our 3-way agreement was in writing. Flair was cognizant of everything. There was no middle man in the deal. Michael and I dealt with him directly. The deal was that I paid Flair a portion of his fee up front, with the balance paid to Michael at fanfest, so Michael was getting paid back on his loan without it coming directly out of Flair's pocket.

 

Gosh, maybe this is too much for some of you. Maybe it'd be better suited for my first Q&A

 

Ok, everything moves along. Ric is helpful in doing local media for the event. Shows up and does the Q&A with Harley Race on Thursday night. Everything's fine. Well, Horsemen day is Friday and he shows up at Noon, the scheduled start time, and first wants to see Michael before we start doing Horsemen pictures. I didn't know why he wanted Michael, but told him I'd take him to the Highspots booth. We went there but couldn't find Michael. He spent a few more minutes looking for him to no avail before we finally started the Horsemen photo ops. Well, at one of the breaks, Michael came by and I witnessed first-hand a confrontation between the two of them, arguing about their money deals. I'm like "Guys, can we do this another time? We've got business to do here. We've got fans waiting." Words to that effect. I wanted to excuse myself because I felt the conversation was between the two of them (and it was,) but Ric insisted I stay and listen. Finally, after some shoulder-pounding on both sides, they'd said what they needed to say to each other and we got back to the photo ops. I'd never seen Flair act like that, but it wasn't my business so I just stayed out of it, thinking "Dang, what has Michael gotten himself into?"

 

I thought that was the end of it, but Naitch would rear his ugly head yet again...

 

Part of our written agreement was that Flair would induct Blackjack Mulligan into our Hall of Heroes last year, basically the "main event" of our banquet. I don't need to remind you guys that we went way over on time with the Horsemen signing, which delayed the start of the banquet.

 

Well, once everyone is in and seated and during the dinner portion, Ric and his then-fiance Jackie and son Reid were outside of the largest ballroom in the foyer area between the two bathrooms (those of you that have been here before will know where that's at.) It's an open area and folks were going back and forth to the bathrooms. (On a side note, I'd love to be able to find someone that may have walked by at the time and witnessed any of this.) I was confronted by Ric, not the friendly and helpful Ric that he'd been to me previously, but the same Ric that I saw confront Michael earlier in the day. He was animated. He was loud. I tried several times to get him to lower his voice or go somewhere in private to speak but he wouldn't budge. He was not only holding me up for more money (which I'll get to in a moment,) but he wanted to make sure that I gave him the money that was to be paid to Michael per our written agreement.

 

That night, that moment, I came face to face with evil. I will never look at that guy the same way again. I'd grown up idolizing this guy and here he is jumping up and down like a spoiled brat, screaming and hollering, not just to me but in front of fans and everyone else. And if you can picture the place where I describe this as happening, you know it's just outside the doors of the Hall of Heroes ceremony.

 

He wanted to be paid the money that was supposed to go to Michael, and he wanted more money on top of that, or he was going to "Leave right now." Honestly, in hindsight, I should've let him walk. Anyone that's ever tried to hold me up before, I've let them walk. But to give you an idea of what I'm thinking, our autograph session with the Horsemen went way over, I have many items from fans that are still waiting on his signature, and I have his mailorder stuff that is yet to be done. So if he walked then, I'd be giving a lot of money back to a lot of angry fans. So I agreed. It ended the most disgusting ten minutes of my life. For those of you that attended the banquet, imagine what I was thinking when he thanked me during his speech inducting Blackjack. What a phoney. What a farce. What a pathetic human being.

 

After the banquet, Flair and his then-fiance Jackie sat down and signed a few hundred photo ops and mailorder items and was paid in front of witnesses. He wasn't rude now. He knew I'm a man of my word and I'd agreed to pay him, instead of Michael. He left happily, as witnessed by many.

 

I can guarantee you if Ric Flair wasn't paid, he would've still been there, kicking and screaming like a little kid. So I owe Ric Flair nothing.

 

Needless to say, Michael is still fighting, trying to collect his money, as far as I know. It wasn't long after fanfest, when he knew Flair wasn't going to pay him, that he tried to sell the NWA belt that Flair had hocked. Only to find out later that another company had a lien against Flair's personal belongings and it couldn't be sold. Blah blah blah.

 

Again, and from the beginning, my intent is not to change people's thoughts on Flair. One of our fanfest regulars attended the TNA Lockdown PPV in St. Louis a few weeks back. He didn't want to tell me this story himself, but I finally got it out of him. Like many of you guys when you go to other signings and wear your fanfest t-shirts, when this fanfest regular saw Flair in St. Louis he asked Naitch if he was going to be in Charlotte this year for fanfest. Flair told him something to the effect of "When you see Greg Price, tell him he owes me 25 grand" and went further to say that he got ripped off last year. THAT IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE AND IS THE EXACT "RUMOR" I'M TRYING TO BE PROACTIVE ABOUT, NIPPING IT IN THE BUD BEFORE IT GOES ANY FURTHER. I'm sure if he's told one person this lie, he's told it to many.

 

I believe that our fanfest regular that had this conversation with Ric will publicly identify himself very soon. This isn't a "Me vs. Ric" situation. This is truth vs. lie.

 

The 25 grand figure is a pie-in-the-sky number. I've never paid anyone 25 grand to do anything.

 

I understand why this man wants to talk smack about his creditors. He owes them money. But I have no idea why he would want to accuse me of ripping him off or owing him money. No idea. And I've called his agent/attorney to let her know all my info so she can file a lawsuit against me if she really believes that. Otherwise, this b.s. needs to stop.

 

Gosh folks, sorry for the long diatribe. It is the truth, though. Sadly enough.

Thought this might be of interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 175
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Flair chewing tobacco was so wrong on so many level. First it's disgusting. Then Flair is supposed to be a champaign drinking man, not a tobacco spitting dirty old redneck.

What struck me the most in Flair's interview, was the part where he said he would be Ric Flair until he died because he didn't know who Richard Fliehr was and couldn't be that Richard Fliehr.

Also, Flair admitting that a lot of his spots didn't make sense was nice to hear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In that shoot, Flair placed a lot of emphasis on guys who are willing to sell for anyone, have stamina, "stay open" so he can chop them, and just "keep working and working and working", which is how I think he said it. It makes sense that that's how he defines a great wrestler, as based on just that criteria, he's as much a candidate for greatest of all time as anyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing about Flair is that he certainly should be considered the greatest ever, or #2 at the very least, but there's going to be an entire generation of wrestling fans who see him as the equivalent of Jordan playing for the Washington Wizards. I could imagine how difficult it would be to convince someone that started watching wrestling in the 2000s that Flair is one of the all time greats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roughly equivalent to myself watching Terry Funk as a young fan I imagine.

Explain. Funk has always been awesome.

 

WWE jammed it down everyone's throats that Ric Flair was the greatest (even as he feuded with Kenny Dykstra), so I'm sure younger fans still probably think he was this all time great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing with Funk is that he made age a whole part of his act after he passed 50. The whole ECW angle in 97 was that he was an old man trying to recapture the gold one last time. Flair is just doing Flair at 60, which is pretty pathetic to watch, and absolutely painfull when you're a fan of the 80's Flair. I can watch Terry Funk in 79 and Terry Funk in 97 back to back and find tons of good thing to say about 53 year old Funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flair looked like Flair up to 96 to me, with Woman & Liz on his arms. He looked older and his work was already way down from his peak, but he was still the Nature Boy. I thought when he came back in 97, that's when age set in. From 97 to 99, Flair had some good and fun stuff on occasions despite looking *old*. Like you said, from 00 and on, it's freaking horrible. I can't understand the Flair fans parroting the WWE gospel that "WWE gave Flair his dignity back" when Flair looked just awful during his entire WWE stint, terrible work, aged 15 years, got booked like HHH's bitch. Flair should have quit when WCW went under, this last decade is just a huge, long, painfull disgrace for a guy that was so good in the 80's...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where WWE helped Flair out so much is that they rebuilt his legend. Without the marketing of Flair as the best ever in WWE, I'm not sure he could command the money he's commanded on the independent scene. Considering how much damage had been done to Flair around the beginning of the 00s through aging and bad booking, I'm not sure Flair was more marketable than, say, Roddy Piper or Randy Savage, when he certainly is today. Interestingly enough, the retirement made him hotter than he had been in years.

 

I agree that from 1997-1998, Flair wasn't much and was really embarrassing in some ways, but when he returned after the Bischoff lawsuit, I thought he did a great job building up matches with Bischoff and Hogan. Also, his heel turn in spring of '99, while ill-advised, had some fun moments. The Flair-Goldberg match from Nitro is really terrific, as are the matches he had around this time with Benoit and Sting. Still, he was 50 years old in 1999, which is just too old for anyone to be carrying the load as the top heel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing with Funk is that he made age a whole part of his act after he passed 50. The whole ECW angle in 97 was that he was an old man trying to recapture the gold one last time. Flair is just doing Flair at 60, which is pretty pathetic to watch, and absolutely painfull when you're a fan of the 80's Flair. I can watch Terry Funk in 79 and Terry Funk in 97 back to back and find tons of good thing to say about 53 year old Funk.

 

Hell, his angle in 1989 in the NWA was that he was a crazy old man wanting one more run on top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evolution Era Flair was the real low point. Aside from being a lap dog for HHH and looking like trash physically, he was also unbelievably bad in the ring, maybe the worst in the World. He hadn't really had any offense in years , but at that point he couldn't execute any of his bumps either, and every match he would blow multiple spots - about 80% of which he would be calling on camera. I actually think the Flair's stint as a "glorified stunt man"/garbage worker was pretty good as crazy old man grabbing Angle's nuts, beating up HHH in a cage, rolling around in barbed wire and tacks v. Foley and Show, taking crazy bumps off ladders, et was better than virtually anything he had done post-Hogan entry into WCW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roughly equivalent to myself watching Terry Funk as a young fan I imagine.

Explain. Funk has always been awesome.

 

WWE jammed it down everyone's throats that Ric Flair was the greatest (even as he feuded with Kenny Dykstra), so I'm sure younger fans still probably think he was this all time great.

 

Not saying he was terrible. But I started watching wrestling in '90, and the crazy Funk I watched was very different from the guy who won the NWA championship.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...