On a recent edition of the “Busted Open Radio” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray discussed the status of Ric Flair and John Cena in terms of being the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Ray named Cena as WWE’s all-time great while calling Flair the overall GOAT. He said,
“John Cena is the GOAT of the WWE. Ric Flair is the GOAT of all time. Within the world of WWE, John Cena is a 16-time world heavyweight champion, with Randy Orton creeping up on him. But when it comes to world heavyweight champions, period, somebody who defended their world heavyweight champions around the world in various federations, [or] various territories — it’s Ric Flair.
Ray also weighed in on Roman Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Title run and how the company is retconning Bob Backlund’s reign to make way.
Backlund had one of the longest title reigns as recognized by WWE at 2,135 days. The reign was briefly interrupted by a loss to Antonio Inoki in November of 1979 for a six-day run until Backland won it back, which technically split the reign into two at 648 days and 1,470 days.
However, WWE recognized the reign as one full uninterrupted run until recently, when Corey Graves mentioned Inoki’s win on commentary and Michael Cole did not list Backlund’s title run among the longest in history.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On what WWE is trying to do with Reigns’ title run: “What WWE is trying to do, by recognizing [Antonio Inoki’s WWE Championship win in 1979] is, ‘Hey, we’ve gone back in our archives and upon doing so, we realize that Backlund’s championship run was broken one night in Japan by Antonio Inoki,’thus making it a little easier for Roman to creep up on [Hulk] Hogan and Bruno [Sammartino].”
On Inoki’s win being mentioned on commentary, but not Backlund’s title reign: “It’s very hard for me to buy into Michael Cole making a mistake. He’s a human being, it could’ve happened. But Michael Cole does so much research … he doesn’t make mistakes. The WWE doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes when they are trying to paint a picture of what they want you to believe. There’s a 1% chance that Michael Cole made a mistake.”
On WWE retconning Backlund’s title reign: “On this one, I kinda get it. For years I’ve been going [online] and I’m like, ‘Oh, there’s Bob Backlund’s name, he was my champion when I was growing up.’ I mean I can’t imagine how the staunch Bob Backlund fan feels about it right now about him possibly being ghosted… Can’t [retcon] Bruno, that’s absolute sacrilege, he’s number one. You can’t do it to Hogan, they know the name too well. But if we get rid of Backlund, enough people have forgotten about him already, thus we have Roman creeping up on Hogan and Bruno.”
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In the world of professional wrestling, there is often debate about who can be considered the greatest of all time. Recently, WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray shared his thoughts on the matter, specifically discussing the status of Ric Flair and John Cena.
According to Ray, John Cena is the greatest of all time within the WWE. Cena has an impressive record, being a 16-time world heavyweight champion. However, when it comes to the overall greatest wrestler of all time, Ray believes that title belongs to Ric Flair.
What sets Flair apart, according to Ray, is his extensive world heavyweight championship reigns across various federations and territories. Flair defended his title around the world, solidifying his status as one of the most dominant and accomplished wrestlers in history.
Ray also touched on the current WWE Universal Title run of Roman Reigns. He mentioned that the company is retconning Bob Backlund’s reign to make way for Reigns’ ascent in the record books. Backlund had one of the longest title reigns recognized by WWE, lasting for 2,135 days. However, the reign was briefly interrupted by a loss to Antonio Inoki in 1979 for a six-day run before Backlund won it back.
WWE had previously recognized Backlund’s reign as one uninterrupted run until recently when Inoki’s win was mentioned on commentary. This change allows Reigns to close in on legendary wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino in terms of title reign length.
Ray acknowledged that some fans may feel disappointed or upset about Backlund’s reign being retconned. However, he suggested that enough time has passed for Backlund’s name to have faded from memory, making it easier for WWE to adjust the record books and elevate Reigns’ status.
It’s important to note that these opinions are subjective, and the debate about the greatest wrestler of all time will continue among wrestling fans. However, it is always interesting to hear the perspectives of industry veterans like Bully Ray.
If you’re interested in staying up to date with all the latest wrestling news, you can visit eWrestlingNews.com or follow their Twitter and Facebook pages. Wrestling fans can continue to engage in discussions and debates about the greatest wrestlers of all time, keeping the spirit of the sport alive.