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    Friday, March 31, 2017

    Ric Flair Just Got His Own Statue—But How Does It Compare Against Other WWE Hall of Famers?


    Hot off the heels of global football icon Cristiano Ronaldo getting dubiously immortalized in bronze, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair just got his own commemorative statue as we enter the home stretch for WrestleMania. Unveiled before an appreciative audience at Axxess, including Flair himself, his daughter Charlotte, as well as both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, it's a majestic life-sized masterpiece that captures Flair in his prime, complete with a painstakingly hand-sculpted robe decked in his trademark sequins and feathers. His Greek-god hair and features are spot-on, as well as the playful smirk he'd use to both woo the ladies and demoralise the dudes.

    It's certainly a bad-ass creation by New York City-based sculptor Karen Atta, but it's by no means the first of its kind. Atta has immortalized four other WWE Hall of Famers in the past: Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, the Ultimate Warrior, and Andre the Giant. How does the Nature Boy's statue compare with theirs?

    Andre the Giant

    On scale alone, it's impossible to compete with the massive life-sized sculpture of the legendary 7'4" Andre. It's not exactly the most authentic likeness of his, however, as it merges his close-cropped WWF hair and sideburns of the early-to-mid 1980s with his leaner, more athletic build from the late 1970s and early 1980s. But then again, realism isn't really the game with statues like this; people want to remember their heroes in their most idealised form, and that's where this statue delivers.

    We have to deduct points though for the sparseness of details, but that's really more on Andre's in-ring look than the sculptor's skill. He kept things bare-boned in terms of attire, allowing his towering stature to be the only thing that grabs the eye.

    Verdict: Push. Flair's statue wins in detailing and technical intricacy, but Andre's overwhelms with its magnitude.

    Bruno Sammartino

    The attention to detail in Sammartini's statue is breathtaking. From the precise curls and wrinkles on his weathered face to the individual strands of hair sprawled across his barrel chest, it's an impeccable likeness that captures both the quiet majesty of the legendary American-Italian icon and his raw, bull-like power. The crafting of the WWWF World Championship around his waist is superb as well—heck, we'd order than on WWE Shop if they ever put it on sale.

    There really isn't much to hate in this statue. Bruno wasn't a showman, and it shows in the clean, workman ethic of this piece. Maybe Flair's has got a little bit more sizzle, but that's a reflection of personality more than anything else.

    Verdict: Slight edge to Ric Flair's statue, if only because we imagine his one billion feathers were harder to carve out than Bruno's man-carpet.

    Dusty Rhodes

    If we were judging these statues based on pure personality, Dusty Rhodes' piece would win in a monster landslide. The other pieces did a great job capturing the subjects' likenesses; this one succeeded in capturing Dusty's soul. It's no wonder ol' Goldust looks so choked up in the photo above—everything on the American Dream's statue was pitch-perfect, from the sassy finger up in the air, the working man's haircut and lopsided sneer.

    The technical artistry is superb too. The details of the drawstring on his trunks, his monogram, and how his left hand seems to sink into his fleshy midsection are all remarkable. We wouldn't be half-surprised if the damn thing suddenly sprang into life to pour pork n' beans down our necks and dish out a round of Bionic Elbows for old time's sake.

    Verdict: Any half-decent artist can capture a good likeness, but it's a rare one that's able to capture the spirit of a subject as well as this statue does. Ol' Dusty gets a rare win over Naitch on this one.

    The Ultimate Warrior

    Feel the poowwaaahhh!

    And speaking of spirit and soul, how about the manic intensity captured in this bronze replica of the legendary wildman from Parts Unknown? From the bulging veins to the powerfully-coiled muscles, everything on this statue screams kinetic energy. We love the attention to detail behind the individual tassels as well, both around Warrior's biceps and around his boots.

    Where this thing falls flat for us is the goofy expression on his face. Yeah we all know he was a bit of a nutjob at times, but would it have been too much to ask for him to be immortalized as a dignified nutjob? Crazy is good, but come on. This is how the man is going to be remembered for decades to come; we could have at least given him some gravitas.

    Verdict: High on energy, but low in respect. That's how we'd describe this statue of the Ultimate Warrior, and it coincidentally also sums up his career pretty well, after all of his legendary walkouts.


    So there you have it. Ric Flair's statue is officially the second-greatest WWE bronze sculpture of all time, according to the intricate, highly-sophisticated analysis by the Smark Henry Committee of the Arts. He may have stolen a few championships from Dusty Rhodes during both men's active years in the ring, but this is one game where the American Dream wins out in a big way.

    Who do you think is the next WWE Hall of Famer (or future one, at least) to get a statue of his own? Do you agree with our verdict? Let us know in the comments below!
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    Item Reviewed: Ric Flair Just Got His Own Statue—But How Does It Compare Against Other WWE Hall of Famers? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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