A contract under fireProfessional wrestler "Nature Boy...

Off the beat

July 06, 1991

A contract under fire

Professional wrestler "Nature Boy" Ric Flair has lost and regained the world's heavyweight title numerous times during the past 10 years, but this time Flair became champion again without even stepping into the ring.

Flair, whose real name is Richard Fleihr, said his lawyer, Dennis Guthrie, was notified Monday that Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling would terminate Flair's contract Aug. 1, using a provision that allows WCW to end the contract with 30 days' notice.

Flair said he was fired because he refused to take a "drastic" cut from his $780,000 salary by immediately signing a two-year contract.

But Flair was not down for the count.

The National Wrestling Alliance, a cooperative of wrestling promoters, issued a statement distributed by Flair's lawyers yesterday that it will continue to regard Flair as the world champion.

It may have been the first legal maneuver of the noted villain's career.

The quote

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel on the voting for baseball's All-Star Game: "I don't want to imply this is a misguided popularity contest, but Kevin Costner was just nosed out at catcher for the American League."

Sounds logical

Janice Carbone of Mission Viejo, Calif., told Golf Illustrated about the time her parents moved to a retirement community that had a private golf course. They signed up for lessons, and the instructor told them to start at the driving range. He said they could buy buckets of balls in three sizes -- small, medium or large.

"That's great," her mother said. "I think I'll start out with the largest size. They'll be so much easier to hit."

Name of the week

Anna Smashnova, of Israel's girls tennis team.

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