"Sometimes goodbye is a second chance" (Shinedown). Photo courtesy of WWE.com
I’m going to be honest—it disappointed me when Ric Flair wrestled again. But keeping with that same honesty, the negative response towards Ric Flair from pro wrestling fans after he left WWE was far more disappointing to me than Ric Flair choosing to live his life in the way he sees fit.
We can enshrine characters. We cannot enshrine human beings.
We can’t tell them who to be, where to go or what to do. If fans had simply voiced disappointment, I would have been fine. But many have targeted Ric Flair and acted as if his legacy hinged on one moment in WWE history. They act as if WWE simply did Rid Flair a favor, as if it offered them nothing to work with one of the greatest of all time.
I wonder how many of those fans watched wrestling in the '70s, '80s and '90s.
Here is a simple truth: WWE got past it, so should all of us.
Trust me when I tell you they know who Ric Flair is. His friends and Vince McMahon have all had to help him due to the life that he leads.
But do you know why Ric Flair was great? Because of the life that he leads.
The 4 Horsemen didn’t become the 4 Horsemen when the camera light went on. They lived it every hour of every day. Ric Flair didn’t talk about limousines and wild women because it sounded good. He did it because it reflected the life that he lived.
Ric Flair is Ric Flair when it’s beautiful, and he’s Ric Flair when it’s damn ugly. You can’t take one and reject the other and be an honest person.
Might it suck to you that he wrestled again after that wonderful match with Shawn Michaels? Sure. Did it come close to damaging his legacy? Not even.
Ask the WWE, who inducted him into the Hall of Fame again and would no doubt love to have him on DVDs and with their network. Ask the wrestlers, who would benefit by simply being in the presence of all the history he carries in his worn body.
I believe Ric Flair and WWE will work together again, and many will then find healing concerning their feelings towards Ric Flair.
It’d be better if they could find it now.
Ric Flair is, was and always will be one of the greatest of all time. And there is a fair chance WWE fans will get to see just why again some day.