What Are Ric Flair and WWE's Intentions On Raw/Wrestlemania Appearances?
He's a Jet-Flying, Limousine-Ridin', Kiss-Stealin', Wheelin'-Dealin', Skirt-Chasin', Whiskey-Drinkin' Son-of-a-gun. And Ric Flair will be live next Monday for WWE's RAW.
This announcement comes almost a year after his heart-felt Goodbye on Raw following his classic Wrestlemania 24 match-up with the "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels. What a classic, a fitting end for "Naitch."
He ended it like a true Legend. He had a Legendary send off. He was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame and had one of his best matches in years. It was an emotional moment as Flair waved Thank You to his long-adoring fans and his family with his eyes filled with tears. It doesn't get more touching than that.
Then ol' Naitch is at it again last summer with a surprise appearance and everyone's hopes getting up over him possibly taking brash and cocky Chris Jericho to school one last time.
I would have loved to have seen Flair take Jericho to the woodshed in the parking lot.That would have been great! Instead WWE Chairman Vince McMahon came and ushered Flair out with his yuk-yuk style; "Good to see ya, Ric. We'll be in touch." Give me a break!
Now here we are. The announcement has been made that Flair will appear next week on Raw, possibly leading up to a Wrestlemania angle. Not possibly, almost officially! In the words of "Good Ol' JR" Jim Ross, "How can you not have the greatest wrestler of all-time at the 25th anniversary of the biggest event in the wrestling industry?"
True Indeed. Flair is the greatest of all-time without a doubt! Hogan was the best from a marketing standpoint, Bret "Hitman" Hart was the greatest technician of all-time (hence, "Excellence of Execution") but Flair's promos and timeless style has lived on for more than three decades and it's still fresh and real wrestling fans love, appreciate, and respect "Naitch" because they know deep down that he truly is the Man, not Hogan.
"Naitch" works the mic like no other STILL! It will be great to see him walk that aisle again and style and profile as only he can. But there's one question lingering:
Where is this leading to?
Is Flair coming back to the squared-circle? Personally, I hope not. I have watched Ric Flair walk that aisle all my life and when the time came for his match with HBK last year, everyone knew what was coming.
That's why it was so fitting and touching. It was such a great ending to such an illustrious career. The best way I've seen anyone retire in the wrestling business. I couldn't even tell you who headed the main event at WM24 because that Wrestlemania belonged to the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
It was his chance to say goodbye gracefully while he still had his faculties and was still able to perform at a higher peak than some of the young up-and-comers. That match will go down as one of the greatest wrestling matches of all-time. There's not too much that can top that send off and there are very few angles that will match that caliber if Flair were to ever lace up his boots again.
There are a few angles that I think would work to further the Legacy of the "Nature Boy." What bigger draw than Flair vs. Hogan to decide who really is "the greatest of all-time" with Flair prevailing and proving once and for all that he is the Man, not Hogan?
But Hogan would probably never go for that finish—that's his style. He never was one of the boys, always refusing to put over younger and more deserving talent. Flair, the exact opposite.
It's the old school way of "you do what's right for the business and what the business calls for." That's what has afforded Flair the luxury of calling himself 16-time World Heavyweight Champion.
Speaking of which, another possibly good angle worthy of Flair lacing up his boots again is one more "Flair for the Gold" and furthering his unmarked record to a 17-time World Heavyweight Champion. I believe he and Triple H or HBK could pull that run off well and make it really believable.
Those angles would really work well but I'm probably just getting my hopes up.
Otherwise, I think Flair should stay retired. Even though he does have continued heat with Jericho, who is begging to be made an example of. But I believe that should be settled with some sort of back alley brawl or a fight in the parking lot.
That's not an angle worthy enough of Flair to lace up his boots again almost a year after his retirement. I believe Flair was brought into the angle as a savior to the Jericho/Mickey Rourke situation which reached its embarrassing culmination on CNN's Larry King Live.
That supposed match was shot down when Rourke was nominated for an Oscar for his compelling role in "The Wrestler." He backed out of the supposed match fearing it would affect his run for an Academy Award. But he, along with Flair will be involved in Wrestlemania 25, more than likely involved in an angle with Jericho.
I feel that both men should take the high road and not be involved in an actual match but possibly getting into a scuffle ending up with Flair locking Jericho in the Figure-Four Leg Lock as Rourke looks on in amusement. "Naitch" can do all that without messing up his suit, or his legacy.
WWE could also build a great post-Wrestlemania storyline revolving around Flair returning but not as an active competitor. He always adds excitement to a show whether he's wrestling or not. All he's gotta do is walk that aisle and style and profile as only he can.
WWE is really lacking a super-group right now and they need someone of Flair's caliber to still be in the mix and bring another great super-group such as the IV Horsemen or Evolution back to the forefront.
That's what wrestling is lacking right now. Flair should still be involved but shouldn't lace up his boots unless it will add more diamonds to his crown.
Otherwise, he should call up "Double A" and a few more of the boys and show the WWE and Chris Jericho whose back in town. And show 'em how it's done Horsemen style. But that's just my opinion, and there's more where that came from.
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