To be the man, you gotta beat the man. Well, perhaps to get in the position to beat the man, you gotta be managed by THE MAN.
Ric Flair's return to WWE was always inevitable in my mind. I was recently watching the WWE classics channel and a legends round-table debate featured Flair on the panel prior to him leaving for TNA. In the round-table, the topic about the lack of places for wrestlers to work came up. Flair gave a rapid fire statement/rant which discussed when WCW Vince Russo went to work for TNA. Afterward, Flair asked the rhetorical question, “What is TNA?”
For Flair, TNA was always about a paycheck. Nothing more, nothing less—just a paycheck. The Nature Boy returning to work with WWE in some capacity makes a lot of sense. The WWE Network launch is expected in the fall of 2012, and Flair is a perfect fit to be involved in it, especially because so much programming in the archives he has ties to.
Flair shouldn't work a match in WWE, but his style and profile image could provide a great rub for the right guy. That right guy is Dolph Ziggler.
Ric Flair is worth more in WWE walking behind an up-and-coming star like Ziggler than he is if he were TNA World Champion.
If you're an older player who still has something to offer the game, you don't go and become hitter on a AAA team—you go coach in the major leagues. Big league talent stays in the big leagues. There is talent in TNA; it is great that it provides another wrestling company on national television for guys to work, but it isn't the top company.
Ziggler is already becoming a favorite of the future by many of the hardcore fans. Having The Nature Boy walking beside him could be what gets the casual fans on board with Ziggler's legitimacy.
Chances are if you're reading this, you're not a casual wrestling fan. Casual wrestling fans in my opinion are those who keep their exposure and care of the product limited to the hours of WWE programming provided on weekly television. Some casual fans don't even watch every hour of that.
You're somewhere between casual and hardcore if you extend your interest in wrestling to the Internet with social media and wrestling news sites. It is that crowd who prides itself on trying to evaluate talent and learn what the decision makers in wrestling deem as talent. Those fans try and learn about the craft and the art of being a professional wrestler. They try and look at the trends in booking. Those fans can see Dolph Ziggler has 'it” but that everybody else doesn't.
If you go to a WWE event and watch the causal fans—to them Ziggler is the blonde hair guy who is on one segment of the show with the loud “excuse me” lady. The casual fans—usually younger fans but not always—come to see John Cena, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, Kane and now CM Punk.
They come to see the guys you see on the side of the big drinking cups at the corner store. Dolph Ziggler isn't yet there to that audience.
Ric Flair walking five steps behind Ziggler helps guide the casual fans to look at Ziggler as one of the top heels and contenders for a title.
Flair did the same thing with Randy Orton and Batista.
While Flair was an active member of the roster, working matches, even holding tag titles as a part of Evolution, he still played the role of a manager. Ric Flair and Triple H walked alongside and gave endorsements to Randy Orton and Batista. This helped the crowd quickly realize those two would be big name players for a long time.
Ironically, this past weekend on the wrestling talk video show Chair Shot Reality, I said I could see Dolph Ziggler potentially walking out of SummerSlam with a WWE world title.
I compared this year's SummerSlam to the one in 2004, which was the coming out party for Randy Orton. He won his first world title on his last night with the group Evolution before they turned on him the next night.
Ric Flair escorting Dolph Ziggler to the top of the mountain would be fitting for all parties involved. Ziggler gets a top spot like he deserves and Flair is back with the top company. WOOOOOO!