Hall of Famer Ric Flair returning to Raw as a regular on-screen character in the near future appears to be a strong possibility, but will “The Nature Boy” be a heel or a face, assuming he does come back?
In this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer notes that the legend is about to undergo a round of routine physical testing in preparation for a full-time spot on the roster. He also mentions that WWE is under the impression Flair will have to be booked as a babyface upon his return:
Flair, 65, was scheduled to go to Pittsburgh this week to see Dr. Joseph Maroon for a full cardiovascular physical before they bring him back as a regular television character. The belief is that at this stage of the game, Flair has to be a babyface, but Flair does always want to be a heel, so you never know.
Per this report, ideas thrown out for the star include managing The Miz, managing Dolph Ziggler or being associated with The Shield in some manner or other.
It's easy to see why the writers feel that Flair has to be a good guy in 2014, even if he was a legendary heel character during his career.
At this point, it would be a colossal struggle to convince the fans to boo him. Similar to Hulk Hogan or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, he has a tremendous amount of nostalgia appeal to many fans. You couldn't jeer him—it would be like jeering a precious part of your childhood.
There's also the fact that Flair is simply too much fun as a character to truly despise.
Whatever he does on Raw, he looks like he's having a great time, and his enthusiasm is positively infectious. It doesn't matter how bad or mediocre the material is; he can elevate it. His mere presence on WWE's flagship show revamps it and makes it seem like more fun.
Who could possibly dislike someone like that?