Ben Gartland vs. RiZE vs. Daniel Massey
What if Ric Flair had died in the 1975 plane crash?
Ric Flair IS professional wrestling.
No matter what feelings are had about him, it cannot be denied that he is a wrestling legend.
The 16-time world champion has graced our televisions and arenas for almost four decades. His technical skills matched with his mic work and, added to his natural charisma, have made for one of the best wrestlers ever.
Yet Flair is more than that. He is self-proclaimed as the wrestling god, and it's hard to disagree.
There's no doubt that Ric Flair changed professional wrestling so much that it's unreal to think of pro wrestling without him.
Yet in the blink of an eye, a wrestling world without him almost happened.
A Wrestling World Without Flair: What Would be Different?
You can never really fully appreciate the things someone has done until you imagine life without them.
The same applies for Ric Flair. His entire career has set the stage for almost everything in the WWE and TNA today.
While certainly not on the same scale, what he did for wrestling can be compared to Oskar Schindler. During the holocaust in World War II, Schindler saved 1,200 Polish Jews from the concentration camps. As those saved had children, the number saved and continues to grow throughout the generations.
The people Ric Flair put over are now putting people over themselves. Then they will put their own people over. All because Ric Flair was so good at his job, that he is still starting careers and will be for a long time.
The people he originally put over are legends today. Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Arn Anderson etc..
Then comes the careers that the aforementioned pushee's helped start. Stars like Booker T, Scott Steiner, Abyss, Samoa Joe owe their careers to people who owe their careers to Flair.
The cycle will keep turning for as long as wrestling is alive. Even after Flair dies, he will still be contributing to the wrestling business.
Without Flair, none of that happens.
Ric Flair's Four Horsemen stable set the bar for heel stables.
Evolution, The Nexus, Immortal and DX all became possible because of the phenomenal stable created by Flair.
Only Evolution has come close to the bar set by the Four Horsemen, and that was because Flair was in it.
The Four Horsemen have become the most legendary stable in wrestling history, because the two constant members of the stable were Arn Anderson and, of course, Ric Flair.
Like i mentioned before, Ric Flair's decades of elevating careers have spawned a lot of current stars.
Sting, Batista, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and many more stars owe their careers to Ric Flair putting them over. Then, they themselves put more people over. People like Abyss, Samoa Joe also owe their careers to the Nature Boy.
The cycle will continue throughout the years, all due to the legendary career of the Nature Boy.
However, this article is about what if there were no Ric Flair. Not all of those aforementioned push receivers from Flair would be the top stars they are today.
Sting and Batista are the two who's careers would change drastically without Flair. Sting's feud with Flair is what set him up to become a top star in WCW. WCW is where Sting really became a megastar, fighting against the nWo, all thanks to Flair.
The same is true with Batista. Batista's time in Evolution under the teachings of Flair helped him transform from just another big power guy, to the "animal." Without Flair, Batista is just a glorified jobber, wasting away in the low card.
Now Randy Orton received his big launch from his feud with the Undertaker, but Flair was the big reason for the feud. Without Evolution, Orton does not get the feud with the Undertaker. Without the feud with the Undertaker, we have no main event Orton.
Without those three big-name careers, we don't have the careers of the people they put over themselves. Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase are fast rising stars, who were put over by protégée's of Flair.
Ric Flair always gave what made great feuds great. Particularly the nWo feud in WCW in 1996-1997. Flair and the four horsemen took the lead charge against the villainous nWo, creating one of the greatest feuds in history.
Whatever feud Flair was in, he made everyone and everything look great. He made Carlito look like a legitimate contender. He took two no-names in Randy Orton and Batista and turned them into superstars.
If you can name one bad feud or event that involved Ric Flair, you're lying.
Yet if Flair had been killed in that crash, none of those great feuds happen. Someone else would've had to take those places and, frankly, no one can do it as well as he did.
If the plane crash had been fatal to the Nature Boy, the wrestling world would have missed out on some fantastic five-star matches.
For example, his "retirement" match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIV was a five star match that won PWI feud of the year. It even happened with a limited move set from Flair!
Other great matches we would not have gotten to see if Flair had died are his match with Triple H in 2005 at Taboo Tuesday, against Randy Savage at Wrestlemania 8 and, of course, any and all matches he had with Ricky Steamboat.
The matches with Steamboat are his overall best matches. Each one of them is four or five stars, and could not get any better.
Just like the feuds, is there really anything called a bad Ric Flair match?
If he had died, we wouldn't know.
Miscellaneous, but wonderful things
Sometimes what makes a wrestler great is the little things they do to make them unique. Whether it be a catchphrase, mannerisms, facial expressions, whatever. These little things are what create legends.
Flair did all of those tiny little things, and really was the first to master it. The phrase "Woo!" has become a staple in wrestling, along with "Hell Yeah!" and "If ya smell...!"
Flair was one of the first to have a legitimate catch phrase. Others then started to use their own catchphrases because of his entrepreneurship. If he died, there might not be those phrases I listed above. Catchphrases are some of the Rock's greatest promo material.
Without Flair, we don't have the Rock's promos!
With his mannerisms, Flair set the bar for what a champion should look like. His expensive suits and the perfect hair is now the primary image for a heel champion.
We are lucky
Any and everyone who has ever loved pro wrestling is extremely lucky that Ric Flair was not taken in that plane crash.
He is a pioneer for the modern wrestler. Hulk Hogan put the business on the map, but Flair is responsible for the rest of the wrestlers for keeping it there.
Without Flair, we don't have Sting. We don't have Orton, Batista and countless others as the stars they are today.
No matter his personality and backstage problems, there is no denying that he has changed wrestling as much as Hulk Hogan has.
The only difference is, Flair will continue to change wrestling for generations to come, even after his death. His great skills and charisma will be watched for ages to come, passing through each new wave of wrestlers as they make their own legendary status.
Without Flair, we lose a lot of what makes wrestling something we love. We lose stars, promos, matches, moves, phrases etc.
Flair's existence in wrestling is one of the main reasons the business is so successful, and will continue to be.
Thank You, Ric Flair: The Wrestling God!
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Don't forget to vote on Friday (Preferably for me) in the CvC quarterfinals!
Thanks to my opponents RiZE and Daniel Massey for pushing me to write my very best. Whichever of us wins this round can and will give the other divisions hell.
Thanks to Jacob Waring and Joe Burgett for running the competition. You guys are awesome.
Once again thanks for reading and, as usual, Don't forget to be awesome.