Ric Flair's 7 Best Moments in WWE Career
Ric Flair’s various WWE stints have been full of great and memorable moments.
For all his personal turmoil, financial problems and questionable career decisions—his mediocre TNA run springs to mind—his contributions to WWE over the past decade have helped cement and enhance his legacy as a star.
Let’s have a look at the top seven highlights.
7. His WWE Return in 2001
Having languished for eight years in the mess that was WCW, it appeared that Ric Flair’s star power had diminished in 2001.
However, as he strutted out to the ring on the November 19 edition of Raw—which took place in his home town of Charlotte, N.C.—to announce to a shell-shocked Vince McMahon that he was now co-owner of the company, these fears were allayed. Flair’s star power shined as bright as ever, as shown by the crowd's reaction.
His career revival had officially begun.
6. His Back-and-Forth Promo with Mick Foley
The burning real-life tension between Ric Flair and Mick Foley was used on-screen for a program in 2006.
While the in-ring results were patchy—frankly, neither were at their best as wrestlers—the promos from this feud were outstanding. Most notably, this one on the August 7, 2006, edition of Raw; filled with shoot remarks, funny jokes and genuine rage, this was easily the best verbal confrontation of the year.
5. His Cage Match with Randy Orton at Taboo Tuesday in 2004
In 2004 Ric Flair fought former protégé Randy Orton in a cage match at 2004’s Taboo Tuesday event that proved that, despite his advancing years, “The Nature Boy” could still go in the ring. The bout was bloody, gripping and incredibly dramatic at points, serving as a highlight of an otherwise patchy show.
The pair’s emotional embrace at the end of the match was a nice touch, too.
4. Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon at the Royal Rumble
Unsurprisingly, Flair and Vince as business partners running WWE didn’t exactly work out, and the two faced off at the 2002 Royal Rumble in a street fight match.
OK, so the resulted match wasn’t exactly a technical masterpiece, but it was still a decent effort for two old guys. And it was also that rarity in wrestling, a true spectacle: Two icons squaring off against each other in an attempt to settle their long-running issues.
3. Ric Flair Returns at the Slammys
After a lengthy stint in TNA, Ric Flair made his long-awaited return to WWE at last December’s Slammy Awards to give the Superstar of the Year trophy to John Cena.
As soon as his music hit and Flair waltzed out, it was immediately obvious why the company had missed him so much: The Hall of Famer simply oozed charisma and attitude in his exchanges with Cena and, later, CM Punk.
Credit to Flair: He helped liven up what was an otherwise dull three-hour show.
2. His Retirement Match at WrestleMania 24
Ric Flair’s wrestling career went out on a great note at WrestleMania 24 when he lost clean to on- and off-screen friend Shawn Michaels. (Per the match stipulations, he would be forced to retire if he didn’t emerge victorious.)
Gripping, well put together and highly emotional, this was one of the best matches of the year.
Of course, Flair’s retirement didn’t stick—this is wrestling, after all—but, nonetheless, this undoubtedly deserves such a high spot on this list.
1. His Farewell Ceremony
On Raw the night after WrestleMania, Flair got what was easily the best send-off in wrestling history.
As he entered the ring for his goodbye speech, Triple H walked out to the ring to pay tribute to the legend. One by one, others came out to give their respects, too, until the entire locker room eventually spilled out to give him a much-deserved standing ovation.
All while Fuel's touching tune, "Leave the Memories Alone," played in the background. (Was that one of the all-time terrific song choices, or what?)
Did anyone not tear up watching this?