Ric Flair: AEW's Tony Khan Wouldn't Offer Contract Due to WWE Relationship

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 22, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Ric Flair joins a telecast during a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center on February 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Ric Flair announced Thursday he has signed a new contract with WWE.

One day later, he revealed why he didn't jump ship to AEW in an exclusive with Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc., citing president Tony Khan's recognition of Flair's "loyalty to [WWE]":

"Well it's not for life but I hope [WWE keeps] renewing me [laughs]. You never know but I'm obviously not gonna go anywhere else if they didn't renew me. Tony [Khan] told me that he wouldn't even ask me to come to work there because he knows how tight I am with [WWE]. Our friendship is one thing but he respects my loyalty to the company.

"That's how much respect [Khan] has for me and my relationship with the company which speaks volumes to what kind of guy Tony is. The same would apply to my daughter and WWE."

Flair was with the then-WWF from 1991-1993 before returning to the company in 2001. His second stint with Vince McMahon's promotion lasted through 2009, when he then left for TNA.

Three years later, Flair returned to WWE. His last wrestling match occurred against Sting during a 2011 TNA event, but he's made numerous television appearances on WWE over the past eight years.

The Nature Boy has notably worked angles with his daughter, 10-time women's world champion Charlotte Flair.

Last year, Flair appeared on WWE programming during a celebration of his 70th birthday in February 2019 as well as a Raw Reunion show in July 2019.

Per Giri, Flair's most recent WWE contract ran out after 2019, but there was no doubt about where he would sign next:

"I re-signed last week. I've never gone without getting paid and there's never been a doubt in my mind. "You're the first person I've talked to about it except for family.

"I just think the coronavirus slowed down the actual, official signing. Everybody went to work on figuring out on their end what to do as it's a lot to deal with especially in wrestling as it's not a seasonal sport and is year-round. Just figuring your way around that has been an act of genius in itself."

Flair, a 16-time world champion, began his professional career in 1972 with the American Wrestling Association.