WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair chatted with Bleacher Report during a press tour for the new Celebrity Slots app about a number of topics, including WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and current stars such as Randy Orton and his daughter, Charlotte Flair.
McMahon has long been the target of disgruntled fans and wrestlers looking for someone to blame when they're unhappy with the product or the business as a whole, but Vince has Flair's respect, and The Nature Boy is of the belief that people should change their perspective when it comes to McMahon:
"I'm very upset with people right now. It's easy for people to take shots at Vince, but how dare you? I'm reading about these tweets and these comments, man. Social media, this and that. Vince McMahon is the greatest. Without Vince, none of us are here, literally. ... The WWE saved me a couple different times, Vince and Hunter [Triple H], and they continue to. I love working for them, but man these cheap shots, it's all I can do not to give them the...No. 1, who are you and how about drawing some money before you open your mouth?"
Flair has had multiple stints in WWE over the years, and he continues to be an asset to the company in myriad roles. Most recently, Flair has been appearing on Raw alongside Orton and aiding in the return of Orton's legend killer character.
The 16-time world champion and Orton have no shortage of history together, as they were both part of the Evolution stable along with Triple H and Batista. Through that partnership and watching him continue to grow over the years, Flair has gained a great deal of respect for The Viper.
Orton is arguably on the most impressive run of his nearly 20-year career, and with a WWE Championship match against Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam looming, Flair gave his take on why Orton has been so good:
"He's what wrestling embodies. ... Size, physique, just an unbelievable look. He oozes of charisma. Randy has got more charisma walking down the ramp to get in the ring than a lot of the guys have before he even opens his mouth. You look at Randy and you just say, 'Wow, this guy is it.' And now his interviews are spot on, totally different than mine. He's not loud, he's not boisterous, he's not screaming how great he is. ... He just flies under the radar until they give him the opportunity, and a lot of that is probably him going out and seeking it because he's not an aggressive guy, but he leads by example now."
Orton's talent has always been undeniable, but the 40-year-old veteran seems to be putting it all together now and realizing precisely what he needs to do to be at the top of his game.
Flair suggested that Orton is similar to him in that many believe he reached his true prime once he turned 40 years old as well:
"He's got all these gifts that are all coming together. When I turned 40 people think that's when I was at my best, wrestling [Ricky] Steamboat and all that. ... Randy just turned 40, and he's on a different planet right now. Right now, I think with the angle and the program and the way it's playing out, Randy is literally the best in the business right now."
Orton is coming off an incredible feud with Edge that led to memorable matches at WrestleMania and Backlash, and while WWE seems likely to go back to it when Edge returns from a torn triceps, Orton's immediate destiny may be beating McIntyre for his 14th career world title at SummerSlam.
Flair has been a mentor not only to Orton, but also to his daughter, Charlotte, who is already the most accomplished female wrestler in WWE history.
Charlotte is a nine-time Women's champion on Raw and SmackDown, a two-time NXT Women's champion and a one-time Divas champion. She has only been wrestling actively since 2012, but her resume is unmatched.
The Queen has been out of action for over a month after undergoing a medical procedure, but Ric assured fans that she is doing well and champing at the bit to return to in-ring action:
"She's doing great, she of course is climbing the walls. I just got a text from her about a half-hour ago, 'Dad, I'm going crazy.' She is so intense and so invested in our business, in the product, in her work ethic. This surgery was something that had to take place. Personally, I wish she had done it earlier, but she would never ever leave without fulfilling what she felt she had to do. This was something that was bad. ... Nobody made her stay, nobody did anything. She's never going to ever be any less than 100 percent committed to the success of the company and her career and her involvement. She's doing great, but she's missing every second of it. She does not know how to turn it off. But that's what makes her how great she is. She can have the greatest match in the world and she won't rest on those laurels for one second."
Flair noted that Charlotte is similar to him in terms of her commitment to the business and her character, but he also pointed out an important difference:
"She's a walking, talking highlight reel, and when she's not working, she dresses immaculately, spends the money, she invests in her gimmick. She's not crazy like me. She's not wasting her money on cars and s--t like that, but when it comes to her appearance, she's gonna look like a champion. You want a champion, she is a champion."
Charlotte will likely have a score to settle with Nia Jax when she returns since Nia caused her storyline injury, but after that, it shouldn't take long for her to get back in the title scene, especially if fellow Four Horsewomen Bayley and Sasha Banks continue to hold the SmackDown and Raw Women's Championships, respectively.
Ric never went long without a title around his waist during his career, and Charlotte has undoubtedly followed in her father's footsteps in that regard.
The 71-year-old Flair is retired as an in-ring competitor, but with as much pride as he takes in his daughter's success, every Charlotte title win means a great deal to The Nature Boy.
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