First of all, please make sure you understand that there is no one in the business that I have had more fun with or that I respect more for being the greatest in-ring performer of all time than I do Ric Flair. Someone asked me recently if I had to name just one match that I consider really special it would have to be around 1989 when Ricky Steamboat came back into the TBS wrestling picture and began another chapter in his storied rivalry with Ric Flair. Their match in Chicago at the UIC Pavilion was one of the most amazing bouts I can ever remember broadcasting and their chemistry was virtually seamless and oh so physical.
Some of my most fun and memorable moments outside the wrestling ring have come with “Naitch” as well. My stories and experiences with him are damn near endless. For many years when I lived in Dallas and Atlanta, I was single and when Flair came to town it was “on” without question.
I have never nor will I ever judge if Ric was right or wrong leaving the WWE recently but I can understand him wanting to strike while the iron is hot and make as much money as he can as quickly as he can. Ric’s personal obligations not to mention the fact that he has to prepare for his financial future like all of us can’t go unaddressed.
Blackjack Mulligan who probably knows Flair as well as anyone told noted wrestling writer Mike Mooneyham that Jack was worried about what would become of Ric once he retired. Many of us were happy that the WWE hired Ric to be a “Good Will Ambassador” for a healthy amount of money. Some thought that perhaps this would keep the charismatic individual with the seemingly unscratchable itch for excitement and living on the edge content.
Then “The Champ” signed with an agency to handle his bookings. This should be a good thing. However, what Ric Flair needs is full time management on a on going basis and not just some one to negotiate a fee and book Ric to go somewhere and sign his name.
Ric needs some one to help protect Ric from Ric.
The incidents of the past few days have troubled me. Seeing my dear friend with a nasty, black eye as a result of a still somewhat unexplained incident involving his youngest daughter and. allegedly. her boyfriend. Bad publicity soon followed the incident that included Ric’s own daughter get tasered by the police.
This is not a good deal any way one slice’s it. Yeah, it might be great cannon fodder for a reality show but is that a good thing?
Perhaps “Naitch” should ask “The Hulkster” about that one.
I desperately want Ric Flair to be happy and successful. He deserves as much. Ric Flair is loved by many of us and revered in the world of sports and entertainment by some of the most prominent personalities alive.
I wanted to call “Naitch” when I heard of the ordeal he went through this week but I realized that for the first time in years and years that I did not have his cell number. I can’t remember the last time I did not have Ric Flair’s phone number and how much I looked forward to his text messages during college football season or the hilarious texts I would sometimes receive at 4 in the morning. Some of Ric’s other friends have said they have called but have been unable to reach him.
At least they have his number.
I just want the Nature Boy story to have a happy ending. The legacy of Ric Flair will endure long after many of us are gone and just as any other larger than life personality the legend of “The Naitch” will grow.
Let’s all think positive thoughts that there will be a happy ending to the amazing life of Nature Boy Ric Flair.
Amen, to that.
“There are legends and all time greats, but there is only one Ric Flair.” —liner notes