Sunset Flip Presents: Ric Flair‘s Return to the Ring
By Jim Boy Star
Over the weekend, it became official. Ric Flair has returned to the ring and he wrestled Hulk Hogan as part of Hogan’s Australia tour and lost. Many people were angry with the thought of Ric Flair returning to the ring because of the amazing send off. Is Ric Flair a sell out? A sorry man? This week I will talk about the situation that has become “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
I am glad to say that I was at Wrestlemania 24 in Florida. It was a great weekend for me. Friday was an Impact taping, Saturday was the WWE Hall of Fame, Sunday was Wrestlemania and Monday was Raw in Florida.
One of the major highlights of the Wrestlemania 24 event was the match between Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair. If Flair lost he would have to retire, as part of a storyline that was made a few months earlier. I think almost everyone there knew deep inside that Ric Flair would lose. People knew walking into the arena they were in for something special and it is not just because it is Wrestlemania.
I think I’m getting too far ahead of myself, let’s go back to the night before to the WWE Hall of Fame. In my opinion, this was the last good Hall of Fame that we have seen and will ever see again. Lots of legends were on hand including someone that you very rarely see that his name is The Rock. The crowd interaction with the Rock was awesome in it self. Ultimately, the night belonged to headliner for the Hall of Fame and that is Ric Flair. Anyone that listens to the Sunset Flip Wrestling Show knows I’m critical of the WWE Hall of Fame and that it is only a Hall of Fame that exists for people that Vince likes. No one votes anyone in, there is no committee, and there are no set of rules that qualifies someone to be in the WWE Hall of Fame. With that said, I do think it is nice of WWE to look to the past and recognize people and thank them. Ric Flair received great recognition and delivered a great Hall of Fame speech.
Moving to Wrestlemania, the match between Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair was good and the emotion was definitely there after the match. Moving onto Raw the next night, Flair received the ultimate sendoff. People from the past came out to wish him good bye as well as the entire lockerroom. Tears were seen, emotions were running wild, and Flair even got a goodbye from the Undertaker in a way that only the Undertaker could deliver. As “Leave The Memories Alone” blared through the speaker and “Thank You Flair” chants rang throughout the arena, we all figured this was the last we would see of Ric Flair and he is one of the only wrestlers that deserve this kind of send off. We were wrong.
Ric Flair returned to WWE TV on June 16, 2008. At about 4 months after getting the biggest send off in pro wrestling history, Ric Flair returned to television. Let write that again. 4 months later. Not a year or a decade. Little did we know this would start the fall of Ric Flair, or at least in my opinion. He would appear a couple of times with WWE and with each appearance it made the send off less special even if he didn’t wrestle. At this point, many people were speculating not “if” Ric Flair gets back in the ring, but more of a matter of “when”. Flair then went to the independent circuit for autograph signings, which some claims were too much to begin with. This also includes appearances for Ring of Honor, which to my knowledge, Flair still owes money to them. It was also reported that Flair’s speeches were “fill in the blank” speeches, meaning it was down half heartdly and could be used with any promotion he went to. Point blank, it was very generic.
While the old saying goes, no one stays away forever, after the send off Flair received I think 4 months is WAY too soon. Flair was never known to be good with money, but that is his own problem. It has become so bad that he was willing to sell his own title belt that he had just to make a buck. Even though he has money problems, he is stupid enough to get married. Over 50% of all marriages fail, that is not an opinion, that is a fact. Why would Flair take this gamble while he is debt? Plus, he still owes money from his previous wives.
Finally, he did wrestle this weekend and it is one of the main things that fans will see as his downfall thus making him look sad and pathetic. Although I somewhat agree with them, I lost my respect for Ric Flair with his dealings with Ring of Honor to use leverage to get back into WWE, his getting married again despite the fact he can’t afford it, and his general childish, moronic decisions.
Forget Ric Flair: The Ultimate Collection DVD, I think it’s time to have a Rise and Fall of Ric Flair DVD because after all that has happened since Wrestlemania 24, I think if anyone deserves that kind of DVD it is Ric Flair.
Final stats: It took Ric Flair about a year and a half since his farewell. If I’m Vince McMahon, I would NEVER give anyone that kind of send off again.
This week on the Sunset Flip Wrestling Show I praise Raw, which is very rare since Raw seems to be a good show once every 9 or 10 weeks. You can check it out at sunsetflipwrestling.podomatic.com
Have a great week everyone