Here’s the full story behind recent Ric Flair rumors, according to the September 10 Wrestling Observer Newsletter (click here for subscription information)…
Ric Flair was brought to the Smackdown tapings in Columbia, South Carolina, on the 21 August but then told he wasn’t going to be used, despite the fact that he would have been immensely over with the local fans. This upset him, as had many things in recent months:
– He lost clean to an Indian deathlock in a match with Finlay on the 02 July, despite Flair being promised a big push after he was switched from Raw to Smackdown in the draft lottery.
– He wanted to turn heel because he feels he can work better that way, yet WWE wouldn’t allow it because the fans love him too much to boo him.
– He and Carlito were told they would have a WrestleMania match together, only for it to be shunted to the pre-show. That one upset him so much that he threatened to no-show the Hall of Fame ceremony, yet he did attend and numerous inductees made sure they put him over in their speeches.
Steve Austin wanted him on the Mania card and so pitched an idea to Vince McMahon for a long program geared towards a huge Flair match at WrestleMania 24. Basically, Flair would lose a bunch of matches and then reach the end of his tether, promising to retire for good if he lost one more match. He would go on a winning streak and appear on all three brands, with it culminating in a Hall of Fame induction and his big final match at WrestleMania. Vince loved the idea and presented it, giving full credit to Austin, to the creative team, telling them they should start it as soon as possible. Brian Gerwitz, never a fan of Flair in his prime, had reservations about putting Flair, at his age, over so many people. He, Vince, Stephanie and Triple H kept discussing the plan and it kept getting delayed and eventually scrapped.
In the meantime, Flair has been working hard at launching his financial company. Also, supported by his new wife Tiffany, he is said to finally be in the frame of mind to realise that his wrestling career is over. Once all of this came to a head in Columbia, he quit. A number of people in WWE were very surprised by this, especially as Vince McMahon had lent him a significant sum of money for legal bills and assistance with his IRS trouble.
At this point in time, it remains to be seen if Flair would even attend next year’s Hall of Fame ceremony.
Tags: Smackdown, WWE