This is not going to be your traditional column, like everyone else contributing their lives in covering professional wrestling, I’m giving my five minutes of your time to the THE man. To the greatest wrestler to ever “walk that aisle” – who styled and profiled, he took us all to Space Mountain and made us love every minute of it, thank you. This weekend we celebrated Ric Flair while he’s still alive and to prove that in pro wrestling, class still lives. People like myself, who grew up in the heart of Flair County, who still hear stories of Flair’s days in Greensboro, both on and off camera, this hits home harder. No one really wants to see Flair leave, but it’s time and we’re gong to miss him. One of the saddest aspects of me this weekend is realizing that some of the ladies in his career that helped add to the Flair legacy couldn’t be there: Miss Elizabeth, Woman and Sensational Sherri.
Flair gave us night in and night out and sometimes, “twice on Sundays,” his BEST because he loved the business. It should be a requirement for every person who wants to be in the business to really watch and study Flair’s career: read his book, buy his DVDs, ask questions. Flair is the best because he made us all believe in his magic, heel or face, he made us love to hate him and hate to love him. Flair has brought CLASS to the business, walked through political fire with a rolex watch on,a high-priced suit and was everything he embodied as CHAMPION. Fans could count on Flair to not only be entertained, but to be entertained by a guy who could wrestle for a hour. Flair could tell a story in the ring like no other, and the list goes on to his classic matches with opponents like Harley Race, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Terry Funk and Sting. My favorite match has always been Steamboat versus Flair, and another sad aspect to tonight was not seeing Tommy Young out there, the signature referee to Flair’s NWA matches.
Flair worked hard, he trained hard and played hard. This weekend reminded us all of the humility and sacrafice a man like Flair has made to this business, with his very classy comments about his wife and ex-wives and his greatest achievements, his children. Flair put the wrestling business over this weekend, he put the fans over and Flair did everything right this weekend.
The sendoff for Flair, his incredible match with Shawn Michaels, my childhood hero, and now, the breaking kayfabe and giving one hell of a tribute to a man who deserves it, with bows to THE man, the reunion of the Horsemen and old friends from the Mid-Atlantic days. Last night was for the business, last night was for the boys and girls in the industry who respect the one and only Ric Flair. Say what you will about Vince McMahon, but Vince knows how to honor the business when it calls for it. People might feel mixed about Vince not being on camera for his tribute, but I think letting it just be about the wrestling family this time was appropriate.
Pro wrestling has always gone through cycles, but the one thing that will always remain, Ric Flair gave us a solid career of excellence and expressed gratitude for us: the wrestling family and the fans. No, THANK YOU RIC.
Tags: Raw, WWE