If it is the same Ric Flair that we have seen lately on TNA acting all nuts and crazy and out of his mind. The one with the God complex. I sure as heck hope not. And this is coming from an avid Ric Flair fan. I have been a Flair fan from back in the days when he and the rest of the Horsemen were riding roughshod through the WCW when WCW was still on Saturday nights. Yes I he did have an ego back then, but it wasn't near as annoying as it has been lately. I honestly think that TNA didn't really know how to use such a legend as he is so they...well I really don't know what they did with him to tell the truth. Back before he joined up with Hogan and Bischoff in Immortal, he was basically his normal self and was managing Fortune. Possibly even grooming them to be the next best thing to the 4 Horsemen. Cause you really can't get any better than the Four Horsemen, especially the original and earlier versions, when it comes to stables in professional wrestling. They were the best...bar none.
I had been wondering what had happened to Flair lately. According to the article, he was released on May 11th of this year from his contract. Whether he wanted out or they just couldn't find any way of using him anymore, which is highly likely cause he wasn't really wrestling. Now other reports I had read as to a possible reason was because he had been getting drunk lately and charging his tab to TNA. I am sure he probably thought he could get away with it being the 17 time heavyweight champion of the world. A feat that no other singles competitor has touched yet. Though, I believe HHH is awfully close to that number with 13 titles during his career. Heavyweight titles that is. Nonetheless, I am sure that TNA did not approve of this and, even if it may not have been the reason for his release from his contract, I am sure it didn't bode to well with Dixie and the upper management. Whatever the reason for him being released from his contract in early May, he is still listed and pictured on the roster on the official TNA website. So did they release him and haven't updated the roster lately? Well we know that isn't entirely true. Cause in the time that Flair was released they have added several new stars to the roster via the Gut Check segments. They also recently just added Miss Terrell to the roster this week yet Flair is still listed as a member on the roster. So I really honestly wonder whether they officially released him or kayfabe "officially" released him.
His release is actually at the center of the lawsuit TNA filed against WWE because of the actions of a former TNA employee who became a WWE employee not long after and took over confidential material and information with him regarding the status of a few wrestlers contracts with TNA. Ric Flair was one of them. Supposedly, WWE fired this weasel as soon as he gave them the info. But according to TNA's side, they were not notified until a few weeks afterward of what happened. This apparently may have given TNA the sneaking suspicion that WWE was going to use that info to try and entice the wrestlers to come over to the WWE. Thus the lawsuit and restraining order.
But what use would WWE really have with Ric Flair? Supposedly, he "retired" from wrestling in WWE as per his retirement match at WM24 with Shawn Michaels. And I honestly hope he would stick to that retirement. He just turned 63 in February and is nowhere near the shape he was in back in the day before and during his prime. I could no doubt go on and on about his accolades and achievements as a professional wrestler, but I will spare you all that. Cause I am sure there are those who cannot stand him and those who absolutely admire him. I think with Flair, you either hated him or you loved him. There really was no middle ground among fans with him. At least not to my knowledge. He was the Dale Earnhardt Sr. of pro wrestling. You either hated him or you loved him. But Flair made just as good of a heel as he did a face during his career. Definitely a pro when it came to mic skills and earning the moniker of Dirtiest player in the game as a heel, he was an all around consummate professional. And I honestly believed he stayed in pro-wrestling because he truly loved the business and the industry. Yeah I am sure that money had something to do with it as well, but it was secondary.
So back to the question at hand. Have we seen the last of the Nature Boy? If in fact he was released by TNA as they claimed they did and after a final ruling is made on the lawsuit, will WWE make a jump on signing him back on? I honestly don't know the real answer to that question, but I would guess affirmative that they will. And maybe it won't even be as an on-air talent. Maybe he will be in charge of talent development/recruiting or whatever other corporate backstage job they can fill him with. They may even create a whole new job just for him. Who knows. I for one wouldn't mind seeing him back on television, just as long as they cleaned up his character from where TNA left him and they use him correctly. Basically, he has creative control over his character and isn't used the wrong way. I just don't think he can stay away from the business that has meant so much to him for so long. No he didn't have the same impact on the business as say Hogan may have, but he has been around a little bit longer than Hogan. Flair started in the early 70's where Hogan began in the later 70's. Nonetheless, Flair will forever be known as one of the greatest professional wrestlers in the history of the business and he will forever be one of my heroes of the business. So to answer my title question with a yes or no answer. I say NO, we have not seen the last of Ric Flair. As a wrestler though, I surely hope so.
As always, I invite and encourage all comments, criticisms, and opinions to my blogs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed typing it. God bless and take care. One more thing..."To be the man, you have to beat the man!!!!"
Adam T. Brown