WWE has changed a lot over the past twenty years. Social media certainly stepped up its game and that changed the way everything works. It could have also altered WWE history had it been a thing back in the day.
Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels exchanged one of WWE’s most legendary moments at WrestleMania XXIV in 2008. Ric Flair made a passionate promo on Raw the previous November, vowing he would never retire. In retaliation, Vince McMahon stated that the Nature Boy’s career would be ended the next time he lost a match. Michaels recently said that Ric Flair’s WrestleMania retirement wouldn’t have happened if social media was around.
Ric Flair’s passionate promo on Raw set in motion a storyline that would culminate in a match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. However, in a new interview with Sam Roberts, Michaels confessed that if social media had been more prevalent, the moment might not have occurred.
I’ll say this, I don’t know — because I was talking about it earlier (finish to the match with Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24) — had social media and everything been out there the way that it is now and you see all of those things, I’m not sure I would’ve had the guts to do that finish with Ric for fear that they would kick it back at us… And I don’t mean to ever imply our fans are mean… Because on social media, they probably won’t show you the 15-year-old wrestling fan in them, you know what I mean?
They’re a bit guarded but when you’re there in the moment and you’re there at WrestleMania and you allow us to take you there, they are fine, grown men are fine whimpering and, ‘Oh my goodness, that was beautiful man.’ But, I just don’t know that I (would’ve) had the guts to do it, you know what I mean? Had I seen what possibly could have been the other side of it but that was my concern. I know I’m getting very long-winded on all these but way too much goes on in here (Shawn’s head) than it probably should.
On the night, Flair stepped back in time and went toe-to-toe with Michaels, with the audience watching every move. Michaels famously dragged himself to his feet at the end of the match, saying “Sorry, I love you,” before executing one final Sweet Chin Music to end Flair’s in-ring career.
The moment has been replayed numerous times and has since become a staple of WrestleMania video packages. Many consider it to be one of the greatest match finishes in WWE history, as it perfectly captured the emotion of the fans and the significance of the match. Keep an eye on Ringside News for more.
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