Wrestlemania 24 Ric Flair vs. Shawn Micheals. I was there, hell it was the one of the main reasons I had to take time off of work and go to Orlando. The legendary Ric Flair was going to wrestle his final match and I was going to witness it live. It wasn?t the best of matches but it was still a fitting tribute to the man who would arguably be called the greatest wrestler of all time (although as HHH said the night before upon inducting him I am still waiting to hear the argument). It wasn?t just a Wrestlemania moment but a moment in wrestling that every fan will remember for ages. Mind you I am just talking about the match I haven?t even talked about the send off the next night on Raw. No one and I mean no one will ever get a send off in wrestling like20that quite ever again. It was truly an end to an era for a lot of fans myself included and the whole weekend is probably my favorite memory in wrestling that I was not personally involved in. Now it all feels cheap as talk of a Ric Flair comeback is looming and this time it’s serious. I love you as a performer Ric but please Ric go?you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
I have said it before and I will say it again because it bears repeating and that’s that wrestling is a work. No one beats anyone and well no one really loses. Ric Flair didn?t really win 16 world titles however the word legacy is still a tangible word in wrestling. You see a legacy in wrestling is not whether you won or you lost but what kind of performance you gave in the ring. Take a wrestler like Shawn Micheals who has lost half the matches people remember him for. So it is not about having Ric come back and put people over it’s about the quality of work. Ric would tell you he is better than 90% of the roster and many would agree?I wouldn?t but that’s not even the point because I am almost positive I am in the minority on that argument so rather than argue that let me switch to something we can all agree on. Ric Flair isn?t even 25% of what he used to be. He does not move the same, does not bump the same and sometimes I seriously fear for him when he is in the ring because the mind wants to do things that the body is no longer capable of. Ric damages his legacy everytime he steps in the ring because we as fans give him a pass but we want the ?60 minute man? we want ‘space mountain?. Ric gets back in the ring and they may have to change the ‘space mountain? line to ?Space Mountain it may be the oldest ride in the park and it’s also out of order?.
Ric Flair has done interviews over the last year where he mentions his private life and his private name almost as they are two distinct personalities and in his mine they are and when asked about it he will tell you he can?t be Richard Fleihr because Richard Fleihr never made no money. I don?t deny this to be true Richard Fleihr never drew a dime in wrestling and probably never made much anywhere else. However Richard Fleihr is a father of 3 children who have been neglected over the years because Ric Flair will not die. Richard Fleihr is a thrice divorced man in his 60’s because Ric Flair was ?Styling and Prof ilin?. Richard Fleihr may very well die a lonely old man because Ric Flair was about ?Naitchin all night long?. I tend to get on guys in the Independents who do things that I find risky and dangerous because they need to be remembered. My argument is usually when you are in a wheelchair and they look at you while they may remember what you did to get there they are not going to say they respect you but how stupid they think you are now because you are no longer doing it for them. Ric Flair may be the coolest 60 year old man in history but what happens when age finally catches up with him? Fans come and go but family and friends that’s forever. Ric was a big fan of the movie the Wrestler and well did he not pay attention to the fact that at the end of that movie Mickey Rourke neglected everything in his life but wrestling and wound up a lonely old man? Maybe Richard Fleihr will never be a millionaire but I am sure to Megan, Reid and David having him around is more valuable than a million bucks.
I am a big baseball fan and there was a very cool story a few years back about a player from the negro leagues who was obviously well past his playing days who just wanted one more at bat so they arranged for him to20be able to play in a minor league exhibition game. He never took the field and got one at bat which was an intentional walk and he was immediately pinch ran for. It was a nice sports moment. Now imagine if that old man said he was going to come back full time. Well first of all no team would take him on but let’s say that one would just for the publicity of having a old man on a professional sports team what happens when it is time for him to play? He can?t play the field and sooner rather than later people are going to stop giving him the intentional pass out of respect. The same thing goes for Ric Flair he will come back. He will not be a main eventer and that will be OK but when he steps up to the plate and doesn?t deliver what we are used to Ric Flair delivering we are going to give him only so many intentional passes before we say ?Man when is he going to retire??. Thing is if you can?t show him the door now what makes you think you will be able to show him the door later. Some people tend to say hello when others are saying goodbye. Ric with all due respect this is goodbye. I have been the biggest Ric Flair fan in my span of watching wrestling. Like the song said Ric ?leave the memories alone?.
On that note I am going to wrap up this week. As usual if you like the column or hate it let me know by hitting me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and well that’s it next week I will try to do better and until then I am out.