I don’t remember where, but I recently described Ric Flair as a “vapid waste of space.” I’m a little surprised I didn’t catch insurmountable backlash there, but even if I had, I’d still not back down from my position. Ric Flair hasn’t done a damn thing for a while now, and it’s time he was finally called on it.
Let’s look at Ric Flair’s recent past. He had a retirement at WrestleMania XXIV that was one of the most poignant moments in wrestling history. Almost immediately afterwards, he began showing signs that he didn’t want to retire–outside of kayfabe mind you.
Flair then signed on as an “ambassador” for WWE and even had some storylines where he tried to get back involved in the business. Flair kept hanging around, tarnishing his legacy, and got involved in the seemingly haphazard Chris Jericho storyline going into WrestleMania XXV.
Flair wasn’t wrestling, but he might as well have been. There he was, not even a full year later, at a WrestleMania. Sure, he didn’t technically fight Jericho, but he got in the ring and practically guided Mickey Rourke’s hands.
Later on, Flair was on RAW…coming out and challenging Randy Orton to a parking lot brawl. Flair was promptly beaten down by Legacy. Is this what the career of the limousine ridin’ son of a gun has come to? Unsanctioned parking lot brawls and being made to look like the feeble old man at the hands of Legacy while simultaneously taking time away from a young star who could have come to Batista’s aide and gotten a push of his own? For shame, Nature Boy.
While all this has been going on over in WWE, Flair had the stones to start robbing Ring of Honor blind. That’s right, I said Flair is robbing Ring of Honor.
Flair signed on with Ring of Honor to be the ambassador to ROH, which is kind of like if I declared myself my apartment complex’s ambassador to the local mini-mart/laundromat/hospital.
What the whole deal really meant was that Flair was going to show up on ROH to help give it some pizazz and draw in the interest of more casual wrestling fans who might very well have otherwise not explored the pleasure cornucopia that is ROH programming.
I guess the first one wasn’t abysmal by any means. Flair came out and endorsed the product (good), there was lots of “woooo”ing (also good), and in general everything seemed to play off Flair’s initial energy boost nicely…the cunning plan had worked!
Skip forward to now. Every city Flair stops in on behalf of ROH is apparently “the best city I’ve ever wrestled in” and the promos…well they leave a lot to be desired. The speech is almost exactly the same, and it’s delivered in a manner that makes me swear Jeff “Professional Promo Butcher” Hardy is the one actually giving it. There’s lots of “woooo”ing and beyond that…not a lot happens.
The endorsement sounds forced.
Talent doesn’t get over.
Flair isn’t energetic.
In short: Flair is a cancer in Ring of Honor. His presence, while nice for anybody with a ticket, just isn’t translating into the break into mainstream wrestling fans consciousness that ROH was hoping for.
What’s happened is that Flair has begun to come around more and more reluctantly as he continues his insane quest to return to WWE…as if he wasn’t old enough to be a grandfather to some of you reading this.
Flair now sucks up money that ROH desperately needs for other places, and time that could be used to showcase other talent–like Grizzly Redwood. He’s not bringing the “Ric Flair Pop” to the table for Ring of Honor, and it’s time this stopped.
Ring of Honor gained its following because it went against the mainstream and hasn’t relied on WWE rejects…something that can’t be said of TNA (apologies to Mr. Testa). It’s time they cut their ties with Flair since nobody is getting anything positive, and talent like Ernie Osiris and future wrestling God, Grizzly Redwood, are being relegated as afterthoughts and bumbling sidekicks.
Ring of Honor never needed Flair, and they should cut their losses sooner rather than later. Besides, he’ll not be missed by a damn anybody watching ROH–least of all me.
Don’t forget to go to the ROH forums and let them know we want more Grizzly. Also, go to WWE Universe and demand that Katie Lea Burchill gets a push.
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