Fire Ric Flair: Come On, WWE, It’s Best For Business

Aric Mitchell - Author
By

Nov. 28 2016, Updated 3:11 a.m. ET

COMMENTARY — Ric Flair has, for years, been the most easily recognizable face of professional wrestling behind Hulk Hogan and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

In his younger days, he truly was one of the best to ever step in the ring, and in his prime, his skills on the microphone are still without equal.

Some of those classic promos he cut would leave you rolling on the floor laughing. You loved him, hated him, and always respected him.

Then, he overstayed his welcome.

Ric Flair got older, and while that’s not a crime in itself, it does limit your in-ring capabilities. Still, for a while he was able to work through that, because he could still be taken seriously on the microphone.

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Unfortunately, his schtick never evolved. Playing the limousine-riding, jet-flying playboy at 30 is cool. Playing it at 65, is downright pathetic, as fans witnessed Monday night.

Here, have a look for yourself:

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Now, let’s recap what we just saw: Flair comes out, does all the same crap he did 30 years ago, looks at Renee Young lecherously, and then gives his opinion on who’s going to win at WWE Battleground.

As Daily DDT‘s Michael Dunlap notes:

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After watching the performance he put on this Monday with poor Renee Young, I felt sick to my stomach and a bit sad — that old Flair is, well, too old now.

He didn’t come off as a playboy, he didn’t seem like a bada** and he certainly didn’t evoke memories of great verbal jousts he had in the 1980s. Instead, he came off like a gross old man trying to ‘keep it cool.’ As he looked Renee up and down, I couldn’t help but think he was coming off like a nasty old pervert.”

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Agreed.

And believe me, it’s hard to admit these things. As a kid, even as a teenager, my friends and I were quick to flash the Four Horsemen sign and shout the famous “Woo” every time we thought we did something awesome. Then we grew up.

Unfortunately, The Nature Boy didn’t. He remains on the mental level of a high school kid, and when you’re old enough to collect AARP benefits, that’s hard to stomach.

Of course, if Ric Flair doesn’t have a job in the WWE, what does he have? His life has been in disarray since around 2012 when his then-wife beat him up. As recently as January 2014, he had a warrant out for his arrest. He frequently has erratic behavior and emotional breakdowns on camera.

The man I used to love watching has become the senile relative living in the basement. You’re not sure what to do with him, but you know nothing you come up with will be particularly useful.

If WWE feels a sense of obligation to Ric Flair, then perhaps they could just pay him a salary to stay home. But don’t put him on television. Not if you can’t use him any better than you did Monday night.

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