WWE rumors continue to swirl regarding ESPN’s collaboration with the company to release a documentary on wrestling legend Ric Flair. The trailer featuring the former 16-time World Champion as the star of a new 30 for 30 segment for the network was leaked online this week, and it has a number of fans yelling “Whoooooooo” with pure excitement.
Now, according to Cageside Seats, WWE and ESPN are expected to release the 90-minute, highly anticipated Flair doc during the most exciting time of the year for wrestling fans, which is, of course, WrestleMania week.
The choice to release Ric’s 30 for 30 at a time of the year when the intrigue surrounding WWE and its on-air storylines is at an all-time high is no coincidence. WWE actually has a long history of saving some of its more compelling ideas for the late March / early April period leading up to its annual biggest show of the year.
If nothing else, it has already been confirmed that the WWE will once again offer special fan “Axxess” events for four days leading up to the big event. The WWE events will include the annual WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony on Friday of WrestleMania weekend and a special NXT: Takeover show on Saturday that will be headlined by former TNA star Bobby Roode challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Heavyweight Title belt.
All of these WWE events, of course, will culminate with WrestleMania 33, which is set to take place on April 2, 2017, live at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Despite ESPN having worked with extensively with WWE, rumors are that the the upcoming “Nature Boy” 30 for 30 project should be unlike any of the other events that WWE will produce in the days leading up to WrestleMania.
The WWE documentary will be directed by Rory Karpf, the man who has been responsible for other network pieces such as I Hate Christian Laettner and The Book of Manning. Karpf, in particular, told Sports Illustrated back in November that he is continuing to interview in- and out-of-the-ring personalities that he believes will give particular insight into Ric Flair’s personality. In particular, the director mentioned interviews with Flair’s family, including his daughter Ashley (Charlotte) and first wife Leslie, as well as fellow WCW and WWE colleagues such as Sting, Triple-H, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley, among others. The interviews will also feature a number of as-yet-unnamed wrestling journalists and fans.
WWE rumors suggest, however, that Flair will come out of the documentary as the star attraction. Ric is, after all, the likely reason that so many viewers will be tuning in for the ESPN / WWE documentary that evening.
“It was great to hear from Ric’s family, mainly his three children, to get an entirely different side of Ric beyond the ‘Nature Boy’ persona [on WWE television],” Karpf told S.I. in an interview, noting some of his own personal highlights:
“Ric’s first wife Leslie was interviewed and to my knowledge this is the first time she ever granted an interview on camera. She was able to provide a great deal of insight into Ric’s college years and who he was before he was the “Nature Boy.” I think Shawn Michaels and Triple-H provided the best insight on Ric in and out of the ring. They seem to know him better than anyone and were very forthcoming. It was also awesome to get an interview with The Undertaker (real name: Mark Calaway) out of character.”
Karpf noted that more interviews with Flair and others are still forthcoming.
The news also comes amid continued WWE rumors that Flair’s daughter Charlotte is penciled in for a huge WrestleMania match. Against, whom, however, has yet to be revealed. It had been rumored that the long-awaited Charlotte-Bayley feud might culminate at the big WWE show, but the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer was quick to shoot down that rumor via his Twitter.
Charlotte vs. Bayley is at Rumble. Current Mania plan is different. https://t.co/tSygK0nakh— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) December 21, 2016
As of now, none of these WWE rumors have been confirmed. The official plans for Charlotte Flair’s WrestleMania match are being held close to the vest by WWE officials.
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