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Ric Flair leaves TNA Europe Tour & Goes on Strike

January 26, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ric Flair has left the TNA UK tourRic Flair is certainly the gift that keeps on giving to wrestling blogs. Ric Flair has gone on strike and left the TNA Wrestling European tour in Ireland. I’ll give you three guesses what the dispute was over? If you said money, money, money you are correct.

Reports emerged over the last 24 hours that Ric Flair has staged something of a strike while on the TNA Wrestling European tour. Numerous reports write that Flair demanded a cash advance on the tour from TNA management. TNA management said no to the Nature Boy who in turn refused to get on the bus and held up the trip. Apparently Ric Flair is not as important as he thinks he is as the bus left the WWE Hall of Fame wrestler stranded in Ireland. Something tells me that being stranded in Ireland will be more of a vacation than a punishment to the 61-year old party animal.

Numerous stories report that there has been tension between Flair and TNA Wrestling for months. Mike Johnson over at PWInsider.com reports that this is not the first time that Flair has pulled something similar to this tantrum. Dave Meltzer further speculates that this could be the final straw and may wind up with TNA Wrestling washing their hands of Ric Flair.

In an updated report on Dave Meltzer’s F4wOnline.com he says that Flair maxed out his credit card after telling the crew that he would pay their bar tab. Meltzer also reports that Flair asked several of the talent to borrow money. “Hey Chris Sabin, can you spot me $2 for a coke? I’ll get you back at the Impact Zone.” Well maybe not exactly but wow, what a sad and pathetic story Ric Flair has turned into over the last several years.

Isn’t it amazing how almost every story involving Ric Flair since he lost to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV involves money? As interesting as this story may be, this is nothing compared to some of Flair’s other financial shenanigans of the last several years. In just three years alone Flair has been accused of stealing money from an independent wrestling promotion and a wrestling store owner. Throw in Flair’s domestic abuse squabbles and two marriages, his unretirements, and you have a very busy post retirement for the former NWA champion. It appears that Flair’s most successful opponent over his 40 year career has been his bank account which seems to beat him every time.

Quite frankly as a big Ric Flair fan growing up it is more sad and disappointing than anything else to see how such a legendary career will be remembered. Ric Flair has gone from well respected elder statesman of an industry to a guy who has turned into a complete and utter joke to the point where it will be years if not decades before Flair is remembered strictly for his amazing accomplishments in the ring before being part of a punch line.

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It is a shame because as a pro wrestler during my childhood there was nobody better. Yes wrestling is a work but even so Flair was the best at it until Shawn Michaels came along (in my opinion). It is both funny and sad that the two biggest pro wrestling stars of my generation Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair have ended up as complete parodies of themselves in a wrestling company that nobody would believe either would have any interest in other than financial. It isn’t as if Hogan and Flair didn’t make money in their day. A bad divorce hurt the Hulkster but for Flair it was a complete lack of financial responsibility and maturity that is to blame.

I watched an interview with Ric Flair a few years ago where he was asked about this very same subject. Flair seemed to blow it off. In Flair’s own words he said it was more important to “be the Nature Boy” than save money. Okay I get it at 32 that you want to project an image of your character but I don’t think anyone is going to think any different of Ric Flair he stayed at a Travel Lodge, drove a Toyota, and went to bed before 2 AM. I am no psychologist but it appears that the person Flair most worries about selling the Nature Boy to is Ric Flair.

Ric Flair couldn’t have picked a worse time to play hard ball with TNA Wrestling. He hasn’t meant a thing for ratings or buyrates since Flair signed with TNA. The company is reportedly going through a financial restructure which has resulted in a few cuts. Hogan and Eric Bischoff never seemed to be the most loyal Flair allies and I don’t see that changing now. This could be exactly the reason that TNA needs to relieve a big financial burden without facing any public backlash for firing someone as legendary as Ric Flair. Flair really doesn’t have many cards left to play and he may or may not have played his final one.

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Eric Gargiulo

Eric Gargiulo is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia.

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