The Four Horsemen, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Sting. The 1992 Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels, Stylin’ & Profilin’. These are just some of the images that come to mind when thinking of the 16-time world champion, Ric Flair.
In an illustrious career continuing to span more decades than some people live, Ric Flair has done it all. Personally & professionally, he’s been to the top of Space Mountain & delved into Mulholland Madness. You can still turn on your television & see this legend in action.
[adinserter block=”2″]And yet, there is a growing faction (that will most likely end up a majority) that believes Ric Flair should retire from the ring. It doesn’t matter that like many before him, he’s retired several times only to step back into the limelight. For some wrestlers, it’s a financial necessity, for others it’s ego. For others still, adjusting to quiet nights at home with a family they may barely know can be a very difficult transition.
But these men & women do not owe us a reason why they stay past what some would consider their prime. Want a list of wrestlers who didn’t stay past their prime? You already know that list. The wrestling lifestyle took its toll upon too many to mention.
I get it. No one wants to remember Muhammad Ali vs. Larry Holmes. No one wants to think of Babe Ruth, ravaged by cancer, unable to run to first base at an exhibition game. And so we don’t.
When we think of Ali, it’s the trash-talking, larger-than-life, prettiest boxer there ever was. Or if you prefer: an elder statesman of athletics, bringing a message of peace through his many charitable contributions. When we think of Babe Ruth, he’s simply the Homerun King, regardless how many times that particular record has been broken.
When you think of Ric Flair, I’m guessing you think of him as I do; captivating interviews, flashy robes, the figure-four leg lock, putting over Randy Savage, Sting, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger…the list – as you know – goes on. (Ric Flair has done the honors – and it meant more – for more men than every ham-and-egger on 80’s wrestling television.)
But people have started (harshly) judging Ric Flair for staying in a business & making a living doing something he loves. Worse yet, these naysayers forgot that he’s still entertaining. That can’t be said for most of the wrestlers of any promotion’s roster.
[adinserter block=”1″]Ric Flair was the flagship of a wrestling promotion for 20+ years. Ric Flair made a career out of being Ric Flair & making younger talent look better than they were. Ric Flair doesn’t owe us anything. We owe him. We owe him for the countless hours of action & entertainment. His legacy is his own; not yours or mine.
So if all you can think about when you see an aging Flair in the ring is his thinning hair, financial woes or someone who doesn’t get around in the ring like he used to, well then…maybe Ric Flair isn’t the problem.
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