Surprising details are finally starting to emerge from the controversial use of the late Reid Flair to set up a WWE Divas title match on RAW. The biggest shocker being that Ric Flair was watching from home and had no idea what was coming.
WWE went to a place on Monday Night RAW that made a lot of people uncomfortable. Using the late Reid Flair in a Divas angle has resulted in fallout, not surprisingly coming from the Flair family. I wrote a blog Monday defending it, saying that if Ric Flair and his family signed off on it, then I have no problem with it. Well guess what? Ric Flair not only did not sign off on it, he had no idea it was coming until he watched it play out on RAW.
“You know, here’s the problem: I obviously have an opinion but I’m afraid to voice it. Because I don’t want anything to affect Ashley’s career. I would just say that I know that Hunter, and Stephanie, and Michael Hayes have her back. I think if anything that could be considered a negative, I don’t think she feels like she’s comfortable enough to say ‘no’ to anything yet. She’s only been up there three months and it’s a pressure cooker. It’s a tough spot to be in. Even though she’s the champion doesn’t mean she goes ‘hey, this is what I want to do and what I’m not going to do.’ I think if they asked her to do something, that’s pretty much the way things operate up there.
I just spent 10 days in Europe with the RAW group, the red tour, which is half the guys and I just think that they’re walking on pins and needles. Just because you’re the champion doesn’t mean that you have the right to say no. If somebody writes it down, one person approves everything. Does that make sense?
So, I really don’t have an opinion.
I was very sensitive to it, obviously, because it’s a very sensitive issue. It’s still very new. I know her mom is on fire. But I’m not going to… I can’t just go out on a limb and say what I think. For what it was and what it… I think it was intense. I think the pull apart was as good as Brock Lesnar and ‘Taker considering it was women. I think Ashley’s interview — take some of the words out of context — Ashley’s interview may have been the best I’ve ever seen from a woman and a Diva of all time. She was on fire and she stayed in control. She dealt with the emotion of it. She, once again, demonstrated her physical skills as being second to none, man or woman, in the company.”
While that all makes sense, a new report from Uproxx.com claims that the angle was actually Charlotte’s idea. According to their sources, it was Charlotte who suggested it. So either Uproxx has it wrong and needs to post a correction or Ric hasn’t spoken to his daughter yet about the angle. The plot thickens when you consider the possibility that Charlotte suggested the angle and never prepared her family for it.
UPDATE: Multiple reports have disputed Brandon Stroud’s report about the angle being Charlotte’s idea.
Ric then continued and when asked said he would not like whether it was about his family or someone else.
“I wouldn’t like it. Obviously it’s… I mean, I got mad. I told this story on the show, I was upset when Jerry Lawler was verbally abusing Bret Hart’s parents, much less touching on something as sensitive as that. You know, it’s still new. It’s not even three years old. It’s something we deal with as a family on a daily basis. As you know, I share if I’m upset about something and it comes to mind. I’m doing 30 for 30 right now for ESPN and that’s one of the things they wanted to talk about and it was a very emotional part of the interview. It’s just something… Do I… If I was a fan I wouldn’t like it, no. But I’ve seen a lot of things I didn’t like before. I’m personally attached to this but let me reiterate that I know that Hunter, and Stephanie, and Michael Hayes have her back and they wouldn’t go out of their way to hurt her or put her in a position to be hurt.”
Flair was then asked if he knew about it ahead of time.
“I never heard a word about it. I started crying while I was watching it. Nope, nobody called me and nobody has called me today. That would indicate that they just assumed that that’s good. So I don’t have an answer for that.”
This is the shocker in my opinion. Flair says twice that three executives have Charlotte’s back, yet they obviously don’t have his if nobody reached out to him to let him know it was coming. One would presume at minimum that one of them would have given Ric a call to let him know it was coming, and these are supposed to be his close friends.
He was asked about whether he trusts his daughter’s judgment and whether a heads up to him would have made a difference.
“No, because I don’t think it would have made any difference. If they ask you to do something, what is she going to say, ‘no, I quit’? I don’t think that anybody has… I listened to a lot of the interviews with a lot of the kids. Forget anything personal, it doesn’t mean I have to like the verbage of them. They’ve written down stuff for me that I wasn’t comfortable with and I can go ask and they’ll change it. It’s nothing sensitive like that but they’ve brought stuff to me and I’ve said to Hunter ‘this doesn’t make sense’ and Hunter goes ‘well, write something down that does’ or ‘go talk to the writer’ and I will. But it’s never anything of that level of sensitivity.
I do know that she would never be comfortable rocking the boat right now. She’s in a very unique and great position with them and she’ll be there as long as she wants to be because they think that much of her, not only because of who she is but because of her skill set, her workrate, her work ethic; there are a thousand reasons why she’ll be there forever. But I don’t think she feels comfortable saying no to anybody about anything.”
Reid and Charlotte’s mother sent out a tweet about the promo and needless to say, she wasn’t very happy with it.
— Elizabeth Fliehr (@EFliehr) November 17, 2015
Flair does say that he holds no grudges over it and it will be water under the bridge by the time they get to Survivor Series. Yet the fact that nobody picked up the phone to call Ric prior to such a sensitive promo nor call him after to check on his well being is probably more offensive than the angle itself.