The tumultuous post WWE WrestleMania 24 career of the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair has hit another bump on the rocky road of tragedy. Independent professional wrestling company, Ring of Honor filed suit last week against Ric Flair seeking in excess of over $40,000. Sooner or later, Ric Flair is going to run out of old wrestling belts to auction off and cover these debts.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com broke the story last week. The financial situation between Flair and ROH has been alleged in the past, yet ROH took no legal actions until now. The suit alleges that Flair did not live up to his end of a deal. I guess over the last 14 months when Flair questions the integrity of his rival peers, that his own integrity doesn’t matter. Flair has done at least two video shoot interviews where he questions the integrity of Bret Hart, and in another brings up some horrible accusations about Hart’s relationship with his family. Way to go champ!
[adinserter block=”1″]The crux of the lawsuit is that ROH paid Ric Flair an advance of his booking fees for several months. ROH thought they had Flair locked up when they announced a television deal with HDNet. Flair cut promos on the website and at house shows proclaiming to be the commissioner of ROH. Well Flair’s political tenure in ROH ended after one taping. The lawsuit alleges that while the company paid Flair for appearances, he just simply made a casual appearance in front of a live audience, resigned his post, and quit. According to the suit, Flair was paid $35,000 for the television appearances yet only made the one.
The lawsuit also alleges that Flair was paid $10,000 to make an appearance at ROH’s July 2009 Montreal event. Flair never appeared, nor returned the money. I am not sure how that works in the crazy logic of Ric Flair, but it sounds like theft where I come from. Maybe like his coming out of retirement, if it doesn’t happen in the states than it really doesn’t count right?
Mike writes what a lot of people suspected in that Flair’s association with ROH was based on his son Reid Flair getting a wrestling gig with the company. Reid Flair , an amateur great never realized his potential after several arrests which included being caught with drug paraphernalia. Once it became clear that the relationship between Reid and ROH wasn’t going to work, it appears that Nature Boy became disinterested and conveniently forgot about the money he was paid in advance to appear for the company.
[adinserter block=”2″]I am actually surprised at the amount of money of the lawsuit. I had rumors that ROH had paid Flair over $100,000 for appearances that Flair never lived up to. I don’t know that to be true or not true. It is possible that Flair did pay some of that money back, likely concluding that a little more than half should be okay for the Nature Boy. I don’t know one way or the other, but it looks like Flair is on the hook for a lot less than most people thought the final amount would be.
The lawsuit is just another financial bump on Ric Flair’s rocky road since losing to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 and “retiring.” Since the match, Flair has been divorced and reportedly pays an outrageous amount of alimony per month, lost money in a financial investment business, and has had to resort to auctioning off one of his old NWA belts on the Internet to pay off some personal debts. Apparently Ric Flair loved The Wrestler so much he has patterned his life after the movie.
I also want to make clear that I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for Ring of Honor in this mess. As someone that worked in pro wrestling for over a decade, I can tell you that the majority of wrestling promoters are about the least honest people you will ever meet. Maybe it’s karma or maybe it was just bad business for Ring Of Honor. However, I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for a company that would pay Ric Flair $10,000 for simply walking to the ring and signing autographs, yet pay the talent who break their bodies on a weekly basis a few hundred bucks and cut their pay on top of it.
Hear the story and see Ric Flair at his best on the WWE – The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection DVD collection.