With permission from the Thuzio archives, Pro Wrestling Rarities posted an in-depth interview with Ric Flair this week on their YouTube channel. Flair talks about everything from his career to his thoughts on current pro wrestling, Vince McMahon and more.
Here are some highlights:
Ric Flair was asked what Vince McMahon is like: “The best. Tough, incredibly tough. Shrewd. Honest to the point where it hurts your feelings but he doesn’t bulls**t around. He’s a brilliant guy. You look at what every other sport is doing now in terms of sensationalizing the business of football, we’ve been doing that for years. The packages they have on individual players and teams, we’ve been doing that for years. Everybody has taken something from WWE which is great. I don’t think we get enough recognition for it. For so long, it was known as the blue-collar sport but everybody has been watching it forever with crossover demographic appeal. He’s responsible for that. He’s tough. You don’t want to be on the bad side of him.”
Flair was asked who had the biggest pops in wrestling: “I’ve only seen three people get the response coming down the aisle like no other. Hulk was probably the biggest and then Stone Cold. Then Dusty when he came down to Bob Seager Old Time Rock ‘N Roll. I would put those 3 guys in terms of standing in the ring with 20,000 people there, but Hulk was just amazing.”
Flair talked about scripted interviews: “One of the reasons I had a tough time when I first went to WWE is they wanted me to say what they were saying. I couldn’t do it. I understand as the business changed you have to memorize the PPV name, the theme and the date which when you’re rolling it’s hard to come up with this. Everything has a theme to it. I got used to that, but when you get on a roll and you are literally playing off the emotions of the audience, why stop? I had fun doing it.”
Flair discussed him being lost after his retirement match with Shawn Michaels: “The next day, and I don’t mean any disrespect to my ex-wife, but the next day we went on vacation and I was lost. That’s all I’ve done for 40 years. I was really like ‘it’s’ over?’ I couldn’t grasp it. That’s when I really started to slide personally. It just wasn’t about the attention. It was the camaraderie with the guys. It’s just not the same. Do I have a lot of friends, yea but they are not starting their night at 11 until 4 am. They have wives to go home to. I looked at my wife and thought ‘I’m bored as s**t right now.’ We were divorced in 6 months. Wendy, for me, I just had to grow up. All that entertainment and all that stuff, I believed it. The reason I was good at it was because I lived that life. There are very few things you’ll ever see that I said that I didn’t do. I loved the business, good or bad.”
Flair was asked about Charlotte Flair: “I say it openly. To me she has exceeded everything I’ve ever accomplished on a grander stage. I remember main-eventing WrestleMania. I was once a co-main event one time but a lot of that was because I was with a different company. To be in the business 6 years and to be where she’s at, once again, these are the things I have to be careful saying because the way our society works today with social media, but I think she’s the best athlete in the company male or female. She’s incredible.”