Flair Should Have Never Retired, Plus Another Pillman Memory


Heâ<80><99>s 59 years old. But Ric Flair should not have retired. He should have kept wrestling. Now that heâ<80><99>s quit his job as WWE goodwill ambassador, TNA should hire him and put him back in the ring.

We can selfishly prattle on and on about Flair being a shell of his former self; how prolonging his career diminished his legacy; that itâ<80><99>s sad to see what the greatest wrestler ever had become.

But all thatâ<80><99>s nonsense. Flair isnâ<80><99>t what he used to be, but heâ<80><99>s still very good. And people want to see him, which is a lot more than most wrestlers can say. If TNA got Flair and turned him loose â<80>” let him be himself, at length, on the microphone â<80>” it could be, at the very least, a lot of fun. At a time when so many angles in wrestling are weakly manufactured â<80><9c>surprisesâ<80> â<80>” Mike Adamle (yawn) is Raw GM? And heâ<80><99>s forcing Cena and Batista (snore) to team? â<80>” having fun seems a good idea.

Not that TNA wouldnâ<80><99>t screw it up badly, but I digressâ<80>¦

Wrestling again would make Flair happy. At the time of the WrestleMania match against Shawn Michaels, Flair was heard to say that he thought he had two good years left. Who cares about diminished legacies? Wrestling has no real history unless you saved your old Observers.

If Flair wrestles until he dies, so what? Whoâ<80><99>s to judge? It wonâ<80><99>t mean his bouts with Ricky Steamboat in 1989 werenâ<80><99>t the greatest matches ever. It wonâ<80><99>t mean his Royal Rumble win in 1992 wasnâ<80><99>t a 60-minute series of magnificent moments. It wonâ<80><99>t make me forget the Four Horsemen. This isnâ<80><99>t Mickey Mantle screwing up his lifetime average. Wrestling is fake. A Flair comeback changes nothing.

Iâ<80><99>ve always suspected that Ric Flair needs to wrestle to be Ric Flair. And I know that Ric Flair needs to be Ric Flair to be happy. I care a lot about Ric Flair, the legend. I care more about Ric Flair, the man.

So, champâ<80>¦get back in the ring. Youâ<80><99>ll never be worse than Billy Gunn.

Flairâ<80><99>s split with WWE was reportedly amicable. But Flair wasnâ<80><99>t used on camera when WWE did TV in his home state of North Carolina recently even though his new DVD just came out. People remember Flairâ<80><99>s exit as being a lot better than it was because his â<80>~Mania match with Michaels was awesome. But the buildup to Flairâ<80><99>s finale was mostly limp, and it should be remembered than Vince McMahon gave Flair his due primarily because son-in-law Triple H pushed for it and because it got Hulk Hoganâ<80><99>s goat. Flair isnâ<80><99>t a WWE creation. That was always bubbling just beneath the surface.

TNA could feud Flair with Angle. If done right, it could incorporate some of the elements of Flairâ<80><99>s 1979 feud with â<80><9c>Nature Boyâ<80> Buddy Rogers. It could have a teacher-pupil feel.

Itâ<80><99>s just too bad Flair didnâ<80><99>t stick around WWE long enough to benefit from the creative genius of Freddie Prinze Jr. To be the man, you gotta beat Chico and The Man. LOOKING GOOD!

THE PILLMAN CHRONICLES (second in a series)

Once, very late at night (when else?), Brian took the time to call me while he was, shall we say, in the middle of â<80><9c>making whoopeeâ<80> with a WWE diva. Act in progress, swear to God.

As if that wasnâ<80><99>t funny/bizarre enough, he put the phone to the mouth of the heavily-sedated diva, who proceeded to tell me that she felt like such a dirty slut because she had spent several hours performing vile acts with Brian Pillman while her boyfriend and dog were sitting at home.

Pillman grabbed back the phone, growled, â<80><9c>I think that says it all,â<80> and hung up.

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