Feature: Steve Anderson on Being Fair to Free Agent Flair


“It’s sad to see (Ric) Flair advertised for some low rent wrestling shows at this stage of his life. He should really be above that. I don’t know what his take will be in 12 months, but unless it’s significantly above the half million dollars he was making from Vince McMahon, I just don’t understand what he’s trying to accomplish…

“I’m not saying Flair shouldn’t take advantage of his earning potential right now. And I hope he makes millions in whatever he does. But seeing him in these ads for every rinky dink out there just makes him look ancient instead of being relevant, which he still can be.”

As reported on thisâ<80>¦veryâ<80>¦site, Paul Heyman launched that opinion into, as the kids say, the blogosphere. I really have to take issue with what Paul E. is asserting. With all due respect, Heyman turned down big money when he walked away from WWE, only to go off on his own. Iâ<80><99>m not criticizing his choice, but, like Ric Flair, he wanted to spread his wings and do his own thing. Flair is weeks into this free agency. Let the man sniff around before claiming he is ancient and irrelevant.

Flairâ<80><99>s asking price is $15,000 for an autograph appearance. That does not count being billed on a wrestling show and cutting a promo in the ring. Low rent? Well, compared to Bill Goldberg who charges twice as much. Seriously, I find that laughable. Maybe heâ<80><99>s delusional from all that fireworks smoke he inhaled. Goldberg? Yeah, he had his run, but the guy never had a drop of passion for this business and was, at best, a flash in the pan. Flair is a legend who busted his ass night after night.

Even for the most ambitious promoter, Flairâ<80><99>s asking price is in the stratosphere. I donâ<80><99>t call a minimum of $15K low rent. And what is wrong with Flair offering himself to a wrestling promotion who can afford it? This guy cut his teeth on the territories. Traveling from town to town. Making appearances in dingy arenas, armories and high schools. Heâ<80><99>s getting back to his roots, not because he HAS to, but because he CHOSE to.

He is in a position to be admired, not pitied.

Ric Flair was not content to be a goodwill ambassador that made occasional television appearances. He effectively retired after Wrestlemania and just wanted to explore some non-WWE opportunities. They hamstrung him, so he left the company. What he is trying to accomplish is to live out the twilight of his career on his terms. Ric Flair became a major star in this business, but he was still under the auspices of large companies and corporations.

Flair was a dutiful soldier when he needed to be. He helped elevate wrestlers who are stars today. Why not give him the chance to call the shots this time? Let him collect the big payoff. Let him work when he wants and make as much or as little as he wants.

Let the smaller promotions, which remain a vital part of the business, receive a profitable rub from Ric Flair. Let the fans who love Flair truly get up close and personal with him. Let the up-and-coming stars benefit from being around him. The arenas, armories and high schools can echo with his â<80><9c>Whoo.â<80>

Free agent Ric Flair is better for this business than WWE legend Ric Flair. To me, thatâ<80><99>s the bottom line.

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