Saturday, April 13

10 Best Promos Of Ric Flair’s WCW & WWE Careers

After Ric Flair cemented his legacy as a perennial NWA Champion, he expanded his legacy by rising to the top of two major promotions. From the early ’90s to the late 2000s, The Nature Boy styled and profiled in World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment. Though Flair was no longer in his physical prime during this span, he was second to absolutely no one as far as the fine art of the wrestling promo.

RELATED: 9 Ric Flair Promos Where The Nature Boy Went Completely Off The Rails

Whether he was being interviewed by Mean Gene on Monday Nitro or getting in Vince McMahon’s face on Raw, Flair made many magical moments on the microphone in these two companies. Any wrestling fan watching his epic WCW and WWE promos just can’t help but go “Woooooo!”


10 The Nature Boy Arrives In WWE

Ric Flair and Bobby Heenan on Prime Time Wrestling

Four out of five times, a Ric Flair promo consists of unbridled excitement and passion. However, when Flair made his first ever appearance on WWE’s Prime Time Wrestling program, he spoke in a quiet, menacing voice in his first minute and a half on the mic. Threatening both Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan, Flair could have given TV and movie thespians a run for their money.

Flair would eventually hit his trademark crescendo, drawing more and more interest to the eventual showdown with the Hot Rod (who was working the commentary desk at the time). “Roddy Piper, when you took off those earphones and walked from behind that desk…you put yourself in permanent retirement!”

9 The Royal Rumble Victory Speech

Ric Flair holding the WWE Title as Bobby Heenan, Mr. Perfect, and Gene Okerlund look on

Time and again, Flair has proven that he can back up his big talk with big-time performances in the ring. On the night of January 19, 1992, Flair did exactly this when he emerged the victor of a star-studded Royal Rumble match.

When an exhausted Naitch got to the backstage area after the Rumble, he had enough left in the tank to deliver one of his most memorable interviews ever. “With a tear in my eye,” said the newly minted WWE Champion. “This is the greatest moment in my life…when you are the king of the WWF, you rule the world!”

8 “Fire Me, I’m Already Fired”

Ric Flair in tears as he holds a WCW microphone

During Flair’s WCW stint from 1993 to 2001, he rekindled old rivalries and engaged in fresh feuds. One new foe that Flair intensely fought was Eric Bischoff, a man that he had no affection for even outside the ring. Flair’s on-screen and real-life hatred for Bischoff was on full display on the September 14, 1998 episode of Nitro.

RELATED: 10 Things Fans Should Know About The Ric Flair Vs. Eric Bischoff WCW Rivalry

“You’re an obnoxious, overbearing ass! Abuse of power, you! Abuse of power!” exclaimed Flair. Daring Bischoff to sabotage his moment, Flair said, “Cut me off, come on! It’s called abuse of power…You are a liar, you’re a cheat, you’re a scam, you are a no good son of a b****. Fire me, I’m already fired! FIRE ME, I’M ALREADY FIRED!”

7 Laying It All On The Line

Ric Flair stripping to his underwear in a WCW ring

By the end of 1998, Flair was desperate to settle his score with Eric Bischoff. On the December 28 Nitro that emanated from Baltimore, Flair pulled out all the stops to get Bischoff to accept a match with him that night.

As an incredulous Gene Okerlund looked on, Flair removed nearly every article of clothing and accessory on his body—a gesture that symbolized how he was laying it all on the line. “I’m begging you, Bischoff,” said Flair as he got down on his knees. “Be a man! If I beat you…I get to run WCW for 90 days.” With such grand gestures from The Nature Boy, Bischoff accepted the challenge.

6 Defending Tradition

Ric Flair making his entrance on WCW Monday Nitro

After Ric Flair defeated Eric Bischoff on the December 28, 1998 episode of Nitro, he secured the position of WCW President. With the new power that he wielded, Flair sought to uphold the spirit of competition that he inherited from luminaries like Harley Race and Dory Funk Jr. As such, when the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom took place, Flair fought to defend the heritage of pro wrestling itself.

Addressing Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash on the January 7th episode of Nitro, Flair said, “You two guys, 10 years from now, will look at your kids, [and] you’ll remember the night that you laid down. You let the world down. You scammed. You schemed!” The WCW President then proceeded to imitate Nash lying in the center of the ring, thus adding to the dramatic weight of the moment.

5 A Vengeful Father

Hollywood Hogan and Ric Flair squaring off in the ring

At Souled Out 1999, Ric Flair and his 19-year-old son David defeated Curt Hennig and Barry Windham in a tag team match. In the aftermath, Hollywood Hogan and members of the nWo ambushed the winning team. After the group handcuffed Flair to the ropes, Hogan mercilessly whipped David.

The next night on Nitro, Flair had nothing but fiery vengeance on his mind. “Forget about being 14 times,” said the most decorated world champion in history. “I want to be the man that killed Hulk Hogan dead!”

4 One Last Stand

Ric Flair and Sting in the final Monday Nitro match

On March 26, 2001, the once mighty WCW was on its last legs. Vince McMahon, who bitterly fought the company for years, appeared on the final Nitro to boast about his acquisition of WCW. Though the Monday Night Wars had come to a close, Ric Flair decided that WCW would go down swinging.

RELATED: 10 Harsh Realities About The Monday Nigt Wars WWE & WCW Fans Need To Realize

“Did I happen to hear Vince McMahon say he was going to hold WCW in the palm of his hands?” asked Flair. “When was the last time you wrestled for an hour? Bled for forty-five minutes? When were you there…you weren’t!” Flair then laid out a challenge for what would be the last Monday Nitro match ever broadcast. “To be the man, you gotta beat the man. And Sting, I’m…the…man! Woooo!”

3 An Encounter With The Chairman

Ric Flair in a staredown with Vince McMahon as a referee looks on

Ric Flair’s second stint in the WWE began in grand fashion: a fierce battle with Vince McMahon himself. The two were locked in a power struggle in the wake of the WCW/ECW invasion, but on top of that, Flair was fueled by a more personal motive.

On the December 27, 2001 episode of SmackDown, Flair recalled how the WWE Chairman gave him scathing criticism after The Nature Boy’s epic encounter with Randy Savage at WrestleMania VIII. Remembering how that momentous night was ruined, Flair got in Mr. McMahon’s face and said, “Who are you to ever tell me how to wrestle?? I’M RIC FLAIR!”

2 A Blood Feud Begins

Ric Flair and Mick Foley staring intensely at each other

In the early 2000s, Ric Flair and Mick Foley exchanged unsavory words that were not part of a storyline. Foley criticized Flair’s booking skills in WCW, while Naitch called The Hardcore Legend “a glorified stuntman.” It was as real as it gets.

In 2006, this animosity spilled over into the ring. Leading up to their anticipated SummerSlam match, Flair “beat up” a copy of Foley’s memoir Foley is Good. This prompted the Mickster to come out and engage in a verbal tussle with The Nature Boy. At the end of this heated exchange, Flair said, “May one of us bleed to death in Boston!”

1 “I Will Never Retire”

ric-flair-wrestlemania-24

After 35 years in the business, Ric Flair found himself contemplating the future of his wrestling career. On the November 26, 2007 episode of Raw—in his hometown, no less—Flair decided to let the whole world know about his big decision.

“Tonight, right here in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in front of the world,” said the 16-time world champion. “I have to announce to you…that I will never retire!” With that masterfully executed twist, Ric Flair kicked off his retirement angle that led to his final WWE match at WrestleMania 24.

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