Flair Promises to

“Go Out in a Blaze of Glory”

by James De Medeiros


I confess to no longer watching wrestling, having long ago lost interest in the current product, both WWE and TNA. But Ric Flair continues to be the common thread that links us from today back to 1974, when Flair first made a big splash right in front of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fans. He took the wrestling world by storm, and hasn't let it go yet.

I suspect many of you don't watch the current product either. So occasionally Jim De Medeiros will update us on what's happening with our hometown boy, the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. 

-D. Bourne


After taking a three month break, Ric Flair returned to wrestling Monday night in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where he first became wrestling’s biggest star as the centerpiece of the Mid Atlantic territory. He addressed rumors concerning his impending retirement and admitted that even he acknowledges that his “wrestling career can’t go on forever.” “I know sooner or later, there’ll be a time for me to retire,” remarked the Nature Boy to a chorus of boos from the Charlotte faithful.

The crowd, which remained on its feet from the moment Flair arrived in the building, became restless sensing Flair was about to leave the sport after dominating it for an unparalleled 30 years. But, the Nature Boy had a surprise for his Charlotte fans that have followed him since his Mid Atlantic debut on May 13, 1974. “I have to announce to you that I will never retire!” shouted Flair as the Charlotte audience erupted. Flair explained that “I love this business – I’m going nowhere!”

© WWE.com

The announcement brought WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to the ring to confront Flair. McMahon said he was “very, very happy that Ric Flair will never retire – I like that– because [he] mean[s] a lot to the WWE audience.” McMahon continued by stating that, “I hope you go on forever, as long as you keep on winning.” McMahon then revealed his plans for Flair stating that “the first match you lose, Ric, your career is over.”

Since August, Flair has been sidelined tending to other business ventures, while also working out details with WWE officials. His return tonight is believed to be the start of a last run as a member of the active WWE roster. Speculation amongst some indicated that, in an unprecedented move, Flair might begin appearing on all three WWE brands as his career winds down. What unfolds leading to WrestleMania could certainly be some of the most compelling television WWE has produced in quite some time. It will unquestionably be Flair’s first chance in the WWE spotlight in over a year. Since September 2006, WWE has clearly misused and downplayed Flair by placing him in lower profile spots on the card. On June 11, 2007, Flair was drafted to the Smackdown brand. After impressive outings against then World Champion Edge and Finlay, he briefly left the scene. He returned a few weeks later and soon thereafter wrestled his last match as a member of the Smackdown roster against then World Champion The Great Khali.

After McMahon’s announcement tonight, Flair was seen backstage chatting with former Horsemen teammates Barry Windham and Arn Anderson. Later, other WWE performers and agents including Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Cody Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter, Dean Malenko, Jeff Hardy, and Chris Jericho cheered as Flair walked to the curtain for his match against WWE champion Randy Orton. The Charlotte crowd gave Flair yet another standing ovation and chanted “Nature Boy!” while witnessing what could conceivably be the last match Flair wrestles in the city. An impassioned Ric Flair won the non-title main event contest thereby extending his wrestling career.

James De Medeiros
November 26, 2007

© 2007 Mid-Atlantic Gateway