Flair Proves He’s Still Wrestling’s MVP

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 in the wrestling business 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. But I think we all still have a common interest in The Champ. So occasionally James De Medeiros will update us on what's happening with our hometown boy, the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.

And yes, I now confess to be recording the WWE shows again on my DVR   - just to follow what appears to be these final few weeks of Flair's in-ring career.

-D. Bourne


While Ric Flair may no longer be the performer he once was, the fact remains that he is the most respected wrestler on the WWE roster. His tenure in the business has provided a legacy that very few will ever come close to matching, much less surpassing. Ending his legendary career would unquestionably be the biggest victory in the career of whichever superstar fortunate enough to be tapped for the honor. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the MVP in today’s wrestling world would challenge Ric Flair, the man who has already been considered by most historians as the most valuable performer in the history of the industry.

In the weeks leading up to their contest, Flair had a relatively light schedule. He faced William Regal on the January 14th edition of Monday Night Raw. Whatever magic the two created in the ring during their fabled 1994 Marquis of Queensbury challenge was noticeably missing as their rushed Raw match-up resulted in a decisive victory for the “Nature Boy.” Flair followed up that victory with another count-out victory in a rare house show match in State College, Pennsylvania against “The World’s Strongest Man,” Mark Henry.

© WWE.com

However, the magic that may have been missing in those under-promoted matches was clearly present whenever Flair and Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) shared the ring. Their first two encounters occurred on the “talk show” hosted by MVP appropriately entitled, the VIP Lounge. Immediately, MVP reminded Flair that – at the Vengeance Pay-Per-View on June 24, 2007 – their only match against each other, MVP defeated Flair. He asserted that when they clashed at the Royal Rumble, he would again defeat Flair thereby ending his career. MVP then reminded Flair that he, MVP, was “half-man, half-amazing.” Flair responded, “you’re half-man, half-amazing, and I am the man.” The crowd erupted. He added that “when you think about the fact that the Naitch has wrestled Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Buddy Rogers, The Rock, Austin, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker – the list goes on – I look at my loss to you as a blemish on my career that I have to correct.” MVP again reiterated that, “at the Royal Rumble, when I retire you, you’ll be looking at the greatest day of my life, and the last day of your career.” He concluded stating that, “the whole world will know – when I beat you 1,2,3 – that the greatest of all-time isn’t better than me.” Flair fired back with a thunderous chop, which knocked his disrespectful future opponent to the mat. The stage was set for their showdown at the Royal Rumble.

The Royal Rumble event would take on even greater significance as it would also likely mark Flair’s last appearance in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. His first appearance was on March 1, 1976 when he defeated Pete Sanchez and began his ascent in the industry following his 1975 plane crash. The Madison Square Garden crowd gave Flair a thunderous ovation befitting his legendary career. He took the house microphone and told the audience, “I wanted to tell you once again what a great honor it has been to wrestle all these years in Madison Square Garden.” Flair added that “I have to tell you the level of respect that you have paid me all these years is unbelievable.” With those brief words, MVP entered the arena. The match began with the crowd chanting “Flair!” Flair took control of the contest in the early going working over his opponent with vicious chops. MVP retaliated with a thunderous boot to Flair’s head. The MSG crowd gasped, just as they would whenever Flair appeared to be in trouble. Eventually, Flair regained control attempted to put his adversary in the legendary Figure Four Leglock twice before MVP again regained the decisive advantage with yet another kick to Flair’s head that resulted in a near fall. Flair narrowly escaped by putting his foot on the rope at the last possible moment, but MVP remained relentless. MVP superplexed Flair and scored another near fall. Moments later, MVP attempted to place Flair in his Playmaker maneuver, which earned MVP his only victory over Flair just months earlier. This time, however, Flair countered the move and MVP him in the Figure Four Leglock capturing the victory. The MSG audience exploded and gave Flair a standing ovation. An emotional Ric Flair basked in the glory of what will likely be his last victory in the world’s most famous arena.

As is usually the case in the wrestling world, he did not have long to savor the victory before being challenged by yet another brash, young superstar. Backstage, Mr. Kennedy congratulated the “Nature Boy” on his victory before being interrupted by Shawn Michaels who also congratulated Flair. The next night, Mr. Kennedy formally challenged Flair to a match at the No Way Out Pay-Per-View explaining that a victory ending the career of Ric Flair would have even “more historic value” than even a WWE championship. Flair agreed to the match that will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada – the city notorious for being the playground of legendary figures including Elvis Presley, the Rat Pack and the Four Horsemen. Unquestionably, if given the opportunity, Flair will provide Las Vegas with one more epic tale at the No Way Out event.

James De Medeiros
January 28, 2008

Published 2/1/08

Photo: © WWE.com


Editor's note: This article was written before the match aired on Smackdown Friday night (2/1) where MVP injured Ric Flair. Hopefully, James will update us soon on  that development in the current story.

Previous updates:

Ric Flair's Last Run Derailed?

Flair Promises to "Go Out in a Blaze of Glory"

Ric Flair: The Final Countdown

Happy WOO Year!


Links to Jim De Medeiros Flair updates can always be found in the Smoke Filled Rooms section of the website.

© 2008 Mid-Atlantic Gateway