Over the past decade I've tried to keep the content of this blog exclusive to what the title states: wrestling memorabilia. I've deviated at times, most notably when a wrestlers passing needed acknowledgment or even regarding a live event or convention. I don't recall a time when I've felt the overwhelming need to acknowledge a current topic in the industry unrelated to those concepts, but here we are.
Most anyone reading this will already know the recent news regarding Ric Flair. As a brief recap, Flair is threatening to sue WWE over the use of the nickname "The Man" for Becky Lynch. We've all heard "The Nature Boy" utter "to be the man, you've got to beat the man" countless times over the years. His use of it is not in question.
Flair's given reasoning for the lawsuit is that he wants to provide financial stability for his family once he is gone. His financial troubles in recent years have been no secret, nor have the multiple instances of WWE bailing him out. Following a wacky business like pro wrestling for over thirty years leaves one pretty numb to inane ideas. This one left me speechless.
What we have is a true legend (a title that no one will deny) culminating years of pathetic behavior by slapping the face of those who have rescued him. His daughter, Charlotte, is reportedly as unhappy as many fans are by this recent development.
Aside from meeting Flair numerous times over the past fifteen years, I have no personal connection to him. On the flip side, I have horror stories from friends who have dealt with him on a business level. Those stories, along with others which have been variously retold, coupled with his inability to appreciate chance after repeated chance to repair both his finances and health, have left me pretty disgusted with the modern-day Ric Flair. This latest issue is simply the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
Flair is one of my five all-time favorite wrestlers. I didn't choose them out of thin air. They were the five characters that I've most enjoyed in my wrestling fandom. None of the five men behind those characters were perfect. But unlike the other four, Flair is the one who makes me wish that I could go back in time to completely ignore him. When I watch his old material, an asterisk appears in my head. "The character of Ric Flair was great...but."
Let's get this straight again. Ric Flair wants to sue a company that has repeatedly saved him financially so that he can provide for his family when he's gone. I don't always stick up for WWE, but who could take any other side here? Asinine doesn't even begin to describe this thinking. This isn't about the use of a nickname or catch phrase. Or perhaps, maybe it is...
Ric Flair, if forty years ago you had learned how to be A man rather than running around trying to outdo your own fictional alter ego of THE man, you wouldn't have to worry about leaving your family anything. They would have been taken care of and put first. But that's something that REAL men do.
The character of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair may have been "The Man." That's where any resemblance ended.
And for a memorabilia tie-in, well, here's the current character who is "The Man."