Ric Flair retired from the ring in 2012, but he’s never far away from that ring, and he’s always up for taking part in a WWE storyline, whether it’s managing his daughter Charlotte early in her Main Roster run, taking an off-screen beating from Dave Bautista to set up a feud with Triple H, or most recently doing an angle with Hulk Hogan at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. Apparently he really wanted to take a bump as part of that angle, but WWE didn’t go for it.
Flair was on Wrestling Inc’s WINCLY podcast, where he was asked generally about his health, which has had some scares in the last couple of years. He says he’s feeling good.
Absolutely fantastic, I feel great. I was just with friends a couple of weeks ago, and it’s taken a few years, but I’m back to normal. I’m better than I was prior to getting sick. So, certainly someone’s been watching over me and taking care of me.
In fact, said Flair, his doctors were fine with him taking a move or two in Saudi Arabia on Halloween, but McMahon wouldn’t go for it:
I got cleared medically to do something in Saudi and then Vince nixed it. If I would have fed Roman in that huge comeback he made, or tapped Hogan, that would have been the coup de grace. You just wanna give them everything they paid for and sometimes if you’re not physically involved, you feel like you’re not giving everything you had if you’re not physical.
I have this gift that God has given me where I don’t hurt anywhere, knock on wood.
Flair makes clear that he’s not saying he wants to work a whole match — although he insists he could — he’d be up for just a spot or two.
Yes… well, no, not wrestle a match. I could get knocked down. Could I wrestle a match? Yes… but I couldn’t because it would take me so long to get in that kind of shape. But I could be involved in a spot or take a bump.
It’s clear that watching the younger guys go in the ring today makes Flair understandably nostalgic. It’s also clear that he really wanted to bump for Reigns at Crown Jewel.
When I sit ringside and you see the speed and how fast the guys move, you think that at one time I was doing that. It’s amazing and now I see why people buy those ringside seats as you have a whole new appreciation. But getting back, if I could have just fed Roman after he cleaned the house – boom, take a bump on the apron or the floor – they would have gone nuts. Roman winked at me and pointed to his heart and shook his head.
Now let’s be honest, depending on which modern guys Flair is watching, I’m not sure he had their speed at any age (which is fine, the style was different back then), but it’s actually kind of cool that wrestling still moves him after all these years. Still, given his various health problems and the fact that he’s 70, not letting him take bumps in 2019 is probably a smart choice on Vince’s part.