Ric Flair is on the minds of a lot of fans right now. Whether it’s active pro wrestling viewers, lapsed fans, or even people who are largely ignorant of what goes on in the squared circle, the Flair 30 For 30 documentary “Nature Boy” premiered last week to rave reviews and virtual tons of social media engagement.
The documentary and accompanying media blitz, following so soon on the heels of the most serious health scare of Flair’s life, has fans and peers alike singing the praises of the 16-time world champion from the rooftops. Kisses are being stolen and limousines are being ridden, to say the least. And don’t even get us started on the line at Space Mountain.
On Tuesday night, Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya faced off against Charlotte Flair on Smackdown Live. The winner would not only win the title, but would go on to face Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss at Sunday’s Survivor Series pay-per-view. The loser would still be able to have a spot on the Smackdown women’s team for a 5-on-5 elimination tag team match against Team Raw.
Smackdown Live emanated from Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, which is the absolute heart of Flair country (and hence where Charlotte got her ring name). Naturally, Charlotte dedicated her match to Naitch prior to Smackdown, and vowed to become women’s champion for a sixth time. (Or fifth, if you want to count her WrestleMania 31 match for the WWE Women’s Championship as her retaining the old Divas Championship.) Naturally, Ric was in the building for this match.
Charlotte came out to a thunderous ovation for her match, but she wasn’t accompanied by her father at the outset. Charlotte captured the title by getting Natalya to tap out to the Figure Eight, then had an in-ring interview afterward. She addressed the Charlotte crowd and got emotional. She talked about the medical issues Ric has been having, and said he couldn’t be here tonight, but she knows when she gets to the back, there will be a proud text from him. But that was all a feint, of course. The Nature Boy wouldn’t have missed this one.
What a great moment. We’re all very happy Ric is still popping in from time to time to show his love. May there be many more appearances to come.