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Nature Boy's still got fight left
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


A couple of years ago, I sat in the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., mesmerized by the man sitting beside me in the empty arena. For more than an hour, a very humble Ric Flair, The Dirtiest Player in the Game, the kiss-stealing, wheeling, dealing, jet-flying, limousine-riding son-of-a-gun, talked. [See Going toe to toe with Ric Flair]

"To be Ric Flair, The Nature Boy, to be the character is hard to put into words," said Richard Morgan Fliehr. "It's been outrageous, a tremendous time. I think I'm wrestling's Jesse James. About half the stories you hear are probably true. I had fun. There were no drugs, nothing illegal. I just wanted to be part of the party."

And now his career is at a crossroads. Two weeks ago, Mr. McMahon told Flair that his next loss would be his last. It was win or leave. It was a very compelling angle and Flair beat Randy Orton. But where was Flair on Monday's RAW? Does WWE plan to phase him out?

Flair is 58, but it can't end this way for the legend.

As Naitch once said: "Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park, but it still has the longest line!"

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: It's RAW's 15th Anniversary show Monday, a three-hour special live on The Score (8 p.m. EST). Look for cameos from many former wrestlers. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Mick Foley and Lita are expected to appear.

AROUND THE RING: Bret Hart went above and beyond the call of duty at a signing for his book, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling in Cambridge, Ont. With a huge crowd, Hart signed for more than two hours. Hart will sign copies of his book in Ottawa at Chapters Pinecrest tomorrow at noon ... The fake wrestlers on RAW: TJ Mack (Marty Jannetty); Mikal Judas (Diesel); Phil Shatter (Razor Ramon); and Jeff Lewis (Shawn Michaels).