Flair playful, honest during Q&A session
CALEB SMITH - SLAM! Wrestling
|Ric Flair meets with fans at the Niagara Falls Comic Con. Photo by Bob Tymczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard
NIAGARA FALLS, ON - When you think of Ric Flair you often imagine the slick-dressed, fast-talking, perennial world champion of the 1980s and 1990s. At the 2014 Niagara Falls Comic Con fans were treated to 40 minutes of that same well-groomed, custom-made man in an intimate question and answer session.
Flair was a respectful gentleman as he answered numerous questions for his fans. He made direct eye contact with the people asking the questions and then answered them directly. Flair gave each person who asked a question his undivided attention with his answers making them feel special in the process.
The room was filled with people of all ages. Fathers and mothers brought their children to see the wrestling legend. Attractive women sat near the front (perhaps they wanted a ride on Space Mountain?) and aspiring wrestlers hung on his every word.
When a young wrestler asked him for advice to start his wrestling career, Flair presented the cold hard facts.
"Don't do it," said Flair. "It is the hardest profession to get into."
Another local indy wrestler was cajoled by the audience into standing in front of Flair, only to hear an honest piece of advice. "Unless you are 6'5 and 250 pounds then there isn't a sure thing in this sport," said The Nature Boy.
Asked to compare the schedule of the current superstars compared to his own when he was the world champion, Flair was open about the rigours of the road. "Those guys are working 250 to 300 days a year and that is tough," said Flair. "I like guys like John Cena and Randy Orton. I like all the guys. When I go for a RAW I have a wonderful time."
He continued assessing his era to the current product and chuckled before answering. "My wrestling compared to today is totally different," recalled Flair. "It is a much more controlled environment."
When asked why Flair laid down or lost for so many guys Flair smiled. "I never beat anybody," said Flair. "It wasn't worth arguing about. I was out performing everybody."
As far as his favourite matches Flair pointed out that he loved working with Ricky Steamboat, he was a "classic" and you could pick any one of their matches.
"If I could have worked with Shawn [Michaels] when I was 35 that would have been great or even Hunter [Triple H]," said the former champ. Flair stated that the person he has yet to work with, and he has passed his WWE physical, would be John Cena.
Is there a 17th world title on the way? "You will see me on TV all the time now," said Flair.
Barry Windham was considered by Flair to be a fabulous competitor. It was after Windham hurt his knee that Flair saw a decline in his friend's work. "When he hurt his knee he allowed himself to get heavy and he just never came back around," said Flair. "His knee bothered him and he wasn't overly worried about it."
Flair made it evident that he was very proud of his daughter who wrestles for NXT as Charlotte. "I want to see her go all the way. She is that good. I don't brag. That is just a fact," said Flair.
Asked about his health, Flair was thankful. "Compared to a lot of the guys I am very lucky. Beside the blood clot," said Flair. "I said to Hunter the other day I would rather have a blood clot than an artificial hip or knee. I have been able to dodge it somehow," Flair then knocked on wood.
The 1992 Royal Rumble, which Flair won and claimed the WWF World title, was another subject -- asked by by this reporter. Flair had an interesting perspective: "I wrestled everybody and everybody who was anybody was in that ring that night. I never liked battle royals. They never position yourself to look great. I stumbled around the ring like everyone else." Flair pointed out that he didn't even know he was going to win the title until that day at the arena. After, he told this reporter that perhaps he is overthinking his questions.
Ric Flair was a fun leader in the fan question and answer period at the Niagara Falls Comic Con. The fans left with a smile and Ric let out his trade marked "WOOOOO!" as he left the room. It was a fun evening with the Nature Boy Ric Flair.
Ric Flair bio and story archive
Caleb Smith brought his eight year old daughter to the Q and A session with Ric Flair. She felt that the wrestler was boring and that she wanted to check out the comic con. Caleb enjoyed listening to Flair talk the talk and walk the walk.