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   Fri, March 28, 2008



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Wooooooo! to the end
An emotional Ric Flair fights to stay in his beloved game at age 59
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
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Wooooooo! It's Ric Flair!



ORLANDO, FLA. -- Richard Morgan Fliehr paused, struggling to find the right words, tears welling up in his eyes.

Never at a loss for words in front of the camera, Ric Flair ... The Nature Boy, The Dirtiest Player in the Game ... knows that when he faces Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24 on Sunday, it may be his last hurrah in a WWE ring.

With a "Career Threatening" label attached to the match, WWE may be looking to do what so few have been able -- beat The Man.

It may take more than an eye poke or low blow for the 59-year-old's career to continue.

"I think (WWE's) afraid that I'm going to get hurt while I'm on their watch," said Flair. "But I'm thinking positive, I'm not planning to leave the ring.

"My biggest problem right now is mental. There's nothing anybody can do to me that hasn't been done to me 100 times before. Nobody, with the exception of a handful of guys, could step into the ring with guys like Bruiser Brody and Stan Hanson for an hour. I did. Try getting kicked in the head 25 times in an hour."

Facing Michaels, The Heartbreak Kid, is also a big deal.

"It's a very special match with a very special opponent," said Flair. "A huge honour."

Flair will also be inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame tomorrow night.

"You have no idea what it means," said Flair, his voice trailing off. "To be able to go into the Hall of Fame ... it's an incredible honour."

So, will we see the Flair of old, the stylin', profilin', limousine-ridin', jet-flyin', wheelin', dealin', son of a gun? The guy who "kissed all the girls and made them cry."

"That character died about 10 years ago," said Flair. "For about 20 years of my life, Ric Flair was the same inside and outside of the ring. I lived that life. I loved that life. Every day. I couldn't get enough.

"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 if I can find that again before Sunday, that character, I'll guarantee a win."

If this is his last night, if the sun has finally set on the legend's career, how would he like to be remembered?

"I'd like people to remember that I gave all I had to give," said Flair. "I've been to the nuthouse, I've had a heart attack on TV, I've been buried alive in the desert and I've played musical chairs.

"There's not much I haven't done."

Way to go Naitch ... Wooooooo!

ANIMAL INSTINCTS

WWE stars Armando Estrada, Super Crazy, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins were at SeaWorld yesterday. Estrada was a natural, grabbing a microphone and interviewing a 30-year-old Pacific walrus and a 23-year-old sea lion. For the record, the sea lion predicted victories for The Big Show (over Floyd Mayweather) and Randy Orton (in a triple threat match vs. Triple H and John Cena).

SHOW STOPPER?

Mayweather says size won't matter. The Show outweighs Mayweather by 300 lbs. and is a foot and a half taller, but the boxing great says he'll kept his unbeaten streak alive. "Thirty-nine have tried, 39 have failed," said Mayweather. "I'm going to pick him up and throw him," said The Big Show. "I'm going to launch the first Mayweather satellite."

RELATED LINKS

  • SLAM! Speaks: A tribute to The Nature Boy
  • Fans flock to Flair memories
  • Ric Flair bio and story archive
  • Mike Lano's Ric Flair Gallery
  • More on WrestleMania 24
    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!

    Get all your Ric Flair gear, including DVDs, figures and memorabilia, in the SLAM! Store.