A return with Flair
By MATT GARDNER -- For SLAM! Wrestling
Ric Flair is back.|
NOTE: We hope to have a video clip and still photos later in the week.
'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair has returned to WCW!
From the start of the action-packed NITRO telecast the announcers
and the fans alike were, as DDP would say, jacked. For tonight the
industry's greatest entertainer was about to make his triumphant and
long awaited return to television and reform the most elite group in the
history of the fine sport, The Four Horsemen.
As the show started we saw
Mike Tenay at the local airport trying to get inside a limousine, with
Flair, possibly inside. For the next two plus hours the announcers,
namely Tony Schiavone hyped the return of the great one.
Just as WWF RAW was showcasing the likes of Mark Henry and
X-Pac the WCW pulled the biggest, grandest, most appreciated ratings
stunt in a heck of a long time.
First JJ Dillon comes down to the ring
donning a black suit and tie. After telling the fans he's been waiting a
long time for this he calls out "The Enforcer" Arn Anderson who goes on
to recap for us the preceding year and a half of goings-on. He reminds
of how he gave not just any spot, but, dammit, his spot away. How he
found out he could never wrestle again and how the Horsemen disbanded.
He went on to have the other three Horsemen come out, Steve McMichael,
Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko. After shaking each one's hand, he went
on. The crowd in the arena and the viewing audience was ready. Hell,
we've been ready for months.
As Anderson dragged it out as long as he
could, he told everyone to be forewarned, that Horsemen were not nice
men and that everyone better expect them the way they always were.
Then, finally, after such a long wait he
As the best darn theme music once again echoed through
the arena the crowd went wild, because there standing in the
entranceway, on the ramp right in front of the glittering WCW MONDAY
NITRO sign was the greatest World champion the sport has ever seen.
Standing there was the man who for 25 years has styled and profiled
through the greatest names in the business. Standing there was 14-time
World champion and the leader of the Horsemen, "The Nature Boy" Ric
With tears in his eyes he let out a triumphant and purely
He walked to the ring crying and mouthing the words,
"Thank you." He hugged Dillon, Mongo, The Crippler, Malenko and his best
friend Arn Anderson.
The crowd fell silent, to hear the first, poetic
words of from the REAL man.
As Anderson handed him the mic, Flair took
in, once again, the fans appreciation.
"Thank you," he said, still
weeping with honor and gratitude.
He went on. "I'm almost embarrassed by
the response, but when I see this I know that the 25 years that I('ve)
spent trying to make you happy every night of your life was worth every
damn minute of it."
With the tears leaving, right before our very eyes
he became the Ric Flair, we knew and loved. His posture straigtened, the
tears dried up and the voice became more confident. "Now somebody told
me that the Horsemen were having a party tonight, in Greenville. Could
that be true, that the most elite group that Eric Bischoff said was
With his eyes blazing and the crowd exuberantly holding up four
fingers, he went on. "Bischoff, this might be my only shot and I gotta
tell you I'm gonna make it my best. Is this what you call a great moment
in TV? You're wrong - this is real, this is not bought and paid for.
It's a real life situation. Just like the night in Columbia, South
Carolina when you looked at me, with tears in my eyes, and said `That's
good TV.', it was REAL! Arn Anderson passed the torch it was real,
dammit. You think Sting was crying in the dressing room like I was on
TV. If it wasn't real. This guy, my best friend, is one of the greatest
performers to ever live, and you, you squashed him in one night. Then
you get on the phone and tell me `Disband the Horsemen.' You know what?
I looked at myself in the mirror the next day and say a pathetic figure
who gave up and quit. And for that I owe you the fans, and these
guys (The Horsemen) an apology."
Then who decides to show up? One, Eric Bischoff. From there Flair
called him an "overbearing asshole." Eric fired back with shots, but
Flair ended it with "You can't fire me, I'm alredy fired!"
The screen went black and a commercial came on. The new Flair era,
which will go until the year 2000 either just began or abruptly ended.
It was so real, so real one could not tell if it was a work. Anyway you
look at it, Ric Flair is back. The man with the pen only has so much
power, and Flair proved that tonight. Besides that he lit a new fire
into the fans who for months have been transfixed by icon wannabes like
Hogan, Piper, Warrior and Goldberg. And proved once again, why he's
right up there with Muhammed Ali. Ric Flair in every sense of the word
is the greatest. WHOOOOOO!!!!