Despite the star in question becoming a two-time WWE Hall of Famer, Jim Ross has claimed WWE originally had no idea how to book them.
Ric Flair has been a celebrated performer in every organisation he’s walked into, whether it’s WWE, WCW, IMPACT, or elsewhere. Having achieved 16 World Championship reigns throughout his career, two of which came in WWE, it would seem that each promoter who booked ‘The Nature Boy’ knew precisely how to use him.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross doesn’t believe this to be true, claiming that WWE didn’t know how to book Flair when he first came into the company. Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Ross claimed that Ric Flair should have been booked solely as an attraction:
“I don’t know that we [WWE] had a good handle on how to book Ric. I think that what we should have done in hindsight, which is always pretty viable, is Ric should have been booked as an attraction. Seldomly used, but when he was used, used in a positive manner. In other words, he would go over more often than not. And I don’t know that we knew how to book him. You know, Ric’s own scenario was Ric didn’t really want to ever be a babyface. You know, he likes being a heel. That’s what he grew up on, that’s what attracted him to the original AWA territory.”
Ric Flair first signed with the then-World Wrestling Federation in August 1991 while still the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, appearing with the Big Gold Belt on WWF programming. Although he enjoyed brief success in this first run, including his career-defining 1992 Royal Rumble match performance, he departed for WCW after failing to be utilised appropriately.
He didn’t return until November 2001, becoming a one-time Intercontinental Champion and three-time World Tag Team Champion during this period, as well as forming Evolution, one of WWE’s most popular stables in history. Ric Flair worked his final WWE match at WrestleMania XXIV, losing to Shawn Michaels in an acclaimed encounter.
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