The most recent episode of WWE’s Table for 3 series on WWE Network is called “Legendary Rivals” featuring WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair, Sting and Ricky Steamboat. It was uploaded to WWE Network on November 27, but I haven’t had the chance to see it until now. You can watch it on demand at any time.
This was recorded around WrestleMania time. This was originally going to air on WWE Network in August, but that’s when Ric Flair nearly died due to his stomach illness that led to other complications. Thankfully, Ric pulled through and WWE decided to share it with us. The one thing that’s very noticeable is that Ric is probably 40 pounds heavier here compared to what he looks like now. He lost a lot of weight because of illness. It’s probably a good thing that he lost the weight and now he’s living a healthier life.
This episode has a run time of 17:03 so it’s shorter than most Flair vs. Steamboat matches! Here’s a review of their discussion.
– Flair started off joking about how great it was be there at 8am and Sting laughed. Flair joked that they go to bed early, but he still hasn’t figured that out. Steamboat said nothing has changed. Flair said same thing they were doing 30 years ago.
– Steamboat talked about some place called the 2001 Club he was at with Ric in 1978. Steamboat mentioned the bill was $1000 and the tip was $200, so $1200 in 1978. Flair claimed he had some bill that was $3000 the night before. Flair took off his watch, which Sting mentioned. Steamboat joked asking Flair how many watches he’s misplaced. There was not a serious answer.
– Flair mentioned he sees Steamboat about once a month at signings. Steamboat mentioned he got engaged. Flair joked that he’s the only guy in wrestling that paid three women alimony at the same time and Sting laughed. Sting got married again in April 2015, so they talked about how fit his wife was.
– Steamboat recalled how he and Ric used to compete on the stairmaster and other exercises. Flair complimented Steamboat on his body. Steamboat said that Flair had the heel look and Flair said he was a cosmetic nightmare. Sting mentioned guys like him, Luger and the Steiners would be on the weights and Flair would always be on the stairmaster. Flair said no matter what he would do at night, he always got his workouts in. Steamboat said sometimes Ric would show up as his door at 2am with a suit in one hand and robes in the other, so Flair had to sleep in the guest room because of something with Steamboat joking it was usually because of something with the wife.
– Flair said the two names that come up the most in his career are Sting and Ricky. That led to Ricky mentioning their first angle from 1977 as a clip aired showing highlights of it. Steamboat won a TV Title with a double axe off the top. Steamboat told the story about the angle with Flair attacking Steamboat after the match and the locker room emptied to break them up. Six months later, some guy in a 7-Eleven said it was real because Steamboat had a discoloration around his eye for a year. They worried it would be like that for the rest of Ricky’s life.
– Flair recalled a story where he was in a tag team with Sting, but it was all a set up leading to Flair, Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman turning on Sting. The pop for that was so loud.
– Sting brought up a story at a Clash of the Champions. The story was that Sting had two hours to decide if he wanted to be in the Four Horsemen. Sting tried to climb the steel cage and his left knee blew out. Sting said he felt the knee cap was up in his quad. Sting is telling Dillinger and Wahoo to tell Ric because Sting couldn’t climb the ring to get after him. That led to Flair attacking Sting when he didn’t know Sting was hurt and they had this wild brawl. They showed a highlight of it with the crowd going crazy. Flair said Pillman told him that Sting was hurt, but Flair had no idea how he was hurt. Sting said he went in for knee surgery six days later with famous Dr. James Andrews. Flair said that the business can be rough and he’s been very blessed (he knocked on wood).
Analysis: The Sting injury happened at “Clash of the Champions 10: Texas Shootout” on February 6, 1990 if you want to watch it. Sting only missed a few months of action and he won the NWA World Title at Great American Bash on July 7, 1990.
– Flair talked about how they rented a BMW that drove 140 MPH in Germany’s autobahn during some European tour instead of going on the bus with the other wrestlers. They did the seven hour drive in a BMW in two hours. Steamboat was the driver. Flair said one time they were in Greensboro when they were driving around in his Corvette, so Ricky was going 130 MPH in the Corvette. It turns out Ricky is a good wheel man!
– Steamboat said they did a hot finish where Flair went over and Flair said that was unusual, but Steamboat said he can count on his one hand how many times he (Ricky) went over. Steamboat said maybe five clean pinfalls. Steamboat had some story where Flair was in a store and fans were in there, so Steamboat got in his face. This was around 1977. Steamboat talked about how he did a promo in the store and the fans were going crazy about it. Later that night, Flair asked him if they were cool with Steamboat telling him he was just working in front of the fans. Steamboat said he did it as a rib on Flair.
– Flair mentioned how the business has changed while talking about his daughter Charlotte Flair. Sting said it’s changed completely especially the whole kayfabe thing. Sting said it was tough in the beginning. Sting said kayfabe was how he was brought up in the business. They mentioned WWE calling it “sports entertainment” and how it was a smart move because look where they are now. Steamboat said the production level is day and night. Flair thinks the brand right now, Smackdown is better than Raw and the depth chart is good. Flair sees a good time for everybody. Sting said nobody taught them how to deal with the public, but now they are taught and learning how to deal with everything while keeping yourself in line. Sting joked that he didn’t know if Flair would make it with Ric joking he’s hardly making it now. Flair said that today’s generation has fantastic rivalries that remind him what they had going on, but they don’t last as long like Ric and Ricky for like 20 years. Same with Ric and Sting.
– Flair believes one of the best rivalries in the last year or two was between his daughter Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. Whenever they’re in the ring, they have unbelievable chemistry. Highlights were shown from them in NXT and then on the main roster. Steamboat said he wonders how she became that good in a joking manner. Flair said she’s better than he was, but she can’t talk as good as he can. Ric said Charlotte can outwork him ten to one.
– Sting brought up AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon. Sting said last year he saw Shane before the show (WrestleMania 32 Shane vs. Undertaker) and Shane had this look in his eyes that something big was going to happen and that led to the clip of Shane’s crazy Hell in a Cell dive through the table. Flair joked that they were all nutty meaning the McMahons. Flair said Vince won’t ask talent to do something that he won’t do himself.
– Steamboat mentioned the Randy Orton rivalry with Bray Wyatt. Sting said that Randy has always been one of his favorites. Sting thinks Bray is like a guy from their day because he’s got some character to him. Steamboat mentioned Bray was second generation from his dad Rotunda/IRS (he’s actually third generation, but that is true about his dad). Steamboat likes the way Bray thinks and he’s a great kid.
– Flair said that they had so much ring time between the three of them. Sting joked about how there 15,000 matches right there. Flair said two of the biggest honors of his life was the fact that he got to induct both guys into WWE’s Hall of Fame. Clips aired from Ricky and Sting’s HOF speeches.
– Flair told a story about how when he found out Sting was going into WWE’s Hall of Fame, Flair called him and said: “It better be me, pal.” Sting said it was true. Sting said Ric was outspoken about it.
– Flair thinks coming into WWE was big and so long overdue. Flair joked that Sting has more World Championships than Ric and Ricky combined. That’s not true. Ric joked that Sting told him one time the number was 35. Sting scoffed at it.
– Flair shook hands with both guys and said this will be the best Table for 3 they will ever have. Ricky said it was always fun to bring up the stuff that he had forgotten. Flair said Ricky and Sting were two of the nicest guys in the history of the business. Sting: “Just two nice guys.” Ricky: “He’s working us again.” And that was the end of it.
Analysis: My initial response to the episode is: “That’s it?” Every time I watch one of these shows I want to see the people talk more. I know that in the past guys like Jim Cornette mentioned recording for several hours, yet WWE cuts it down to about 20 minutes. This one didn’t even make it that far. Why limit it? Give us 30 minutes or more. I doubt anybody would complain about that.
The story about Steamboat doing the promo on Flair at a gas station with fans around was my favorite part. It just shows how serious the business was taken 30-40 years ago and obviously you would never see anything like that in today’s wrestling.
Flair talked the most during this episode by far. That’s how Flair is as the life of the party. Steamboat talked quite a bit and had some cool stories while Sting was pretty quiet. I was hoping we would get stories about Flair’s incredible 1989 three series of matches with Steamboat or the famous 45-minute draw with Sting at the first Clash of the Champions (aired head to head with WrestleMania 4). They did tease talking about moments between them, but I would have liked to hear more about those. I’m sure you can find any of these talking about those moments in various interviews, books and DVDs, but seeing it on WWE Network would have made it more interesting.
Anyway, it’s a good show as usual any time you can get three wrestling legends to talk about their history in the business.
Check out our archive of WWE Table for 3 reviews. We don’t have reviews of every single episode, but we have most of them.