Thank You, Ric

April 1, 2008

Even though this is April Fools day, I am about to write a very serious commentary. I am of course going to write about last night’s episode of RAW, or more specifically the final segment of last night’s RAW.

There is a lot of bullshit and crap in this business. There have been endless stories of Politics and Backstabbing, Sex Scandals, Drug Scandals, Early Death Rates, Suicides, and even Murder. After the Benoit tragedy last year there was a brief period of time when I wanted to wash my hands of the entire industry and never be a part of it again. That being said I have never been happier or more proud to be a part of the wrestling business as I was last night watching Ric Flair on RAW. That closing segment was, in my opinion, the single classiest moment in pro-wrestling history.

If you missed last night’s RAW you absolutely have to find a copy of that show and watch it, because it was the greatest, most emotional, moment this business has ever seen. If you watched that show and didn’t wish you were there live to say thank you to Ric Flair in person, you should be thrown out of this business. If you were not moved emotionally by that farewell you should not even be allowed to call yourself a wrestling fan. I told my students this morning that if they didn’t get choked up watching that show, they had no business being a part of this industry, and should be thrown out of it.

No one in the history of our sport has bled, sweat, or paid the price like Ric Flair has. He gave everything he had in every match he was in for over 35 years. He has had without a doubt the greatest career of all time and at the end of it all he didn’t even want to be praised, like so many others would have, he wanted to say thank you to the fans. Ric Flair is a class act and I would like to take this opportunity to say my thank you.

Thank you Ric, for all the entertainment you provided me as a wrestling fan. I loved and still remember the joy of watching your matches with Ricky Steamboat, your I Quit match with Terry Funk, the Crockett Cup match with Barry Windham, The American Bash match with Sting, War Games, your first WWF promo, the Royal Rumble where you bumped and sold for every person on the roster before capturing the WWF World Title. THANK YOU

Thank you Ric, for bringing credibility and respect to the industry that I love. I remember a quote (I think by Dave Meltzer) that said, “With people like Ric Flair in the business, it’s a wonder pro-wrestling isn’t more respected.” I couldn’t agree more. What respect this business has, is largely in part to guys like Ric Flair. A guy who after hanging up his boots after over 35 years said that he hopes everyone that ever bought a ticket to see Ric Flair wrestle got their money’s worth. That’s class, and I think it’s safe to say Ric; every damn one of us absolutely got our money’s worth! THANK YOU

Thank you Ric, for being a joy to work with. I will treasure every moment we spent together on the job. Our promos in WCW, or promos together in WWE, my favourite being my unbelievably flat and serious WOOOOOO when trying to suck up and get my job back after the Invasion angle. THANK YOU

Thanks you Ric, for the opportunity to get in the ring with you. Your asking me to work out with you in the ring before your WrestleMania match with Taker is still the greatest compliment of my career. Our one official match together, the Tag Match in Pittsburgh, is a memory I will cherish forever. Taking the big slam off the top rope from the nature Boy himself, was the greatest “mark moment” of my career. I remember asking you if you would let me do it, and I remember that spot like it was yesterday. THANK YOU

Thank you Ric, for making me a fan again. After 17 years in the business I wasn’t sure I could just sit back and enjoy the business as a fan anymore, but you gave that back to me. Watching Raw before WrestleMania gave me goose bumps, and made me a kid again. When you told Shawn to shut up and smacked the cowboy hat off his head I popped. I genuinely popped and decided at that moment I had to see WrestleMania. I ordered WrestleMania to see the last match of the greatest ever; I bought a ticket to see Ric Flair wrestle, and like millions of people before me, I got my money’s worth. THANK YOU

Thank you Ric, for last night’s RAW. Thank you for balling your eyes out and sharing it with us. Thank you for going out in style. Thank you for giving more to this business than you could ever take from it. Thank you for making me proud to be a part of this industry. You are this business Ric and for that the wrestling industry is grateful.


Lance Evers