The show MUST go on...
And they're already setting up BIG things, see:
THE GREAT KHALI VERSUS THE BIG SHOW
Y2J... uh, doing something...
ECW CHAMPION - KANE! The Big Red Machine!
But no more Flair in there - no more "wooooooo"
Ric Flair finally retired last night
(no, this is no April's Fool Joke -
or rather "joke" yes; no need to capitalize here!)
No joke, indeed -
we know this had to happen, sooner or later
All the other Horsemen are retired!
So, now, Flair retired too and here is an excerpt of what I think about the way that it all came to transpire - and more
(you know me; there's always MORE with me!)
36 years, 16 world championships and several incarnations of the 4 Horsemen later, Ric Flair finally delivered the speech he had meant to deliver months earlier - but I suspect someone suggested to him to go with the "career-threat from Vinnie Mac" plotline instead, at least until the alleged "grandest stage of them all" that is reputed to be Wrestlemania.
And so he did. And, after playing out scenario after scenario of "narrowingly escaping with his career intact" against the likes of "Umaga" (ugh), William Regal, Mr. Kennedy and Vince McMahon (sic) himself (none of which would have EVER been deemed worthy of being "the one" to put the legendary Nature Boy Ric Flair into retirement) SLICK RIC finally did choose the opponent to whom he would "pass the torch" so to speak - Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. HBK. The guy who idolized Ric Flair and whose only true heartbreaking has always been victimizing his own heart. This is just another example of it - though an allegorical one as it truly doesn't mean a thing to whom Flair lost his final match - he just needed to be pinned for three seconds in order to call it a career. In order to be allowed to walk away from the squared circle; something several fans of his never wanted to see happen. But every other member of the Four Horsemen is GONE already (save one - Sting aka Steve Borden, and he wasn't a Horsemen long. Double J, Jeff Jarrett, was also a Horseman but, according to Arn, he "doesn't count") and so, every other member being GONE already; Flair had to ride into the sunset too. *Space Mountain* had to close down.
The final farewell, the last speech, left something to be desired though.
Man - and most of that AFTER a plane crash accident that had doctors telling him that he'd NEVER WRESTLE AGAIN...
Thirty-six years is also almost as long as I have been on this EARTH!
No wonder I am a lifelong Flair fan;
as long as I have been aware of him, anyway
and it it definitely possible that I was a Flair fan BEFORE I even became aware of the guy's accomplishments...!
Accomplishments that are all in the realm of make-believe and showmanship though; but that's okay since I myself am but a dream weaver, a scribesman, and, besides, NONE of our deeds, no matter WHAT WE ACCOMPLISH ON THIS PLANET AND IN THIS LIFE, will remain - what will remain, are our SOULS and their worthiness is for Someone Else to pass judgment upon...
But I am digressing again...
Back to wrestling!
Now that Ric Flair is gone - we have, for a few years at the very least, Ric Drasin to turn to! "The other Ric" aka "The Equalizer" is awesome, I tell you: as much as Flair is an improved Nature Boy Buddy Rogers, Drasin is an improved Superstar Billy Graham (and no, Ric D is not to be confused with Dave Sullivan, WCW's wrestler once known as the Equalizer too - just as Superstar B.G. is not to be confused with the televangelist!)
Plus, when Ric Drasin makes a film (the projected "The Midnight Bell" pitting vampires against wrestlers) it will be closer to cult classic material like masked luchadore Santo used to make - not 'Baywatch' crap as Ric Flair participated in (the highlight of which was when he told Kevin Sullivan to lay off Macho Man Randy Savage on the beach, after a sneak attack by the man Flair calls (affectionately?) "the devil"...
(No, folks, that's not quite "classic fare" - not in my book...!
In all fairness to Flair and all that; he wasn't a Shakespearian actor! He played the crowd well (can still do it, in a managerial role, à la Classie Freddie Blassie - if he so chooses) but that is not actual "acting"... But I digress yet again...)
I am proud to count Ric The Equalizer Drasin among my top 40 MySpace friends!
Couldn't find Flair on there though; apparently, "Flair don't do MySpace"...
Well, maybe he will now that he's retired...?
Flair eluded a forced retirement (forced by DEFEAT! Storyline-wise, anyway...) against the likes of Mr. Kennedy, soon-to-be crowned King of the Ring William Regal, Umaga, self-proclaimed legend-killer/reigning world heavyweight champion Randy Orton, Triple H, MVP and everyone's boss himself, Vince McMahon and handpicked the one that he would allow to put him in the retirement home/Hall of Fame - HBK Shawn Michaels.
His 36 years in the business gave him that right - at least.
Still, he was put away by a superkick to the JAW.
Such a business that treats its longest-standing and constantly proven and performing model employees like THAT may not be the "ideal business" at all...
Nice send-off they gave "Naitch", sure...
complete with chants of "thank you Ric"
and clapping aplenty -
McMahon is happy now: he put away WCW and now Flair too.
Next up: tarnish Rey Mysterio, humiliate Paul Wight and crush every last bit of WCW's legacy and nostalgia amongst the fans the same way they are so "brilliantly" making use of old NWA/WCW footage on WWE 24/7 and Eddie Guerrero's widow on their second-rate brand, Smackdown...
Oh, and old WCW titles and the Cruiserweight division as well.
Again, to read more about how I feel about it,
check out the Lukewarm Blog.