When I was a young kid I watched wrestling all the time. I actually kept watching the choreographed and predetermined mayhem into my 20s. My wife used to call it soap operas for guys, and for a while it was fun. Then it got trashy, repetitive, and boring.
I moved on and so did a lot of other people. The WWE’s relevance and popularity is not really high right now. It will make a resurgence because it’s a very cycle-based business. They go up, they go down, repeat.
One guy I always love to watch was Ric Flair. He wasn’t a monster. He wasn’t crazy athletic. What he was is entertaining. The guy could grab a microphone and your attention was absolute. He made you believe that he was a bad boy who ran with fast women and he and his friends would beat you up. Every Flair promo brought about emotion. For me, it was usually a good laugh.
And there were the “whooos.” As far as catch-phrases go, it’s hardly the most original thing that’s ever been muttered. But, it was catchy, fun and you found yourself doing it too. Whenever Eagle One and I go out and something funny happens, undoubtedly there’s a “whooo” on the way.
By happenstance I was clicking through the channels last night and ran across Monday Night Raw. I haven’t watched a complete episode in years, and I just happened to catch the last 10 minutes or so. The crowd shot came up and I figured I’d see what they were doing, and then Flair’s music hit.
Flair wrestled competitively for the last time — at least that’s what they’re telling us — on Sunday at Wrestlemania. The guy’s in his mid-50s and probably should have hung up the boots ages ago, but he’s still fun to watch and making money. I hate how they had him lose his last match, but that’s another topic for another web site.
When Flair came out he gave a thank you speech which was riveting. Then Triple-H followed and basically did a trip down memory lane. It could have come out very cheesy, but Flair’s reactions are so genuine — something rare in pro wrestling for sure. I smiled through the whole thing and have to say that is the classiest thing WWE has probably ever done. It was fun to see Flair last night, and it’s too bad I won’t be seeing him much anymore.
Good luck Nature Boy.
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