Tag Archives: Ric Flair

5 Best Raw Moments 5/9/16: Ric Flair Is A Velociraptor

Hey, I didn’t regret staying up to watch and write about Raw! I always write the intros last and this week I feel like I’ve viewed some entertaining plot developments and matches from WWE’s flagship show. So here’s my attempt to countdown the 5 best moments from it. It’s a positive article and this was a week where being positive wasn’t too hard.

Before starting, I’ll mention Sami Zayn beating The Miz to get into the IC Title multi-man match as an honorable mention from the night. Trying to stick to a theme of only 5 points will occasionally mean that good stuff gets left out and Sami’s win was definitely good stuff. Now on to the list…

5. An Era Not Kind To New Day

Before their match against The Dudleyz, New Day delivered a clever as usual promo for the Nebraska audience. They recited their usual crowd-favorites, tried to figure out the correct pronunciation of The Vaudevillians, and even sang a beautiful booty-o’s themed rendition of a song from Disney’s Aladdin. However, the real jaw dropper was when Xavier woods talked about a bygone that was not too kind to people like them.

Wait, what?

Obviously, they wanted you to think about times of racial strife in America, but what they were really talking about was a pre-smart phone time in this country. Funny swerve, guys. New Day went on to lose their match against The Dudley’s due to distraction interference by The Vaudevillians.

4. Welcome To Raw, Dana Brooke

THE Total Diva, Dana Brooke, joined her NXT buddy Emma on Raw when she blindsided Becky Lynch during an interview segment. Dana Brooke and Emma were last palling around together as they tried to take out Asuka, but failed. That’s okay though, because they both wrestled some pretty awesome matches against the now-NXT Women’s Champion.

They’ve regrouped and reconnected on the main roster, now with Becky Lynch as their target. Becky was laid out by the two devious ladies on this encounter and I’m looking forward to when she eventually gets her revenge. Will the lass recruit a friend of her own to join in the fight? Sasha hasn’t been doing too much since WrestleMania, hint hint.

3. Ambrose Gets Revenge For Mitch (Not Me)

I was expecting Dean Ambrose to get some sort of revenge for the destruction of his favorite ficus last week. What I didn’t expect was a main event attack during Chris Jericho’s entrance along with a light up jacket shred party. Dean ripping the thing to smithereens and Chris pouting about the loss was the final images of the broadcast, so the show ended on a ‘win’ for a babyface.

As an addendum to this point, I also have been liking the shine that Colin Cassady has been getting. He interrupted Jericho in the opening segment and gave him a boot to setup this match. Even though the bell never rang, he still was booked for the main event of Raw and had a role in this final segment. He’s a fresh face with loads of potential who’s getting some opportunity, which is a very good thing.

2. Ric Flair Gets Escorted Away From Ringside

Just like in her upcoming match against Natalya at Extreme Rules, Charlotte’s father was banned from ringside on Raw. He observed his ringside shun like a good boy – that is, until Natalya started sticking her nose into the match between Paige and the WWE Women’s Champion.

Ric nobly came out to keep order outside of the ring, but then Shane McMahon and a team of officials came out to put a stop to The Nature Boy. It was at this point that Ric reconnected with his inner velociraptor, and everyone knew to keep their distance. Come to think of it, Shane was dressed strikingly similar to Chris Pratt in the most recent Jurassic Park movie during this segment. Was the way this played out planned by someone with a dinosaur fetish? I’ll personally Tweet out this theory…

1. Standoff Over A Chair

The chemistry between AJ Styles and Roman Reigns is undeniable. The two have no trouble making an arena eat out of the palm of their hands and Omaha was no different. The final two competitors in their 6-Man elimination match that included The Family and The Club were predictably the two men in the main event of Extreme Rules, and they delivered with the excitement.

The best of the drama happened after the match was over. Roman was inside of the ring and AJ was on the apron, with a chair on the ground between them. Styles was ready for a Phenomenal Forearm but Roman kicked him the chair. Dude’s got cojones.

AJ kicked the chair back and demanded that he pick up the weapon, which will soon be legal in their upcoming Extreme Rules match. Reigns finally did grab the chair as Styles went to the air for a Phenomenal Forearm. Neither connected, but they didn’t need to.

Every showdown between Styles and Reigns – whether someone goes through a table or both guys simply engage in a stare down like tonight – it ends with even more anticipation for their next big match. If WWE wants to drag this feud another month after Extreme Rules, I’m down for it.

Plugs & Stuff

Find me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Also, make sure to check out a recent highlight article I did that’s loaded with GIFs of Jim Cornette vs. Cowagumba 8/19/93 . Cornette literally fought a match against a dude in a ninja turtle outfit a long time ago and it’s incredible.

Thanks for reading.

Ric Flair Terminated Podcast Contrast

This has been quite a tumultuous week for The Nature Boy. Between an incident at airport and a harsh comment towards Natalya that needed cut out of this week’s SmackDown televised broadcast, he keeps finding himself at the center of some unfortunate news.

The most recent update in the Flair drama is that his podcast, Wooooo! Nation, is coming to an abrupt halt. The timing is suspicous, but Ric’s podcast partner, Conrad Thompson, revealed that the business decision was Flair’s…

So, Ric ended the contract and not his employer? That’s good if it’s true, but it’s still odd that the news came about during this week. Pinned at the top of Conrad’s Twitter feed is an assurance that despite the rough past few days, Ric is indeed fine.

Ric Flair is still expected to be in the corner of his daughter this Sunday at Payback. Charlotte will be defending her WWE Women’s Championship against Natalya, who will also be accompanied to the ring by her uncle, Bret Hart.

Ric Flair Says “Kill Yourself,” Natalya Plugs WWE Network (Video)

At this week’s Smackdown tapings, The Nature Boy” Ric Flair caused a little bit of controversy with Jim Neidhart’s daughter Bret Hart’s niece when he told her to kill herself. Natalya responded semi-appropriately with a comeback of asking him if he knew about the WWE Network. The video of the exchange is beginning to make the rounds on social media…

Is this something that Ric needs to put on blast over? I don’t think so, but it is good that it’s opening up discussion. Kids who watch might be tempted to repeat this phrase to their peers. If WWE doesn’t have a stated policy on this language then maybe it’s time to inform their on-air talent that this is unacceptable.

It’d be disappointing if Flair was suspended over these comments when all WWE needs to do is edit them out of theTV broadcast. Even if they kept the comments in, as long as the commentary team responded with remarks about how terrible Ric’s words were, then that would probably be fine.

Have any thoughts on Ric Flair telling Natalya to “Kill Yourself?” If so, comment below.

SBP Wrestling Podcast Episode #2

Welcome back to the second episode of SBP Wrestling. We cover a ton of material this week, mostly previewing the big Night Of Champions event this Sunday on the WWE Network.

Mitch (me) also unsuccessfully argues the case that the Intercontinental Championship is not so intercontinental. Lucky, Ronnie is on the show to set the facts straight. Our third amigo, Pate, missed this week due to either CIA covert options or family time with his lovely bride. One or the other. Here’s how you can listen to the show…

1. Click the play button on the player at the top of this page.
2. Direct Download…CLICK HERE.
3. Look us up on iTunes. Search SBP Wrestling, then subscribe. (This is how I listen to it.)

Ronnie’s Classic Match of the Week, one of the highlight segments that we do every week, comes to us from the great event of 1989, Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun. The NWA World Championship is on the line as Ric Flair is challenged by the great Ricky Steamboat. The match is a 2 out of 3 falls bout and is a classic. Listen to the podcast and hear Ronnie describe why you need to see the match, then do yourself a favor and go watch the match. If you have the WWE Network, you’ll find all of the past Clash of the Champions are in their massive On Demand library. Also, here it is online…

Thanks for listening and don’t forget to tell all the wrestling fans you know about the podcast. We love doing this and hope that it can grow. We’ll see you back here again next week. In the meantime, check me out on Twitter @MitchNickelson so you can keep up with all that I do and never miss and episode of SBP Wrestling.

***New The Wyatt Family “We’re Here” Authentic T-Shirt Now Available at WWEShop.com!***

Official Card Set For NXT Takeover 2

Since the kickoff of the WWE Network, NXT has already delivered two amazing Pay-Per-Views (or “Big Events” or whatever we call them now), Arrival (February 27th) and Takeover (May 29th). Continuing to deliver with the excellence, the upcoming generation of the main WWE roster will step it up once again. Live on the WWE Network next Thursday, September 11th, NXT will bring its next big show, Takeover 2.

There will be several opportunities for a show-stealing match to happen, but one of the bigger sources of excitement for this card comes in the form of a debut. KENTA, who may or may not be capitalizing every letter in his name anymore, will have the iconic Ric Flair personally usher him into the company. Will the other two big recent signings, Fergal Devitt and Kevin Steen, get any on-screen time as well? The buzz surrounding these great wrestlers is just icing on the cake to what already is a can’t miss night. Here’s the lineup…

NXT Championship
– Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Tyler Breeze

NXT Tag-Team Championship
– The Ascension (c) vs. Sin Cara and Kalisto

NXT Women’s Championship
– Charlotte (c) vs. Bayley

Hair vs. Hair Match
– Sylvester Lefort vs. Enzo Amore

– Mojo Rawley vs. Bull Dempsey

– Ric Flair welcomes Kenta to NXT

To keep everyone excited about the future of NXT, check out this quick video of Renee Young interviewing Kenta. Former WWE Superstar Funaki assists with translation.

                                                                                   

With NXT, Thursday night is a night of destination programming on WWE Network. Make sure you tune in next week to catch the action. In the meantime, keep coming back for more wrestling news and opinion by Mitch Nickelson. And don’t forget about @MitchNickelson on Twitter. That’s a great way to keep up with all things Mitch.

WWE Allegedly Bans Talent From The Ross Report

jim-ross

Summerslam 2013 was not good for Jim Ross. He hosted an event that coincided with the Pay-Per-View to promote WWE 2K14, dubbed the “30 Years of Wrestlemania” panel. During the event, allegations of intoxication were thrown toward Ross and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. Although Ross says during the event that several superstars on the panel were not sober, he denied the allegations vehemently, claiming that any slurring was due to a well-documented medical condition.

“Complete lie. I was not drunk. Ridiculous… Understand what Bell’s Palsy is. Fatigue makes facial muscles create slurring.”

The fallout from the event was not good for Ross. He was subsequently fired and has maintained a very distant position in relation to WWE. J.R. is currently in the process of writing a tell-all biography. He plans to finally break his silence through that medium, but his book is still in the early stages. Fans will have to be patient and wait until they read his perspective on that infamous panel. To watch that event in its entirety, click on this link from Twitch.

the-ross-report-300x300

Since parting ways with WWE, Ross has launched a successful podcast that airs weekly through PodcastOne. The Ross Report is a must listen for any wrestling fan and features the legendary announcer’s perspective on pro-wrestling current events. The podcast also boasts and impressive rotation of interviews of some of the biggest names in wrestling history. In recent weeks alone, J.R. has had conversations with Sting, Kurt Angle,  and AJ Styles.

A fan of Ross’ podcast tweeted an interview request via Twitter on August 31st. That request was for the other man in question on that fateful panel, Ric Flair. Jim Ross’ response revealed something interesting about his current relationship with WWE…

Does WWE ban current employees from appearing on The Ross Report? It seems like that’s what he’s saying. It’s also interesting to point out that WWE allows its talent to interview on other PodcastOne shows, including Chris Jericho’s and Steve Austin’s.

Regardless if WWE has banned talent from appearing on the show, and regardless if Ross and Flair were in fact inebriated at the 2013 panel, it is quite a shame for the relationship between one of the greatest wrestling commentators in history and the company he’s most associated with to be in such a cold state.

The bright side to all of this is that WWE and talent have overcome greater hurdles in the past. From The Ultimate Warrior to Bret Hart, hatchets get buried and bygones do eventually become bygones. One day, Ross will almost certainly be back with WWE. We fans can only hope that resolution can come sooner than later.
                                                                                        

Do you think WWE and Jim Ross can ever find themselves in good graces again? Comment below with your thoughts or shoot me a message on Twitter @MitchNickelson

Communist North Korea To Host Huge Wrestling Event

inoki

Next Saturday and Sunday, Antonio Inoki will host a wrestling event in one of the most politically controversial locations on the planet, North Korea. Inoki is a wrestling legend in Japan and has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He famously battled Muhammad Ali in Tokyo in 1978. Japan Times provides the details…

Inoki’s latest venture will bring 21 combatants from Japan, the United States, France, Brazil and China to the International Pro Wrestling Festival at the North Korean capital’s 20,000-seat Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Stadium next Saturday and Sunday.

This will be the second time that Inoki has brought professional wrestling to Pyongyang. In 1995, he organized the “Sports and Cultural Festival For Peace” that is credited as the biggest pro-wrestling event in human history. The event was a joint venture between Inoki’s New Japan Pro Wrestling and the now defunct North American promotion, WCW. It was dubbed “Collision in Korea” in the States.

flair5

Over 340,000 North Koreans attended the two-day event in 1995, most likely under duress. Ric Flair was one of the WCW participants and hilariously recounted the ordeal in his fantastic autobiography, To Be The Man. Here’s an excerpt that summarizes this account from a review in The Herald-Dispatch...

Even though it was common knowledge in the mid-1990s that wrestling was scripted, Flair recounts humorously an instance when WCW took wrestling to North Korea. Almost 400,000 people saw the two-day event, assuming they were hosting something more like the Olympics. The local press would even contrive false statements by Ric praising the memory of the “great leader,” Kim Il Sung.

Notable wrestlers who will compete in next week’s event include Bob Sapp and Frenchman Jerome Le Banner. The event will include sideshows featuring fighting styles such as taekwondo and other martial arts. One event that will most likely not be happening will be a game called “Showing Satellite Images of North Korea at Night.”

north korea night

Judging by that image, North Korea is no more technologically developed than the ocean. So why does a country that refuses to acknowledge petty things like human rights and electricity get to host such a high profile event? Looking back to that Japan Times article…

The sports event was announced last month, days after Tokyo revoked some unilateral sanctions, including curbs on travel, against the isolated state as a reward for its decision to relaunch a probe into the fate of Japanese kidnapped by North Korean agents.

Do you see what happens when stop being evil, North Korea? You get to have nice things, like pro-wrestling. Relatively new leader, Kim Jong Un, seems to have been paving the way for this magical moment. Former NBA Champion and NWO member Dennis “The Worm” Rodman has visited the country.

rodman north korea

Will Inoki pave the way towards bringing the reclusive nation into the modern era? It couldn’t hurt. And all joking aside, let’s hope so. It would be wonderful if pro-wrestling plays a small part in helping bring such a reclusive, poverty-stricken nation out of a self-induced coma.
                                                                                                                       

That’s kind of depressing news update. Not only are those North Koreans deprived of good things like liberty and self-reliance, they probably have no idea that a few decades of wrestling goodness is available on demand for only 9.99. The horror! Let’s all remember how awesome John Locke is and then go follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Don’t let the Communists win, people.

What to do with Ric Flair?

by: Mitch Nickelson

The sixteen-time World Champion, Ric Flair, is an absolute legend in professional wrestling. He brings a presence to the squared circle like no other. He has no trouble talking in front of any crowd and could wrestle for an hour straight in his heyday.

Ric’s currently under WWE contract and has been rumored for months to make a return as a regular on-screen character. But other than a brief segment in Richmond a few weeks back that ended with John Cena handing him the World Championship belt, there’s been no Nature Boy on screen. What gives?

Well, according to the backstage news being reported by rajah.com

The Richmond edition of RAW was originally going to be the beginning of Flair’s return as a regular television character, however the creative team has yet to come up with anything for him.

Wow, so the creative at WWE cannot find anything for Ric Flair to do? That’s awfully surprising.

Rumors went around the dirt sheets recently that WWE wanted to have Flair become a manager for The Miz when he returned. At this time Flair was also pitching ideas to be a manager, but he was thinking of lending his services to one Dolph Ziggler. For whatever reason, neither of these scenarios has come to fruition.

Is it really that hard to find something for Flair to do that both he and WWE agree is a good fit? Maybe they need a little help…and help is what I plan to do!

Below are a few suggestions for the WWE to consider. If they’re simply at a creative impasse, then let me offer some ideas to spur along the process. WWE, please feel free to use any of these ideas and make sure my check is in the mail.

Referee Exclusive To The Diva’s Division

Ric Flair is a ladies’ man. It might be a little creepy in his older age but us fans of many decades still like to think of him as a “kiss-stealing ” son of gun. I don’t want to insult Paige, AJ Lee, and all of the other women who are working hard to showcase they’re in-ring abilities, but I bet the Summer Rae/Layla feud could benefit from Flair’s presence. Have him referee those two if their Fandango drama ever ends (and seriously, end it really soon) in a match of some sort. Then Flair can just keep the black and white striped shirt and continue to officiate whenever the Divas are competing. It might lead to many distracting “Woooos” during the girls’ matches, but that would at least be better than the distracting “CM Punk” chants we currently get.

Manage Roman Reigns

Okay, this one is kind of serious. Back when The Shield was intact and they were feuding with Evolution, Ric came back for one random appearance to turn his back on his former group and give an endorsement to The Shield. It was just one night and wasn’t really mentioned much after that. Now that The Shield has disbanded, it’s clear that the current main-eventer of the group, Roman Reigns, is actually the least polished performer of the three. While I do believe that Roman will find his way and be that face of the company the WWE is hoping that he’ll be, he still has a few steps before he gets there. Having a legend like Flair to follow him around for a bit will really help cover up what weaknesses Roman has, at least on the mic.
                                                                                                                                                       

What did you think of these suggestions? Are there any winners in the mix or do you have some good suggestions of your own? Comment below or shoot me your thoughts on twitter @MitchNickelson.

Ric Flair Bloodies Bray Wyatt, Bray Takes It Like A Champ

by: Mitch Nickelson

(Author’s Note: I’ve strayed a little from the typical PG format on today’s blog. There are a few images of graphic nature. It’s just blood, which shouldn’t shock the average wrestling fan, but I wouldn’t feel too good about posting these without a warning.)

About a week ago, Bray Wyatt took a stiff shot from wrestling legend Ric Flair at a house show in MSG that caused the pretend cult leader to bloody in an unplanned moment. His eye was swollen shut and kudos were given to WWE’s makeup team for getting this guy looking as good as he did by Monday Night Raw. In case you missed it, here’s a closer look at Bray, mid-Sister Abigail…

While this is a slightly old news item to comment on, Bray’s comments to a local (to Tampa, Florida) radio station are hot off the press! Bray seems to take his licks like a man…

“I look at it as an honor,” said Wyatt. “Madison Square Garden. Ric Flair. John Cena. At the end of a long, long, long war, a little [bruise] is not so bad. I’m used to having stitches and things all over my body, so I didn’t even know I was bleeding.” Wyatt concluded, “I thought I was blind!”

Backstage reports have been nothing but praise throughout the week for how Bray handled the botch by Flair. While this injury was unplanned and completely an accident, many of wrestling’s most famous images of blood were just part of the show. I figured that this would be an opportune time to look back at a couple of the more memorable moments of blading that I can recall…

Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart
Wrestlemania 13

This was a submission match that Austin ended up losing. But it is how he lost that made for one of the most iconic moments in the history of this business. Austin was subjected to the Sharpshooter as Bret was determined to make Austin tap out. He was relentless. Austin, however, refused to tap out, no matter the pain. He was bleeding from his forehead, which really helped emphasize his suffering. As he tried with every ounce of strength he had to power out of the move, his face of agony became more and more painted with his own blood. He ultimately passed out from the pain, never tapping out or saying “I quit.” He was the heel walking into that match, but he walked out with the respect of every fan watching. That moment helped launch the Austin era.

Michaels WM 20 Bloody

Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Chris Benoit
Wrestlemania 20

Shawn Michaels is the one who bleeds in this match. He actually bleeds in a LOT of matches and it can be gruesome often. But this match is especially memorable to me because of how much of a fan of Benoit I was at the time.

Chris tries to put Shawn in a Sharpshooter, but can’t because Shawn struggles too much. Instead, Chris catapults Shawn into the corner ring post. This was an absolutely perfectly timed blade job. Within seconds of stammering away from the corner, Shawn’s forehead immediately starts gushing. He timed it so well. But like with many of Michaels’ attempts at blood in a match, it’s extremely over the top and graphic.

                                                                                                                                                   

Have I grossed you readers out much today? I apologize, I’ll try to not write about things so gruesome in the future. In the meantime, check out the official Mitch and Al preview of tonight’s event, WWE Battleground. We’re both looking forward to many of the matches and expect it to be a solid show.

Look me up on twitter and give me a follow @MitchNickelson. Expect a really big article about Damien Sandow’s baffling Halloween-every-week gimmick to get published around Monday-ish to TJRWrestling.com by yours truly. And as always, go to church.

Is The World Heavyweight Title Retired?

RAW_1103_Photo_204

by: Mitch Nickelson

According to rajah.com, WWE might have retired the World Heavyweight Championship last night on Raw. Is that what happened?

Following Monday’s episode of WWE RAW, there’s been a lot of speculation that the “big gold” World Heavyweight championship belt is being retired.

During the opening segment, John Cena did a hard sell for the WWE Network, told fans there’s one major reason to order the Network and held up the WWE Championship belt. Later in the show, after Ric Flair cut a promo, John Cena greeted him on the stage and presented him with the World Heavyweight title. He told Flair to “keep it” and went to the ring with just the WWE Championship belt.

Later in the night, JBL made reference to there being “only one title” now.

flair wcw championship

So, did WWE retire the historic “Big Gold Belt?” Honestly, I didn’t think that was what was happening when I first saw these segments, but now that all of these ‘clues’ have been laid out before me, I think the World Heavyweight Championship might be gone.

The belt was handed off to Ric Flair, because his 16 World Championships were supposed to be represented in that belt. Even though they kind of weren’t. Chris Jericho unified the WCW and WWF titles over a decade ago and technically the current WWE Championship still has that lineage. The big gold belt was later brought out as the World Championship for RAW during the brand extension, but the WWE Champion was never defeated to un-unify the titles. I realize I’m being petty over lineages of fake titles, but darn-it this matters to me!

jericho undisputed

Truthfully, it was silly to have two belts for one champion. Daniel Bryan commented about how he actually wore himself out when he raised both of those belts in celebration. A championship belt is heavy; two are twice as heavy.

The next big of speculation is that the remaining title belt, the one formerly known as the WWE Championship, will be phased out as well. There should be a brand spanking new belt debuting in the coming months that will be the one and  only WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We can expect that new logo to be prominently displayed on it, too.
                                                                                                                                                  

Once again, thanks for reading the my daily musings from the world of wrestling. Keep up with the world of Mitch and Al by following me (Mitch) on twitter @MitchNickelson . I’ll be watching and reviewing Main Event tonight, expect to see it pop up at TJRWrestling.com sometime tomorrow.  And as always…church on Sunday, Raw on Monday.