Source: WWE Network's Table For 3
On the WWE Network's Table For 3 episode entitled 'World Champion Legacy', Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton enjoyed a meal together and discussed a number of topics. Notably, Flair talked about Orton buying himself a Rolex watch when he won his first world title, not being ready for his first world title run, and Harley Race pulling a gun on Orton's father, Bob.
"To be the world champion when I first got it, it was the biggest honor in the world and I hope that being the champion means as much to the guys now as it did to us." Flair continued, "do you know what Randy did when he won his first one? He went out and he bought himself a Rolex watch. He said, 'look what I did.' He couldn't wait to show me! He came in with a brand new diamond Rolex. The guys don't do that now. Do you know what I mean? You're the world champion. It means something."
According to Flair, he was not prepared to be world champ when he beat Dusty Rhodes on September 17, 1981 to capture his first world title, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
"I beat Dusty [Rhodes], but I wasn't ready to be the champion. I thought I was. I thought I could work. Well, I was 31 [years old], but you think you're ready because you're wrestling Wahoo McDaniel, Ricky Steamboat, Blackjack Mulligan, Paul Jones. You're working with guys that can work. Then you win the title and start traveling around and 90% of the guys you're working with can't work a lick. And it's a whole different ballgame." Flair added, "so I found out just how lacking I was in knowledge and skill, not in-ring skill in terms of what I could do, but just not knowing what to do with a guy for an hour."
Flair divulged that Race pulled a gun on 'The Cowboy' Bob Orton. As the story goes, Race was trying to send Hulk Hogan a message at the time.
"Harley believed he was the world champion. He wanted to fight every night, every night." Flair said, "so the WWE came to Kansas City and I'm over there wrestling ['Bruiser'] Brody. Harley comes to the locker room with a 9mm in his pocket."
Also during the discussion, Flair shared that Race was sent to Japan with him as his bodyguard.
"I had to go over there [to Japan] one time and they were afraid that they were going to stretch me, they sent Harley as my bodyguard." Flair continued, "that's a little embarrassing, sending a bodyguard for me to make sure I don't get beat!"
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