Ric Flair Pays Tribute To 'Dear Friend' Dolph Ziggler After WWE Release

WWE followed its merger with UFC to become TKO Group Holdings with mass cuts to its payroll, laying off employees and releasing talent over the past week. In all, over 20 wrestlers have been released from both the main and developmental rosters. Ric Flair took to the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, to share a message of support to those let go.


"Shame on me for being so busy that I haven't kept up with all of the releases at WWE," he wrote. He said that he hopes those who have been released can understand that while "we all love wrestling," it's a business first and foremost. He recalled his 2008 retirement as one of the most difficult days of his life to empathize with the departed. 

He also shared a tribute to Dolph Ziggler, with the former World Champion being one of the more surprising names cut. Ziggler had been with WWE for almost 20 years, starting with the company while Flair still competed in the ring.  

"As for my dear friend, [Dolph Ziggler], who has been my close friend for 20 years, you have been nothing less than the best professional and the best at everything you have been called upon to do." 


He said that Ziggler had been a leader and a champion, "a man of unquestionable character," and he would never forget a letter Ziggler had sent him while he was in the hospital. He closed by saying he looks forward to meeting him next and getting "dirty martinis with extra olives."