Episode 11 of The Ric Flair Show was an #AskNaitch session with Flair responding to selected tweets from fans. Among other things, 'The Nature Boy' talked about AJ Styles' professional wrestling legacy, John Cena possibly tying his record for world title reigns, and wanting to face Cena at WrestleMania if Cena succeeds in his recently revealed new goal.
According to Flair, Styles will go down as an all-time great if he continues to deliver for a few more years.
"Time will tell. You can't say right now if he's one of the greats. Right now, as we speak, in my opinion, he's a great worker, but it's going to be determined by time because the word 'great' gets passed around way, way too easily. I understand they are people who are good people and very competent, but the word 'great' gets passed around, but, I mean, he's in that category now. If he stays healthy enough to do this a couple of more years, he'll be one of the all-time greats. That's my take on it."
When asked whether he considers Styles the next Shawn Michaels, 'Naitch' responded in the negative.
"I see it, but [they are] not the same thing. Shawn Michaels, if you look at Shawn's charisma, and when they were trying to put AJ in a position of being a heel, it's just not him. Do you know what it is? AJ's just too nice of a guy. Shawn Michaels, when he was in that heel [persona], Shawn could be a prick. Now, he's a whole different [person]. His life is totally different and his lifestyle. But Shawn could be a prick and that's what people like you to be. I was a prick. I didn't care what anybody thought, I said what I thought, but I could back it up. But, once again, I'm not saying AJ can't be Shawn Michaels, but that's a tall order. Remember, we had to call him, to get him to come on this show, 'the greatest of all time', so, I mean, Shawn, where we are, you're the greatest of all time. AJ, you've got a ways to go. You're really good, but that's a tall order, [to be considered the next Shawn Michaels], man, Shawn Michaels."
On the subject of Cena's pursuit of world title reign number 16, Flair indicated that he hopes Cena ties his record.
"Well, first of all, I text John. I love John. He's always, even when I'm not there, he throws me name out there and keeps me in the public eye. I would be elated if John got that. I mean, he [has] worked hard enough and it's never going to affect my legacy. I think the world of John Cena as a person, as a man."
Flair added, "but I think the world of John and I think that when I look at what he has done for the company, and, of course, the company has done a lot for him, but his work ethic is incredible. He's a great guy. He's a great ambassador. And if he won that title for the sixteenth time, I'd be the first to congratulate him."
'The Dirtiest Player In The Game' admitted that he would love to face Cena at WrestleMania if Cena wins his sixteenth world championship. Flair went on to say that there is no big name he did not wrestle with except for Cena and the former members of The Shield.
"Well, I would love for John Cena to win the title and them to give me six months to get ready because I could wrestle again very easily, but I would need six months just for cosmetics and a couple months of everyday training in the ring at the [WWE] Performance Center. I would love that, for that to happen. I don't think it ever will, but I could be in that kind of shape if I got the head's up in the next month or so." Flair said, "I wrestled everybody except for John, in a single, and, of course, The Shield, the new guys, and that. There's nobody I missed. I think that's what makes my career unique, is I wrestled everybody."
While the two-time WWE Hall Of Famer would relish the opportunity to face Cena in a battle over the record for world title reigns, he does not think WWE will stop Styles' momentum to put SmackDown Live's top championship on 'The Leader Of The Cenation'.
"Well, the thing you've got to remember too, for him to do that, they'd have to cut off the momentum on AJ and I don't see that happening either. So, I mean, do I respect John and think he would deserve that, yes. But I don't think they're going to take the momentum away from AJ any time soon."
To check out the show, click here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Ric Flair Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Ric Flair Show