Vince McMahon's work ethic is legendary with him having oversight over every part of WWE programming. Ric Flair has gotten to see McMahon's work ethic and mindset up close and he discussed it when he spoke with Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri on The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"I walked up to him when I first got there and I said, 'Man, how do handle all of this?' He said, 'I can't take time away not to handle it because 300 people are dependent on me every day.' He was referring to talent, staff, office and that's the truth. We're all dependent on him even to this day. I am too as I just re-signed, so I'm dependent on him," stated Flair.
"This wrestling business whether you like it or don't like it is the most insensitive business in the world. We all get into it knowing full speed. Everybody gets their chance and if you don't make it, you can't find blame and need to look at yourself."
After WWF bought WCW, Flair wasn't initially picked up by the WWF. He had a lengthy hiatus and when he returned, he was thrust back into a wrestling role that he wasn't yet ready for. His first match happened to be against McMahon and he recalled what was going through his mind.
"First of all, I had no self-confidence and Hunter helped me with that. [Vince] was overwhelmed that he was getting to wrestle me. He goes, 'This is such a huge honor' and I'm going, 'Oh my God! This is not what I'm looking for. I need you to tell me that we don't have to do this [laughs].' I was cosmetically insecure and mentally insecure," admitted Flair.
Flair then talked about how after WCW was bought, he didn't hear from WWE for a year-and-a-half. Then out of nowhere, McMahon and Jim Ross called him and said, 'You ready to go back to work?' They also told Flair that he would never have to wrestle again.
"That took a whole load off me. As far as my self-confidence with talking, I'm great. Getting in the ring zero [self-confidence]. I get there in November and in January Shane asks, 'What do you think of wrestling my dad at the Royal Rumble?' I'm thinking that's not what we agreed upon [laughs]. Sure enough, here we are," said Flair.
Flair said he then approached Vince in his office and Shane, Stephanie and Triple H were all in there as well. He had tears in his eyes and was looking for sympathy and a way to get out of the match. Flair laughed and noted that Stephanie patted him on the back and then opened the door behind them for him to leave.
"Get the f*** out. We've got sh*t to do," Flair joked about what her feeling probably was. Flair walked away with and he would defeat McMahon in a street fight at Royal Rumble.
Flair's issues with confidence apparently aren't unique in wrestling as The Undertaker admitted having the same problem on his Last Ride documentary. Flair compared his confidence issues with those of The Undertaker [Mark Calaway].
"Mark and I talked about it. I was texting him while watching it and he was doing an interview on ESPN where he alluded to me. My self-confidence was mental while Mark's was physical. I have had physical issues but I've come back from them," stated Flair. "But Mark is 6'10" and 330 pounds and throws himself around the ring. He's done stuff over the top rope that even Rey Mysterio does. He's had injury problems and I'm glad that they're showing what our guys go through. They think the injections and all of that are just for football or basketball. Take that times 20 as our guys are on the road 200 days a year
"It was worse for Mark in his heyday in the early 90s as we were out for 60 days at a time. Mark's one of those guys and this is what I'm so proud of [Charlotte] about they're gonna go out there at a house show with 100 people and give them a match. That's what separates the greats from the people who are just getting thru."
Flair's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.