WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair sat down with Wrestling Inc.’s Raj Giri a day after SummerSlam where Flair reflected on his storyline with Randy Orton. Orton recently revealed that Flair was not supposed to take the mic and cut his own promo before receiving a low blow and a punt from Orton several weeks ago on RAW. Flair confirmed that and praised the run that Orton is currently on.
“I just did my own thing,” Flair admitted. “At the end of the day, I think they trust me enough. Now that I’m supposedly more mature, I’m going to deliver something heartfelt… and I didn’t tell him what to say. I said this is designed to get this whole [thing] over, what we’re doing here Randy. It’s designed to enhance what you’re doing right now in the business, and I’ve known him so long.
“[Orton’s] in the groove. It’s a groove that very few people ever get in. You could be great for a long time, and then you take that step where you’re not just great, you’re whatever the next level is because he’s always been good. He’s at a level that very few people get to, ever.”
Flair, 71, has made a few appearances on Monday Night RAW as part of his storyline with Orton during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flair gave some details as to WWE’s protocols backstage including mask wearing and fewer people in Vince McMahon’s office with only McMahon and Bruce Prichard working closely together.
“They are really strict about the quarantine,” Flair noted. “In other words, the way the locker rooms are laid out, because of the smaller facility, but even in the meeting room, everybody is six feet away from each other and masks are mandatory. So if you want to see Vince, I have to walk all the way back in through a building and an office, which I’ve done twice.
“Like he and Bruce would be the only two in that particular room, and has he come out? I’m sure he has, but I have not been privileged to see it. Everybody wears a mask. It’s a fine and a half. Trust me, he’ll fine you. He knows that he’s going to be scrutinized because we get scrutinized like no other sport, but it’s because the guy’s the leader.”
Flair was asked if McMahon has gone through the segments Flair and Orton do together. Flair revealed that he does not, but he is made aware through Prichard on what is happening in the segments.
“He does not come out and walk through segments and stuff like that,” Flair revealed. “He hasn’t with me and Randy, but of course, the message is carried back and forth directly with Bruce. He just kind of gave us an outline, and he knows me that I have a hard time not being emotional because I do feel so passionate about this. And it’s just one of those things. I just can’t let go of the wrestling.”
Flair talked about how important his involvement with Orton in his storyline while also calling him a great heel. He equated Orton’s great work to having a balanced home life with his wife and his kids that is allowing him to focus on his work.
“Well, it’s huge. I used to tell him, when you want to be, you’re the best because nothing’s changed,” Flair stated. “He’s always had that phenomenal gift athletically. He’s got that once-in-a-lifetime look. He’s a great great heel, but that’s kind of his personality. Keeps to himself. Just the opposite of me. He’s not loud, running around raising hell, but he has really found his niche.
“I think that being so happy in his personal life, where he’s so comfortable at home. So when he is with Kim and the kids, he can go to work and just focus on work. Problems at home can be a huge distraction when you’re trying to be a perfectionist and trying to be good at what you do. I think hand-in-hand, his personal life is at a very high level, and his work is second to none. He’s doing fabulous right now.”
Orton failed to capture the WWE Championship, losing to Drew McIntyre via pinfall with a backslide. Flair commented on the title match and how it reminded him of his title match against Kerry Von Erich.
“They delivered. What a match,” Flair remarked. “I mean talk about two heavyweights going at it. I was thinking to myself, boy, this is so damn good. There is no winner. There is no loser. I liked the ending. That’s how Kerry Von Erich beat me in Dallas. When you have a match that good, people are waking up today going, it doesn’t matter who won or lost. We we as fans won, and that’s the name of the game. God, what a match they had.”
Flair said he doesn’t think that finish was a homage to his match with Von Erich. However, he complimented the simplicity of the finish and how it delivered for the fans.
“No, but you know what it was. It was done in such a chain of events and excitement that it fits in,” Flair explained. “The problem is sometimes just a plain wrestling move is better than jumping off the top rope or getting suplexed off, which they had in the body of the match, but when you get beat with a wrestling move, nobody loses, everybody gains, especially the audience.”
Flair also said that Orton helped make McIntyre a star in that match. He commented on the great story they told at SummerSlam.
“I really think last night made McIntyre. Randy really made McIntyre,” Flair said. “I mean McIntyre’s work was spot on too. I mean it was solid. There was no air. They’re not stopping. No rest holds. They just kept boom boom boom. People look back and say, ‘oh, that’s easy to do.’ It’s not easy to do. They told a great story and no outside interference, which I loved. Nobody running down.
“It was just a championship match, and they had a winner. I don’t know whose idea that was, but to me, it was the right thing to do. Once and a while, a wrestling hold can win you a match. It doesn’t have to be something that was found in Lucha Underground.”
Flair’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Flair also discussed what Charlotte Flair asked him when Eric Bischoff was hired, his problems with Jim Herd, his relationship with Vince McMahon over the years, how his wife Wendy is recovering from COVID-19, Roman Reigns returning to WWE and much more. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.