Earlier this month, the wrestling community mourned over the passing of WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. Throughout the month, other legends and current wrestlers have paid homage to the legacy Patterson created in the business. This week on WWE's The Bump, the 16-time world champion, Ric Flair, paid his respects by recalling some of his favorite memories with the inaugural Intercontinental Champion.
"Well, I met Pat in 1972. He was with Ray Stevens in Minneapolis," Ric Flair began. "So, for me, I worked with Pat when I first went there in '91 and left in '93. I stayed in touch with Pat over the years. I had just won the title from [Randy] Savage in '91 -- no, it was right after Royal Rumble. I was supposed to wrestle The Ultimate Warrior. I told Pat, 'I can't do a 10-minute match.' For guys like me, I get going in 10 minutes. I wrestled Warrior in Winnipeg and I came back, and Pat said, 'Hey, Ricky. That was the worst championship match I've ever seen in my life. What were you thinking?' I told him, 'You don't have to tell me how bad it was because I was in it.'
"I think with the people who got to work with him, he'd pull you aside and want you to hear what he thought could make you better. He was a great worker - not a good worker, a great worker. Him and Ray Stevens -- it's hard to find the footage -- were the best tag team that you'll arguably ever see. He was such a great person and so compassionate. He was never afraid to tell you what he thought, and that's hard to find nowadays."
With TLC just around the corner in four days, the panel took Ric back to his ladder match with Edge for the WWE Championship back in 2006 on Monday Night Raw. Ric admits he wasn't equipped to be in such a hardcore match, but he certainly enjoyed the time he got in the ring with "The Rated-R Superstar."
"I can remember where I was," he started. "Michael Hayes called me and said, 'Vince [McMahon] wants you to do a ladder match with Edge.' Now, keep in mind I was 56-years-old - no, 57. I said, 'Yeah, but I don't have any experience.' But I was fine. I'm happy to have it on my résumé. Now, Edge, you talk about a world-class performer. I was thrilled!"
Speaking of other legends in WWE, just last month, Flair and several other Hall of Famers got to take part in The Undertaker's retirement ceremony. From the first moment he met 'Taker, Ric knew WWE had a star on their hands.
"When I first saw him up there, it's called living your gimmick. And the reason it's such a phenomenal story is because during the day, he remained in that character," he noted. "He didn't do interviews.
"When they made The Last Ride, which I thought was every bit as good for our business as it was for him, it showed what has happened in the last 30 years. Mark being 6'10" and 300 pounds - I'm not taking it away from other guys like Rey Mysterio who go over the top rope - but a guy like Mark doing it over and over for the past 30 years, [that's what made him] such a great worker. He was not good; he was great. I was so happy to see him get his due. A lot of other guys don't get that."
You can watch Ric Flair's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE's The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.