WWE Hall of Famer Booker T and his co-host Brad Gilmore welcomed WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair onto The Hall of Fame podcast, where they discussed Flair's iconic career, as well as today's wrestling landscape. Flair was asked if writers ever wrote promos for him before joining WWE.
"No, absolutely not," Flair answered. "I guess I get to throw this in because this will come up in the next couple of minutes... [Booker T] came along at a time when - I think when you started, you started getting big. And you can help me with this. [This] was at a time when people were trying to have more control and make it more stuff scripted, does that make sense? I can't really remember. But certainly, when you first got going in WCW, you did your own promos, right? So I try to figure out what time frame those came in.
"Anyways, you're riding in on the road like I am, or you're talking to your brother, or your friend, or your wife and you're coming up with ideas. You're bouncing it off and you're having fun doing it. Now, with the atmosphere, it just feels like a lot of pressure, and if the kids are creative, its just, kind of, not desperation but just trying to figure out who they are. Which that can take a long time."
Flair was also asked what was missing in today's wrestling. He talked about the lack of big characters in wrestling. He highlighted Randy Orton and AJ Styles as wrestlers that have complete characters thanks to the amount of experience they have in WWE and abroad, respectively.
"I think it's an immense number of huge characters," Flair stated. "Black wrestlers that I got to wrestle, and [Booker] probably did too on the way up, you could probably lift 20 guys that you wrestled a hundred times. I don't think there's anybody, with the exception of Randy Orton right now on the roster, that had that kind of experience to wrestle that many guys.
"I mean, maybe AJ. I've got to think about it. I don't want to go beyond, but it's hard! In the same subject manner, AJ, Japan - he's been everywhere. And I thought, wow! When he came out the door and his first time at WWE, you had to think to yourself, man, where has this guy been? Right? And all he'd been to was TNA, I guess Ring of Honor, and Japan. They knew him when he came out of the door. It was huge!"
Flair noted that you can never know who is watching what at what time. He noted the recognition and acclaim Styles gained when he came to WWE after spending his career in ROH, TNA and NJPW.
"So you can never speculate as to where someone catches the public eye," Flair noted. "That's one of the things that you got to be careful of. Where you go, you can be judged for the moment. It's just what it is. When [Styles] came out the door, that spoke volumes for the other promotions that you wouldn't have thought would have given him the recognition, and the defining audience that he's developed, and following with the WWE."
Flair talked about not missing being in the ring and having some type of in-ring role. He said that even when Charlotte isn't wrestling, he watches WWE to see the competition that Charlotte might be up against.
"I have thought of asking Vince when I was there on TV to talk to everybody. Number one: I don't miss anything," Flair asserted. "Even if [Charlotte] is not wrestling, I want to see what she's up against in terms of competition within the Women's Division. So, then I watch the show.
"So where I used to go, I would text the writer or whatever. I say, 'if I wasn't there, I'd say what type, right?' But then I'd bounce around now. I just said, 'you know, I'm better off just watching the whole product, because if I'm going to be on your show, I don't watch the products and I really can't tell you what I think. So I've made a point of watching everything."
Despite signing a new deal with WWE, Flair said he watches NXT regularly. He said he does so not just because he is loyal to the company, but also to support WWE's efforts in making NXT a third brand on par with RAW and SmackDown.
"I even started watching NXT on a regular basis," Flair revealed. "Not just because I'm loyal to the company, but because they don't actually go over to NXT. I think the company is making all three brands. It's going to attempt to but it basically has made NXT the third brand, and I expect it to keep getting bigger. We need to all just say, 'Thank You Vince', and do everything we can to support him so the business does make it."
Flair recounted a story where it was decided that he would be NWA World Champion. He talked about his feelings before becoming world champion and the words that Blackjack Mulligan gave to him.
"When I was driving on the road in 1978 with Jack Mulligan and I was so worried about being a World Champion," Flair recalled, "I looked at Jack Mulligan one time and I kept asking him over and over again, 'You think I can be the World Champion?' And he goes, finally one day, he just slammed on the break, pulled the car over outside of Raleigh on the way back, and said, 'I told you. I'm tired of you asking me this.' He said, 'you get five minutes or six minutes every Wednesday when we make TV that airs on Saturday to show everybody in the world what the difference is between you and everybody else, and that is what's going to make you World Champion or it's not'. I've never forgotten that though,t and Jack is gone, as we all know, but it's the truth."
Flair then shared praise for his daughter's success and character growth. He said that she's only getting better and has the athletic abilities that top every man and woman in WWE.
"It took [Charlotte] awhile but the queen - and, at first, I think she thought, 'man is that going to be cool?' Look at her now," Flair remarked. "She is the queen! Aggressive like the queen, she acts like the queen. She's got athletic abilities second to no man or woman on the roster, and she's the queen! And she's just getting better!"
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Hall of Fame with Booker T & Brad Gilmore with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.