There is perhaps no greater WWE Legend than Ric Flair.
As a 16-time world champion and two-time Hall of Fame inductee, Flair is a bona fide cultural icon.
Flair offered his thoughts on the WWE Legends returning in 2021 ahead of a special “Legends Night” edition of Raw next Tuesday, January 5 (New Zealand time).
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What do you think makes Hulk Hogan a WWE Legend?
I think Hulk is one of two or three guys that are the most famous people to ever be around, part of, or participate in the history of WWE. The others being, in my estimation, Steve Austin and The Undertaker. The three of them, I think, stand out more than anybody I can think of. Any time I had the opportunity to wrestle Hulk was an opportunity to be in the ring with the flagship of WWE. I could list four or five other guys too but he was the ‘Golden Goose’ and he represented everything that the company wanted and not only competed at the highest level, he was the Make-a-Wish king long before it was recognized as much publically as it is now. He took time for the kids at every show. He worked hard and he just represented. I was thrilled to even have the opportunity to work against him.
What is it that makes Booker T a WWE Legend?
Well, I think Booker T could wrestle right now. He stays in phenomenal condition. I don’t think he has any injuries I’m aware of that could keep him out of the ring. He had a phenomenal career not only in a tag team with his brother but obviously individually he excelled. Tremendous athlete, tremendous guy, a heart of gold. I wasn’t in the ring with him that much, he was more involved with Harlem Heat when I was still actively wrestling. I’ve probably only been in the ring with Booker half a dozen times. He’s another guy that stands out as one of the great professionals and he continues to be that role model that you look up to. Just a great all-round guy, great father, great husband, and just a great guy to be in the ring with professionally. Tremendous performer.
What is it that makes Shawn Michaels a WWE Legend?
It’s not arguable anymore, Shawn is the greatest worker in the history of our business. I think everybody would give that to him. He carried me in my farewell retirement match, no matter how many people want to think I was holding up my end of it, I was trying to get through it. At that point in my career, I did not have the self-confidence that I needed to have to rise to the occasion and he made it look like I did. I’ve looked back and actually had time the past couple of years to watch some of Shawn’s matches that he had while I was at WCW and Shawn just is a class act. For my money, in the ring, I’d put him and Ricky Steamboat in a class by themselves. I always liked being around Shawn. As far as a guy in the ring I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody better.
What makes Triple H a WWE Legend?
He exemplifies ‘Legend’ more than anybody because he is not only a great performer, he has studied the business, he is a historian. He probably knows more about the business than I do and I’ve been in it 30 years longer than he has. He came into it with a knowledge of it that I hadn’t seen anybody at his age come into the business with. He was respectful every day and it was fun to see someone that just loved to be in the ring and loved the business. He became a great worker and he has also taken that with him and has become an intricate part of the company. He’s accomplished all this through his efforts and he has ascended himself to a place of not just being a great worker, he’s helped to impact the company with the growth of NXT. Helping to see young guys get the opportunity to make the main roster, working with people on a daily basis. Plus he’s one of my two or three best friends. I just saw him at Raw and at TLC and had a nice talk with him. He basically lives the kind of schedule we did in the old days. He wouldn’t have it any other way. He won’t miss anything, and he’s always wanting to see the company grow. I’m actually hoping to see him have a huge retirement match, if he even elects to retire in the future. He deserves every bit of it and all the recognition to go with it.
Many people would list you as the greatest WWE Legend of all time. How do you feel hearing that?
To even be in the conversation is a compliment. There are so many people that would want that kind of recognition. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I liked getting it. In fact, I love hearing it. I’m so focused on my daughter’s career right now and to see what she has accomplished, to watch her ascend the huge heights of success in the business. I don’t think about myself much now. To be 71 years old, to be discussing the business, being asked my opinions by other people, and knowing that my opinion matters – that is rewarding enough. When I go to the shows all the talent show me the utmost respect. They are so good to me, so nice to me. But, at the end of the day, I’ll take the recognition!
Some of your favourite WWE Legends and Hall of Famers return for Raw “Legends Night” from 2pm (NZDT) next Tuesday, January 5, on Sky 5.