WWE News

Ric Flair Accuses WWE Of Holding Talent Back

Ric Flair

Ric Flair has claimed that WWE hold back talent and deliberately prevent them from becoming too popular and too powerful.

While through the decades WWE have built countless stars, an often repeated mantra has been that no one is bigger than the company.

Speaking in a new interview with the Two Man Power Trip, Ric Flair, arguably one of the biggest names of all-time gave his assessment of WWE’s current crop of stars.

Before getting into how the wrestling business has changed compared to when he was in his prime, the Nature Boy joked that WWE and AEW couldn’t afford a 35-year-old Flair.

“If I was 35 years old right now, they wouldn’t be able to afford me, and boy they need help with the ratings right now, both of them [laughs].

As Flair continued, he criticised WWE for holding their current top performers back. The 16-time World Champion suggested that the company don’t want anyone to get too powerful, as that will mean they have the leverage to say no to things they don’t want to do.

Those written interviews, you can tell a mile away whether the kids feel it or not, it’s a lot of pressure to read something that you don’t actually feel in your heart. That’s a big difference. If they are thinking about what they are handed to memorize, they put no emotion into it. That’s just talking generically. It doesn’t sell tickets. When The Rock comes back to wrestle Roman (Reigns), that will sell tickets. When Steve Austin came back, that sold tickets. It’s a different timeframe.

The talent is great, make no mistake, there are some great wrestlers. (Randy) Orton, my daughter [Charlotte Flair], Sasha Banks, AJ Styles. There’s a list of a great top ten between the two companies, but the events sell themselves now, as much as the wrestlers do. I don’t think they turn them loose enough. They want to make sure they get the right advertisers, everyone has to be happy. It’s a whole different world. I still love it, I just feel that the guys who are really great like Randy and my daughter, they are held back because they only want people to go that far.

They don’t want anybody to become The Rock, that’s going to walk off or become Steve, who can say, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ Back in the day with Hulk (Hogan), he’d say, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ he had that kind of power. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but Vince won’t let that happen again. He won’t let anyone get in a position where they can say, ‘Hey, see ya.’ I understand that, it’s business,”

When asked whether WWE even have any larger than life stars on their roster, Flair explained that they did, but they are being “kept in check.”

“I think Roman, my daughter, Randy, AJ are larger than life, but they don’t let them get larger than they want them to get. There has never been a better worker, period, in the company than my daughter, but they’re going to keep her in check. They keep everybody in check. They don’t let the situation get out of control to where someone walks off and ‘wow, how do we replace them?’ Talent is limited.

They just signed 70 different guys, college athletes, out of that 70, I bet two of them make it. It’s a different business. Being a good athlete in college has nothing to do with being a wrestler. Time away from home, sacrifice, three days a week from noon until midnight. It’s a lot.”

Ric Flair is currently preparing to return to the ring one last time at Starrcast V on July 31st.

At time of writing, there has been no confirmation as to who Flair will be facing in Nashville, or who will be appearing on the undercard of the special Jim Crockett Promotions event.

It has also been announced that Inside The Ropes’ very own Kenny McIntosh will be hosting a special panel at Starrcast V featuring Bret Hart, as he looks back on his legendary clash with the British Bulldog at SummerSlam 30 years ago.

H/t to Fightful for the transcription.