Ric Flair has opened up about why he left WWE in 1993 to return to World Championship Wrestling and the lukewarm reception he received from WCW management.
Flair was a mainstay of the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions throughout the 1980s. The Nature Boy headlined shows across the US and was a multiple-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. However, by the time 1991 came around Flair was in well-documented conflict with WCW boss Jim Herd and he left for pastures new in the World Wrestling Federation.
Debuting as ‘The Real World Champion’ and parading the ‘big gold belt’ on WWF television Flair found a match made in heaven in manager Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan.
Speaking on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Flair recounted going and said he doesn’t know if he’d have been asked to rejoin the company in 2001 if it wasn’t for his brief spell with them in the early nineties.
“Once I got [to WWE], I was fine, I just had to get away from that. I had a bunch of friends there, I had another year and a half, greatest time of my life, and the worst mistake I ever made [was leaving]. If they hadn’t asked me back in 2001, I don’t even know if I’d been on this show today. They brought me back and [Triple H] would take nothing less, ‘You’re the only one who doesn’t know who you are Ric.’ When you’ve lost it [in your head], it is really hard to get it back. You can only be broken so many times.”
Ric Flair then explained why he left the WWF after only a year and a half. In that space of time Flair had managed to win the WWF Championship twice and won what is widely considered the greatest Royal Rumble match of all time in 1992.
However, Flair explained he was a victim of the move to a new generation:
“Vince [McMahon] said to me ‘We’re going to go younger,’ and he said ‘if you want to go back, they’ve been calling me every day so I’m sure they’ve been calling you, go in and go’. I went back, between the time I left there and got there, management had changed and Ole Anderson was now in charge, he looked at me and said ‘You just got beat last night on T.V. in a loser leaves town match with Curt Hennig, what good are you to me?’”
“I thought to myself, I’ve been with WWE? WrestleMania? Royal Rumble? This place is in shambles. I looked at him and said I can compete every Monday night and be a bigger star than anybody you got right now. All I did was work hard and a thousand guys that could say ‘Thank you Ric for making me who I am.’ That was my job and I didn’t look at it as a job.”
Despite his uncertainty at being back in WCW in 1993, Flair stayed with the company until its eventual demise in March 2001. On the last episode of WCW Monday Nitro Flair tangled one more time with his legendary rival, Sting.
Ric Flair has also recently about his latest role in WWE where he was aligned with Lacey Evans who was in a rivalry with Flair’s daughter, Charlotte.