Ric Flair paid tribute to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon during an emotional address on the NWA 73 pay-per-view as wrestling returned to The Chase.
On the 3rd of August WWE announced that the sixteen-time champion of the world had been released from his WWE contract, a day after news had broken that Flair had requested to leave the company.
Since then Flair’s next move had been the subject of intense speculation but he made his first wrestling appearance in post-WWE life at TripleMania when he seconded Andrade El Idolo to the ring for his Mega Championship match against Kenny Omega. During the bout, Ric Flair made headlines when he delivered chops to the AEW Champion before locking Mexican legend Konnan in the figure-four leg lock.
Flair’s next move was to return to the promotion where he made his name and held the Worlds Championship multiple times as he made an appearance at NWA 73.
At the event where Nick Aldis put the Worlds Championship on the line against Trevor Murdoch and Kamille defended her Women’s Worlds Championship against Chelsea Green, Ric Flair delighted the crowd in St. Louis as he addressed them in the ring:
“I want to thank my beautiful wife, Wendy. Every time I fell down, she picked me up. just like Triple H picked me up, just like Shawn picked me up, just like Taker picked me up, just like Austin picked me up. Just like everybody. Vince McMahon, I love you, thank you. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m here. And you know what, Vince McMahon’s not gonna watch it but he’s gonna hear about it. He’s gonna say, Ric Flair’s back where he belongs.”
Flair returned to WWE for the third time in 2012 following a stint in TNA. Most of this run will be remembered for Flair’s alliance with his daughter Charlotte who rose to prominence winning a bundle of Women’s Championships along the way.