Last night Tracy and I were treated to a live WWE event at the Colonial Center. It was Monday Night Raw, and, as he did in the 70s and 80s at the Township Auditorium, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair stole the show.
The moment he stepped out onto the ramp and made his way to the ring, I was suddenly a 14 year old Flair-maniac again. In all of his regalia, he was, perhaps for the last time in Columbia, The Man!
I am but one of millions of guys who got into wrestling because of our hero, The Nature Boy. Flair raised the standard of what wrestling was then, and pioneered it into what it is today. He is the benchmark by which everyone is measured. He is one of my heroes. To see him once again as he was back in the day, was awesome. Plus I was on TV twice!
I know many of my pals probably find my devotion to pro wrestling a bit childish and sophomoric. To them I say to be at the Chapel of Redemption on May 24th when I make what will probably be MY last in-ring appearance with the WFJ. My career was much shorter, and less colorful than Ric Flair's (talk about a gross understatement!), but growing up with him as an icon drove me to do it. I just had to. I had to experience it for myself. I am so glad I did.
Ric Flair is going out as he has always been: at the top of his game and in style.
I am just going out in my church's gymnasium. But like many of today's famous, paid, and well-respected professional wrestlers, I got into wrestling because of Ric Flair, and I am walking away from it because of him, too.
At work today, I told my boss, "I can do anything today, because I saw Ric Flair live!"
My young, 20 year old co-worker asked, "Who is Ric Flair?"
I weep for the future.