WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair spoke to TV Insider about a multitude of topics, including his thoughts on how WWE can improve television ratings, and what he thinks of his soon to be son-in-law, Andrade. Highlights are below.
How it’s all about having fun for himself right now:
I probably feel like right now I’m recognized more as a crossover demographic type guy. Whether it be the pop culture [stuff], wrestling, motivational things for sports teams like the Falcons or the University of Georgia. I’m sure I’ll do something for Florida, Georgia or Auburn this year. I have stepchildren at all three…For me, it’s all about having fun right now.
Says he doesn’t like to sit on the sidelines and is grateful that WWE still uses him on television:
Some people are just happy to go home and sit on the sidelines. I love to always be doing something. I had a great time when I was on Raw a couple of times with Randy. To be 71 and even be on TV and be involved with WWE, that’s huge for me.
On lending his wealth of knowledge to WWE’s younger stars:
The kids treat me with so much respect. It’s nice. I never feel any level of discomfort. I just feel like I’m one of them. I watch, so I know what I’m talking about if someone asks me a question. I don’t miss any of the shows. So if a question arises while I’m there, I can answer it intelligently and at least give my opinion. I don’t walk in there as a stranger of the product. I walk in there as a fan. I’m just thrilled and amazed at how hard they all work. Nothing has changed when it comes to that part of the business. There is no substitute for hard work, whether there are fans in attendance or not. They give 120 percent. This past Monday night they had a tremendous show. I don’t care what the ratings say. I think the pandemic has hurt a lot of things. The wrestling product they gave out Monday night was great, which is what they do every week. I watch NXT too. Raw was a hell of a show. Randy Orton’s interview to open it with Sasha and Asuka having a great match. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are back out there now. Seth [Rollins] and Drew [McIntyre] and Dolph [Ziggler]. It’s a hell of a show. They have a lot of talent.
I think he is one of the top five guys in the business. He is a great kid. I hope they continue to push him and [Angel] Garza. I like Garza a lot. I think Zelina [Vega] does a tremendous job when given the opportunity to talk. She also looks like a million bucks. She knows how to be a heel. Both those kids Angel and Andrade can work. The sky’s the limit for them. It all depends on the direction the company goes in, but they’re really good. They’re solid. You can’t see through their work. Manny [Andrade] is really good. As big as he is, he can do what Rey Mysterio can do. I have a ton of respect for all of them.
What he thinks WWE can do to turn the ratings around:
I’ve been watching wrestling for a long time. I don’t pay attention to the competition. So I’m not sure what Raw or the other shows are really up against. I think it’s the whole thing right now. Believe it or not, I do think sitting at home watching, it is fun to watch in front of a large audience. That can affect it. But in terms of the kids working hard, come on. They’re busting their ass. I can’t say enough about that. They are also missing some key players but keep marching on. That’s what successful people do. They don’t make excuses. They have that good work ethic that it will come back around. I don’t think anyone is taking it personal. It’s what is going on right now. Vince McMahon, WWE, will bounce back bigger and better a year from now. The pandemic has stopped a lot of things. It has given a different perspective on a lot of things, but it’s not due to their attitudes or level of performance.