– rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Wrestling Inc. Daily recently interviewed WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, who discussed returning to the ring after a lengthy hiatus in 2002 with WWE. Flair’s first match back was against Vince McMahon at the 2002 Royal Rumble. Below are some highlights from WrestlingInc.com.
Ric Flair on first speaking to Vince McMahon: “I walked up to him when I first got there and I said, ‘Man, how do handle all of this?’ He said, ‘I can’t take time away not to handle it because 300 people are dependent on me every day.’ He was referring to talent, staff, office and that’s the truth. We’re all dependent on him even to this day. I am too as I just re-signed, so I’m dependent on him. This wrestling business – whether you like it or don’t like it – is the most insensitive business in the world. We all get into it knowing full speed. Everybody gets their chance and if you don’t make it, you can’t find blame and need to look at yourself.”
Flair on not having self-confidence for his first match back in WWE in 2002 against Vince McMahon: “First of all, I had no self-confidence and Hunter helped me with that. [Vince] was overwhelmed that he was getting to wrestle me. He goes, ‘This is such a huge honor’ and I’m going, ‘Oh my God! This is not what I’m looking for. I need you to tell me that we don’t have to do this [laughs].’ I was cosmetically insecure and mentally insecure.”
On getting asked to face Vince McMahon at the 2002 Rumble event: “That took a whole load off me. As far as my self-confidence with talking, I’m great. Getting in the ring – zero [self-confidence]. I get there in November and in January Shane asks, ‘What do you think of wrestling my dad at the Royal Rumble?’ I’m thinking that’s not what we agreed upon [laughs]. Sure enough, here we are.”
Flair on The Undertaker talking about his confidence issues: “Mark and I talked about it. I was texting him while watching it and he was doing an interview on ESPN where he alluded to me. My self-confidence was mental while Mark’s was physical. I have had physical issues but I’ve come back from them. But Mark is 6’10” and 330 pounds and throws himself around the ring. He’s done stuff over the top rope that even Rey Mysterio does. He’s had injury problems and I’m glad that they’re showing what our guys go through. They think the injections and all of that are just for football or basketball. Take that times 20 as our guys are on the road 200 days a year… It was worse for Mark in his heyday in the early 90s as we were out for 60 days at a time. Mark’s one of those guys – and this is what I’m so proud of [Charlotte] about – they’re gonna go out there at a house show with 100 people and give them a match. That’s what separates the greats from the people who are just getting thru.”
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