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Ric Flair 2

جمعه 21 بهمن 1390 09:26 ب.ظ

نویسنده : MR WRESTLING

Return to World Championship Wrestling

[edit] Retirement teases (1993–1996)

Flair with Jimmy Hart.

Flair returned to WCW as a face in February 1993 and, as a result of a "no-compete" clause, hosted a short-lived talk show in WCW called A Flair for the Gold as he was unable to appear wrestling. Arn Anderson usually appeared at the bar on the show's set, and Flair's maid, Fifi (portrayed by Wendy Barlow),[20] cleaned or bore gifts. Once he returned to action, Flair briefly held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for a tenth time after defeating Barry Windham at Beach Blast before WCW finally left the NWA in September 1993. At Starrcade in 1993, Flair was placed in a match, which was billed that if Flair lost, he would retire from wrestling. The match ended with Flair using a chop block and roll-up on the gigantic Vader to win the title for the second time.

In June 1994, Flair defeated Sting in a unification match, merging the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship with the WCW World Championship. This concluded a slow heel turn for Flair that started when he defeated Ricky Steamboat in a controversial manner some months earlier. Flair later feuded with Hulk Hogan upon Hogan's arrival in WCW in June 1994, losing the WCW World Championship to him in July at Bash at the Beach. Flair lost a retirement match to Hogan at Halloween Havoc and took a few months off before returning as a wrestler and part-time manager in 1995 (explained on-air by having Flair nag Hogan for months until Hogan agreed to let Flair come back). He and Randy Savage renewed hostilities when Savage arrived in WCW late in 1994, and their feud continued off and on for almost two years with each wrestler winning the WCW World Championship from each other at different times. Flair defeated Savage in a steel cage match at SuperBrawl VI to win the WCW World title, which saw Savage betrayed by Elizabeth in favor of Flair. The Nature Boy also defeated Konnan on July 7 at Bash at the Beach to win the United States Championship. He vacated it in November of that year due to an arm injury he suffered in Japan, during a match with Kensuke Sasaki.

[edit] Feud with nWo (1996–1997)

Once again as a top babyface, Flair played a major role in the New World Order storyline in late 1996 and throughout 1997. He and the other Horsemen often took the lead in the war against Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan. Flair also feuded with Roddy Piper, Syxx, and his old nemesis, Curt Hennig, in 1997 after Hennig was offered a spot in the Four Horsemen only to turn on Flair and the Horsemen at Fall Brawl in 1997. Hennig punctuated the act by slamming the cage door onto Flair's head. After Fall Brawl. Flair would return a month later to feud with Curt Hennig over the US title (which Hennig won from Steve McMichael). Flair would challenge for the title at Halloween Havoc and World War 3, losing both times.

[edit] Return from hiatus and various feuds (1998–2001)

In April 1998, Flair disappeared from WCW television, due to a lawsuit filed by Eric Bischoff for no-showing a WCW Thunder TV taping. After the case was settled, Flair made a surprise return on September 14, 1998 to ceremoniously reform the Four Horsemen (along with Steve McMichael, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit). Flair feuded with Bischoff for several months afterward. This culminated in a match at Starrcade 1998 between Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair. Bischoff was victorious after interference from Curt Hennig, a former member of the Four Horsemen. The following night in Baltimore on Nitro, Flair returned with a crazy streak angle in what became one his most notable interview promos reviving the "custom made from head to toe" catchphrase. He began by stripping to his boxers and threatening to leave WCW, demanding a match against Bischoff for the presidency of the company, and later handcuffing himself to the ring. The match was made, and despite the nWo interfering on Bischoff's behalf Flair won and was granted the position of president of WCW. This resulted in a match at Superbrawl between Flair and Hollywood Hogan for the WCW Championship, which Flair lost after being betrayed by his own son David Flair. In spite of this betrayal, Flair signed a rematch at Uncensored 1999 which was billed as a First Blood Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match against Hogan where Flair's presidency and Hogan's WCW World Heavyweight Championship were on the line. Despite being the first to bleed, Flair won the match by submission thanks to the bias of the referee Charles Robinson, who counted Hogan out. This match was a double turn for Flair (who turned heel) and Hogan (who turned face). Robinson would be nicknamed "Lil' Naitch", idolizing Flair and officiating all of Flair's matches in his favor.[citation needed]

As on-air President, Flair began abusing his power much like Bischoff had, favoring villains over fan favorites and even awarding the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship to his son David and resorting to whatever means necessary to keep David U.S. Champion. This also led to many more notable promos with Flair proclaiming, "I am the President". Flair eventually formed a stable of followers which included Roddy Piper, Arn Anderson, and the Jersey Triad to keep things in order. Flair's reign as president came to an end on the July 19 episode of Nitro, facing Sting for the WCW presidency. During the course of the match, Sting had Flair in his Scorpion Death Lock, but with the referee knocked unconscious, no decision could be reached. A returning Eric Bischoff came to the ring and began ordering the timekeeper to ring the bell, which he eventually did, awarding the match and the presidency to Sting (who promptly gave it up upon receiving it).

Flair won the WCW World Championship twice during 2000, the company's last full year of operation. When WCW was purchased by the WWF in March 2001, Flair was the leader of the villainous group called the Magnificent Seven. During the final episode of Nitro on March 26, 2001, he gave an emotional speech regarding the company's greatness and his best matches and opponents in WCW throughout the years, including Sting. Later in the night, Flair lost the final match of Nitro to Sting, recreating the first main event of Nitro in 1995. Nevertheless, Flair has repeatedly stated in various interviews how happy he was when WCW finally closed down; although, at the same time, the fact that many people would lose their jobs saddened him.[21]

[edit] Return to World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

A bloody Flair at WrestleMania X8.

[edit] WWF co-owner (2001–2002)

After hiatus from wrestling, Flair made a popular return to the WWF in November 2001 as the on-camera co-owner of the company and as a face in Charlotte on RAW in November 2001.[22] Flair reappeared on Raw following the end of the "WCW/ECW Invasion" that culminated in a "Winner Take All" match at Survivor Series won by the WWF.[23] Flair's new on-screen role was that of the co-owner of the WWF, with the explanation that Shane and Stephanie McMahon had sold their stock in the company to a consortium (namely Flair) prior to purchasing World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling.[24] Flair's feud with Vince McMahon led them to a match at the Royal Rumble in 2002 in a Street Fight, where Flair defeated McMahon.[23] Flair also wrestled The Undertaker at WrestleMania X8 in 2002 where Flair lost after a hard fought battle and interference by Arn Anderson.[25] From then, the "co-owner" angle culminated in early 2002, when Flair controlled Raw, and McMahon controlled Smackdown!.[26] After Steve Austin abruptly left WWE while in a program with Flair, a match was hotshotted between Flair and Vince for sole ownership of WWE, which McMahon won, thanks to interference by Brock Lesnar.[27]

[edit] Evolution (2003–2005)

Flair later became a villain by joining Triple H's "Evolution" stable.[28] Flair won the World Tag Team Championship with Batista twice in 2003 and 2004.[29][30] After HHH took time off following Vengeance and for the rest of the summer, Flair would become a fan favorite again by beginning a short feud with Kurt Angle. Later, at Unforgiven in 2005, Flair defeated Carlito for the Intercontinental Championship.[31]

On the October 3 edition of Raw, Flair was attacked by his Evolution tag team partner Triple H, after Triple H threw him into a limousine and smashing into limousine window for using sledge hammer. On November 1, 2005 at Taboo Tuesday, Flair defeated Triple H in a steel cage match. Flair continued his feud with Triple H until Survivor Series, when Triple H defeated him in a Last Man Standing match to end the feud.

[edit] Various rivalries and retirement (2006–2008)

At the end of 2005 Flair had a feud with Edge, culminating in a WWE championship TLC match on the RAW in early 2006. On the February 20 edition of Raw he lost to Shelton Benjamin.[32] Flair then took some time off in mid-2006 to rest and marry for the third time; he returned in June to work a program with his real life rival Mick Foley that played off their legitimate past animosity.[33] Flair defeated Foley at SummerSlam in an "I Quit" match.[34]

Flair and Carlito in 2007.

Subsequently, he was involved in a rivalry with the Spirit Squad on Raw. On November 5, 2006 at Cyber Sunday, he captured the World Tag Team Championship from the Squad with Roddy Piper.[34] On the November 13 edition of Raw, Flair and Piper lost the Tag Titles to Rated-RKO,[35] due to a disc problem with Piper and had to be flown immediately back to the USA as soon as Raw was off the air. On November 26, 2006 at Survivor Series, Flair was the sole survivor of a match that featured himself, Ron Simmons (replacing an injured Piper), Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter versus the Spirit Squad.[34] Flair then left television due to his divorce hearings. On the December 11, 2006 edition of Raw, Flair returned to team up with DX again. They defeated Rated-RKO and Kenny Dykstra.[36]

Flair then began teaming with Carlito after Flair said that Carlito had no heart.[37] Flair defeated Carlito in a match after which Carlito realized that Flair was right.[38] Flair and Carlito faced off against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in a number one contender's match for the World Tag Team Championship but were defeated. The two teamed up at Wrestlemania 23, and defeated the team of Chavo Guerrero and Gregory Helms. After weeks of conflict between Flair and Carlito,[39][40] the team split up when Carlito attacked Flair during a match.[41] At Judgment Day, Flair defeated Carlito with the figure four leglock.[42] His career was put at risk following a match with Randy Orton on June 4, 2007.[43]

On the June 11 edition of Raw, Flair was drafted from Raw to SmackDown! as part of the 2007 WWE Draft.[44] He briefly feuded against Montel Vontavious Porter[45][46] and rejoined forces with Batista to feud with The Great Khali; the alliance was short-lived, however, as Flair was "injured" during a match with Khali.[47][48]

After three month hiatus, Flair returned to WWE programming on the November 26 edition of Raw to announce "I will never retire".[49][50] Vince McMahon retaliated by announcing that the next match Flair lost would result in a forced retirement.[49] Later in the night, Flair defeated Orton after a distraction by Chris Jericho.[49][50] It was revealed on the 15th anniversary of Raw that the win or retire ultimatum only applied in singles matches. Flair won several "career threatening" matches against the opponents such as Triple H, Umaga, William Regal, Mr. Kennedy, and Vince McMahon himself among others.[51][52][53] On March 29, 2008, Flair was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a part of the Class of 2008 by Triple H. Flair became the first active wrestler to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. The day after, Flair wrestled at WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, Florida, losing to Shawn Michaels.[54] This match was voted the 2008 PWI Match of the Year. Flair's fight to keep his career going garnered him the 2008 PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award.

[edit] Part time appearances (2008–2009)

Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV.

On the March 31, 2008 edition of Raw, Flair delivered his farewell address. Afterward, Triple H brought out many current and retired superstars to thank Flair for all he has done, including Shawn Michaels, some of the Four Horsemen, Harley Race, and Chris Jericho, followed by The Undertaker and then Vince McMahon. Along with the wrestlers, the fans gave Ric a standing ovation. This event represented a rare moment in WWE as both the heels and the faces broke character and came out to the ring together. The Undertaker's and McMahon's entrances, however, were not shown on the TV taping of Raw for the week in order to preserve their characters, more in the case of the Undertaker as it involved him hugging Ric Flair and then raising his arm in victory, but were included in Nature Boy Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection DVD as extras.

Flair made his first post retirement appearance on the June 16, 2008 edition of Raw to confront Chris Jericho about his actions during a rivalry with Shawn Michaels. He challenged Jericho to a fight in the parking lot, rather than an official match, but was ejected from the building by Vince McMahon.[55] The following year on February 9 Flair once again confronted Chris Jericho on Raw. Jericho was attacking Hall of Fame members and Flair demanded he respect them, before punching Jericho.[56] Flair appeared a month later to distract him during a Money in the Bank. Jericho then challenged Flair to come out of retirement for WrestleMania XXV; instead Flair managed Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Ricky Steamboat in a three-on-one handicap match at WrestleMania in a losing effort.[57][58][59]

On May 17 Flair returned to WWE during the Judgment Day pay-per-view, coming to the aid of Batista, who was being attacked by The Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase). On his last appearance in WWE, on the June 1 episode of Raw, Flair challenged Randy Orton in a parking lot brawl match, after an interference from the rest of The Legacy, the fight ended with Flair was trapped inside a steel cage and was punted by Orton. After Raw, Flair left WWE when his contract expired on June 2, 2009.

[edit] Ring of Honor and Hulkamania Tour (2009)

The Main Event of Hulkmania Tour in 2009, Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan.

Flair signed with Ring of Honor (ROH) and appeared at the aptly titled Stylin' And Profilin' event in March 2009, clearing the ring after an ROH World Championship match ended with a run-in.[60] He soon served as the company's ambassador, in an on-screen authority role, and appeared on the television show Ring of Honor Wrestling in May to cement his role.[61] After a number one contender's match ended in a time-limit draw, and the following week a double count out, Flair announced Ring of Honor Wrestling's first ROH World Title match as a four-way contest.[62]

On November 21, 2009, Flair returned to the ring as a heel on the "Hulkamania: Let the Battle Begin" tour of Australia, losing to Hulk Hogan in the main event of the first show by brassknuckles.[1] Flair lost to Hogan again on November 24 in Perth, Australia. Both men bled and Flair was pinned after being hit with a megaphone by Hogan.[1] Flair also lost to Hogan on the two remaining matches on the tour, both times after being struck by a megaphone.[1][63]

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