RIP the Naytch!
CNN Breaking News - 31/3/2010, 1148pm - ADF34f.php34f34d
Richard Flair was found dead in his home this evening at around 10:12pm. The superstar had just left WWE programming and moved brands to TNA where guilt and tension to his close WWE friends had pushed him over the edge of sanity.
Richard Flair is a name you won't hear on WWE programming, the former Nature boy having been erased from Wrestling history. Now, with the situation of his suicide, is it time to, if not forgive, at least not forget the former World Champion?
Ric Flair. Two words which provoke a confusing mix of emotions in any wrestling fan. They evoke a hardworking decent man, an intense, tenacious wrestler and a pathetic and despicable final act.
These three sides are impossible to take apart and look at individually yet too contradictory to fit together. Thinking about Ric Flairhurts the head as well as the heart.
If the Nature boy had passed away quietly in his sleep on 31st March 2010, he would now be a recognised and honoured legend.
A veteran of over 20 years, Flair wrestled successfully and memorably in Mexico, Japan, Canada and the US, competing in some of the most standout matches of his era.
Arguably the most emotional finale of any Wrestlemania was Flairs title win in 2004 where, accompanied in the ring by Eddie Guerrero,Flair became utterly overcome with emotion, clutching the belt in tears after an epic victory over Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
Sadly for everyone, Flair woke up on March 31st.
The inside of Flairs mind on that last weekend is impossible to contemplate, his final actions even harder still.
He ended the lives of his wife and child, Flair tore a massive void in both his and his wife's families' lives forever. At the same time he tore a void, tiny and insignificant in comparison, in the lives of wrestling fans.
How are we supposed to feel when the words "Ric Flair" come to mind?
It's hard to think of flair as a hero anymore. The word might be ill-fitting for any professional wrestler but it is how WWE likes to brand its superstars, and Ric Flair simply doesn't fit.
It's also hard to think of Flair as a murderer. This article, written by a fan, has avoided the word until now. The fact is Flair was and is both.
It isn't possible to ignore what Flair did to his family, but might it be possible to remember while acknowledging all the work and dedication that went before?
Flair may never be hailed as a Hall of Famer, but might his existence one day be acknowledged by the business to which he devoted so much?
In one way, perhaps it has. Flair was nothing if not committed. He gave everything the fans demanded, never shirking a move, a bump or a chair shot to the head.
This month, WWE banned the use of chair shots to the head, a small price for fans to pay to the memory of Ric Flair
In the end, Flair gave up his sanity, his legacy, his family and his life for the entertainment and approval of the crowd. Too foolish and too naive to be heroic but surely still worth remembering.