As everyone knows by now, Ric Flair will return to battle on July 31, 2022. Eleven years after his last fight, the 'Nature Boy' has decided to get back into the game amid general skepticism. While fans of him are enthusiastic, insiders and former colleagues believe it is not a wise move given Ric's age and state of health.
In addition to being a 16-time world champion, Flair has amassed a myriad of accolades during his long and glorious career. In 2012, he also became the first wrestler ever to be inducted twice into the WWE Hall of Fame, both individually and as a member of the 'Four Horsemen'
In a recent interview with James Romero for WSI, Dutch Mantell commented on Ric's choice to return to the ring at 73.
Dutch Mantell opens up on Ric Flair
"I think Ric Flair is doing it only out of vanity" - began Dutch Mantell with great bluntness.
“At his age and with all the problems he's had, it doesn't take a genius to realize it's not a wise decision. Vanity is the only explanation that comes to mind" - he added to the dose. Bill Apter echoed him: “I hope that Ric Flair's status will not be affected by this choice.
In the past, several wrestlers and boxers have returned as Ric and it didn't go well. I perfectly remember the match between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, just to name an example. It was clear that Ali was just a bad copy of the legendary boxer we had come to know.
A few bad matches ended up ruining the latter part of his career. Ric Flair could have the same fate. I don't know exactly what his physical condition is and what he's going to do in the ring. However, he has had several health problems over the past few years and - if I were him - I would avoid taking any further risks.
I hope with all my heart that nothing bad happens”. Speaking on his Wooooo Nation Uncensored podcast, Flair was asked for his opinion on Douglas’ ECW promos about him. The 16-time world champion told his co-host, Mark Madden, that the 57-year-old did not succeed in the business: “Who is Shane Douglas? Who is he today? I’m asking.
You know him real well, who is he? … He certainly means nothing to me in terms of being a talent. He never succeeded anywhere. He can say what he wants to say. I don’t think you’ll see him in a Hall of Fame anywhere any time soon," said Flair.