Watching from my seat, I can’t help but worry. Heck, you’re trying not to be scared.
The 73-year-old icon, who stepped into the Nashville ring from professional wrestling’s Mount Rushmore, brought with him a history of pacemakers and serious health scare and is now out of action. Still eyeing the rope to make sure it gets up from.
It’s all part of the show, right?
right. A few minutes pass before he crawls far enough to extend his arm at the dead foe. But this is professional wrestling, so of course the referee is knocked out. No one counts to three.
Spoiler: It works. A new umpire has run full steam ahead and has been empowered to officially wrap up a glorious legendary career. Purple confetti – you see, Flair was dressed in purple – sails through the raucous City Auditorium, where Flair shows his bloodied face during a nasty sequence outside the ring to his family and friends. Respected by friends. He walked off, blew kisses to the enthusiastic crowd, then walked out and headed to Kid Rock’s bar, he told the crowd.
Once again, heartily:
text esthetics: Tennessee Subscribers Only: Become a Text Pal with Sports Columnist Gentry Estes
Beauty of volume: Tennessee Football Rules Violation Serious, But A Relic For NIL’s Future
Beauty of Titan: Houston Texans loss of Zach Cunningham remains a big gain for Tennessee Titans
the only nature boy
Nashville was lucky. Ric Flair has only one of him. On Sunday night and the day before, he brought a piece of history to the city.
Nature Boy has promised this will be his “last match”. This is a tag team affair that features and aims to protect the legend who passed away five years ago. It wasn’t always a great idea, but being in the spotlight is hard to let go of.
“Everyone says, ‘When is it going to get old?'” Flair said. That’s all. In the old days, we had to fight for respect.”
Personal acknowledgment: I’m not a wrestling guy.
I haven’t followed this closely since I was a teenager. I may have known the names of some of the WWE wrestlers at SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium on Saturday night.
But I knew all about flares. who wouldn’t?
when he Talked to the Tennessee Titans After Thursday’s practice, the famous NFL player and their sober coach Mike Vrabel briefly reverted to adolescence in front of Flair. These are the men who don’t get starstruck.
“It’s kind of surreal to meet someone like him,” said running back Derrick Henry, acknowledging the difference between his own celebrity and someone like Flair.
Ressler told Titans about family, distractions, and how “a long career ended in a blink of an eye.”
SummerSlam 2022 Photos: WWE SummerSlam 2022 in Nashville
The visit to St. Thomas Sports Park was clearly meant to promote Sunday’s game, but Flair was adamant.
“There’s no one from WWE here,” Flair said. “I am here. And WWE is in town. Please don’t think.”
It’s hard to believe there will be a lot of attacks on the WWE side, but there are probably some shades.
“I mean, it’s Ric Flair,” Titans linebacker Zach Cunningham said.
exactly. what else do i need to say?
Professional wrestling blurs the line between sports and entertainment. But we all know it’s a performance. Athletes are athletes, sure, but their work is choreographed and scripted.
Here’s what makes Flair special: he.
When professional wrestling took off in the 1980s and early 1990s, it seemed like everyone had a gimmick, even the top performers. They wore elaborate costumes and used props, were basically cast as characters, and were more cartoonish than the others.
Hulkamania was wrapped in the American flag. Roddy Roddy Piper had bagpipes. Jake Roberts had a snake. “Macho Man” Randy Savage also had a Miss Elizabeth.
But a flare was a flare. No gimmicks. Nature his boy grew up in professional wrestling and his own unparalleled popularity he built for one reason. In a largely blue-collar clientele-oriented realm, Flair has gone out of his way to boast wealth and status, sex appeal, and a flamboyant lifestyle. He then went away.
“Nature Boy was my wrestling character. Nature Boy wasn’t fake. Nature Boy was me,” Flair said in the movie Nature Boy. ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary“…” “I did it when I said it on TV. I lived the gimmick.”
By God you also believe in him. The real intention was different. That’s how the “bad guys” achieved unprecedented popularity and influence in pop culture that continues to this day.
Clearly, Flair wasn’t Sunday’s heel. A fun pre-game story – Flair was voiced in a parking lot by Nashville-area native Jeff Jarrett (not a 55-year-old lad) – built up the drama. From the moment Flair arrived in standard, gaudy robes, onlookers stood firm against him and his wrestling son-in-law partner. did.
It may not have been real.
But there was less deception about the risk of the old man exposing himself to such an ordeal. That’s what made it so attractive.
It was human about it. and genuine.
and showy. And it’s fun.
And oh, it fits so well.
Nature Boy couldn’t have done it any other way.
Contact Tennessee sports columnist Gentry Estes ([email protected]) and Twitter (@Gentry_Estes).
This article was originally published in Nashville Tennessee. Ric Flair’s last wrestling match was as weirdly real as he was