Ric Flair’s advice for AEW: “just developing their own product”

Apr 19, 2019 - by James Walsh

Ric Flair spoke with CBS Sports and discussed his Ric Flair Roast that will headline Starrcast, AEW’s launch and more.

On the roast taking place in Las Vegas at Starrcast II: “I’ve got a lot of history with Caesar’s Palace. Oh God, it was a regular stop in the 80s and 90s, I’m lucky to be here and every day is a blessing. But one of those reasons is Las Vegas. I’ve had a couple of drinks in that town!”

On Thompson: “Conrad is probably one of the most innovative people I’ve ever met in my life. He has been so successful actually starting at the lowest position possible in a [mortgage] company that he now owns. To be able to come out and start a whole new empire, he has revolutionized the podcast world already.”

On how many stories in his roast will likely be true: “Ninety-five percent [are probably true], I’ll give you that. The problem is there have been too many stories. People love to tell stories that never happened, on top of the good and bad. I’ve got sisters, cousins, relatives all over the world according to people.”

On Charlotte Flair’s entrance: “I probably cried the whole week, I’ve been crying since it first came about. I’m so thankful to WWE, from Vince [McMahon] to Hunter [Paul Levesque] and Stephanie [McMahon] and all the powers-that-be who put that together and taking that step forward with the woman. For me, I’ve used the expression about passing the torch, but my daughter just took the torch from me years ago. She is so good but she is just getting going. She has only been in the business for six years, which is hard to believe. The thing about her that separates her from a lot of people is that she’s never satisfied with a performance. I was really proud and I’m proud of WWE for taking that step forward because they deserve it.”

On AEW’s launch: “I’m old school, so I think anytime there is an opportunity for guys to work who are qualified and have been trained properly in a position to be somewhat successful in their attempt to work for either company, I’m all about that. I think that’s great. I don’t think [AEW] should focus on the competition [with WWE] as much as just developing their own product. Their success will come from that. The word competition is great. People love that part of time in the world, but this will be the first time someone with the kind of money that [Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner] Tony [Khan] brings. You know who Tony Khan is? Tony Khan is a sophisticated, intelligent, well-bred ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair with money. Tony Khan is the limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, bringing the hottest chick to every party that I go to with him, son of a gun. Now that he has the joint over in England [as co-owner of the Premier League team Fulham FC], I’m sure he has kissed girls all over the world and made them cry. If I had Tony’s bankroll in the ’80s, who knows where I would have been.”

On his role in WrestleMania 35: “Oh, I had a blade on [me]! Just kidding. But you know what Shawn Michaels said to me? They thought another mark was hitting the ring like the night before with Bret Hart [at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony]. Shawn almost had to superkick me from the announce table.”

On Cody: “It was a magical time in life when his dad and I were working together. People ask me all the time who was my best opponent and they think of Steamboat and Sting, but when I look back on my career, the run I had with Dusty was 20 or 25 years. At worst, we agreed to disagree, but he was a genius and I think he finally got the recognition that he deserves for being as creative as he was from Starrcade to the War Games to the Last Tango in Tampa with him and Harley [Race]. He was so far ahead of his time that I think I would put Dusty, in terms of creativity, right along with Vince [McMahon]. Cody is a great performer and I’m happy that he landed where he has landed on his feet like this. It takes someone with a lot of courage and not just motivation. But to generally take that step forward on your own and be prepared to put yourself in a position where you might not be the most popular guy in the world but you are determined to make something work. It takes a hell of a man. That’s my take on Cody.”

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