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[1991-09-09-WWF-Primetime Wrestling] Ric Flair debut


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  • 3 months later...

Ric Flair makes his debut, and this seems off right away, even though Bobby Heenan does a great job introducing him. But the scripted booing, Flair wearing his robe for no reason, and Sean Mooney's presence makes Flair seem out of his best environment. Flair's hair is returning to its old form though. Flair calls out both Piper and Hogan and does a good promo. Flair says he's been calling Hogan out for 10 years and Hogan has never answered him, but he's about to bust his bubble. For anyone who wasn't really a fan in the 80s, it's impossible to understate how big of a dream match Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan was for years. But if you didn't realize that, don't feel too bad, because the WWF was so in their bubble that I'm not sure they did either.

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  • 1 month later...

Welcome back, Ric. It's an odd environment to debut him in, but robe aside this is still Ric Flair. That's more than I can say about when Hawk & Animal and myriad other NWA talent debuted. It was enough to be a completely mindblowing segment at the time, even if the follow-up wasn't really there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like Bobby’s sweater. Not the right setting for Flair’s debut. He gets the red carpet treatment but he’s wearing his robe/wrestling boots and doing a promo in front of the fake studio audience. There is someone in the audience that looks like former Indiana coach Bob Knight. I can only imagine what it was like to see Flair in WWF back in 91. Flair will shake things up at the top on the heel side.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I kind of liked Flair coming out in his gear. It got a little much to constantly hear about his out-of-the-ring conquests when it came to women, cars, and fancy suits. Here, he has only one objective: to get Hulk Hogan in the ring and humble him. It's like he's saying, "I'm ready right now, Hogan. Are you?"

 

That said, I agree about debuting him on Prime Time, which is the least of the three shows at the time with new content. I won't quibble about the audience, but know this: the last big angle to begin on Prime Time was Terry Taylor (as The Red Rooster) vs. Steve Lombardi (as the Brooklyn Brawler). We all know what land-office business that one did, right? I realize that Flair was under WCW contract until September 1, so a SummerSlam debut was out, but there had to be a bigger platform for a debut like this, like a special SNME (although that show had lost most of its prestige by now). At least Vince could have come back for one more show. Then again, I believe that they wanted to show Flair as nothing special, just another pretender for Hogan to shut up, so why not let the third stringer handle it?

 

I'm not even sure that Vince saw Flair/Hogan as the big money where Flair was concerned; I'm beginning to think that Flair's biggest feud was going to be with Piper all along. Sure, he had to give the world Flair/Hogan eventually, but I'm thinking that Taker was always Vince's big plan for a Hogan challenger at this time. If that wasn't the case, why not do Hogan/Flair at Survivor Series and have Flair steal the win there, which gives him a five-month reign before Hogan (or Savage, if Hogan still plans on retiring) wins it back at Mania VIII? Sure, Flair has a win over Hogan, but you can massage it so everyone knows without a doubt that it was a cheapie. If Hogan insists on getting his win back before he goes, have him beat Flair non-title on the way out, or do the same angle that happened in real life (with Curt as Downtown Bruno and Savage as Warrior) to set up a Savage/Flair title program

 

I liked Heenan insisting on the red carpet treatment for Flair over Sean's objections, and also how he stayed out of the spotlight once Flair started talking. He knew this was Flair's time to do what he did best. It's just unfortunate that he couldn't hang with Flair on the road, because outside of JJ Dillon (who, don't forget, was already in the WWF front office and thus available), no other manager in wrestling was as good of a fit for him. Jimmy Hart didn't even come close when he filled in at house shows from what I've read, and Curt just needed a paycheck. The angle lost a lot when Heenan decided to stay in the booth, as good as he was there at times during Flair bouts and angles.

 

Based on this debut, it seems like there are hot times ahead now that the Nature Boy is on the scene. Where did it all go wrong? We'll find out soon enough.

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  • 2 years later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1991-09-09-WWF-Primetime Wrestling] Ric Flair debut

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