Credit on the article below goes to Mike Mooneyham of the Post and Courier
Austin Says WWE not giving Flair sendoff he deserves
Stone Cold Steve Austin, who pitched a Rocky-like storyline for Ric Flair's final year with WWE, said last week that he hasn't been pleased with the angle thus far.
Austin laid out an elaborate scenario for Flair's last major run with the company following last year's Wrestlemania, but a revised, watered-down angle didn't take root until late November when WWE owner Vince McMahon announced that Flair would have to retire the next time he lost.
Plans for the original storyline called for Flair to either win the title for a 17th and final time before retiring, or lose in an emotional, competitive match for the gold at Wrestlemania 24 in late March. Flair, however, doesn't appear to be in the title hunt at this year's big show, and his most likely opponent for his final match appears to be Shawn Michaels.
Austin admitted he hasn't been watching the product that closely, but added that he didn't think Flair was getting the kind of sendoff and storybook ending to his career that he deserved.
"We're talking about 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair. He's my favorite pro wrestler ever in the history of the business. I know he took a little bit of a break and they brought him back. But I don't think they green-lighted that thing near enough or made it as important as it could be and as it should be."
Austin, who enjoyed the most lucrative run in pro wrestling history during the late '90s, said Flair is the greatest performer — bar none — the industry has ever produced.
"Ric Flair is the most legitimate pro wrestler there ever was. He was the greatest traveling world champion of all time," said Austin. "With all the exposes that pro wrestling was supposed to be fake and it turned into sports entertainment (in the mid-'80s), Ric Flair had the ability to go out there with an opponent of any talent level and have five-star matches. Whatever you thought about pro wrestling, when you saw Ric Flair, you knew that was the man in this sport. You had (Hulk) Hogan, who got hot in the '80s and was kind of the show-bizzy type, but Ric Flair was the real deal in the world of entertainment, which everything is these days. Flair was the man. He still is."