Ric Flair was once in the running to be named Person of the Century until Time came along and ruined everyone's fun.
Being a wrestling fan can often feel like a bit of a lonely existence. After we have sat through a particularly hard going three hours of Raw, we often ask ourselves why we even still watch wrestling. We sometimes feel as if, for most people, it is something you like when you're young and eventually grow out of.
However, there are also moments when we are reminded we are not alone in our wrestling fandom. That literally millions of others around the world are watching along with us. We watch WrestleMania, during which literally tens of thousands of people are crammed into a stadium just to watch wrestling. We were also reminded of how many wrestling fans there are in the world towards the end of the 20th century.
Some of you might assume we are referring to the number of people who were watching Raw and Nitro at that time. We're not. We're referring to a time when Ric Flair sat in third on a poll to name Time's Person of the Century. Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported in November of 1998 that only Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler had managed to amass more votes than Naitch.
At that point, Time felt the need to step up and ruin everyone's fun. The removal of Hitler from the poll was pretty self-explanatory. However, it needed to throw a rule in place to justify the removal of Jesus and Flair. Time stated that the eventual winner of the poll had to be someone who had lived during the 20th century. That obviously eliminated Jesus, and due to the fact that Ric Flair is technically a character played by Richard Fliehr, the 16-time World Champion was out too.
As much as we would have loved to see Flair named as Time's Person of the Century, we understand the intervention. What doesn't sit well with us is that after the new stipulations were put in place, Bart Simpson managed to make the shortlist. We're assuming that's the animated character Bart Simpson and not some random real-life person who shares the name. If so, we ask you this, Time. Why is Bart Simpson allowed and not Ric Flair?