Ric Flair is a true legend in professional wrestling, but the strict definition by that varies - mainly depending on what kind of generation you come from. The 16-time world champion is still making appearances from time to time on WWE television, and when he does, it always reminds us of the many memories that he made for us all over the years.
Some were good and some were obviously bad, and today, we're going to run through a few of the reasons why some critics consider him to be overrated - and others still think of him as the best thing since sliced bread.
10 OVERRATED - Match Quality
It might just be us not appreciating the old school style, but whatever the case may be, we just aren’t massive fans of a lot of Ric’s work.
The man himself is a great technical wrestler, but we’ve never been consistently entertained by all of his feuds and matches. The likes of Steamboat, Michaels and Rhodes were obviously able to pull the best out of him, but in our minds, there are very few Flair bouts that would make it into our top 50 of all time favorites within the industry.
9 NOT - Promo Work
The promo work was always a little bit old there and often insane, but at the very least, it was coherent. Ric Flair knew how to make you care about a match, even if it was Jim Duggan going one on one with a broomstick.
In another life, he could’ve easily succeeded at being nothing more than a promoter, which is a genuine testament to the kind of abilities that he possessed. Stick a microphone in his face and put a camera on him, and you’ll get magic – from a tear in his eye to Old Yeller.
8 OVERRATED - Title Reigns
When you win 16 world championships you also lose 16 world championships, and with that, you also open yourself up to a world of skepticism and constant questions over the validity of your title wins.
Some of the reigns Flair had just weren’t worthy of being called ‘world title’ reigns, and the funniest part of it all is that a lot of folks have said the same thing about John Cena in the past. It’s a great accomplishment when you look at it from a broad perspective but beyond that, we think it’s a bit overhyped.
7 NOT – Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair is the best women’s wrestler on the planet, and you could almost certainly argue that Ric Flair is the primary reason behind that.
Ric was the one who introduced her to the business in the first place, and he would’ve been the one to help her learn all of the tricks and traits that have allowed her to be such an overwhelming success story. They’re clearly still very close, and as the years go by, part of Ric’s legacy will almost certainly be intertwined with his daughter’s legacy.
6 OVERRATED - TNA Run
When Ric Flair was retired by Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24, we all took his word that it would be his final match in pro wrestling. Just a few short years later, however, Flair made the jump over to TNA – and unfortunately, the rest is history.
We won’t say that Ric’s time there was a complete embarrassment or waste of time, but it definitely won’t be featured in his best bits anytime soon. Well, aside from the Jay Lethal stuff, perhaps, which should hardly come as much of a surprise.
5 NOT - Faction Legacy
The two primary factions that Ric Flair aligned himself with was Evolution and the Four Horsemen, also known as two of the very best factions in the history of professional wrestling. There are so few others that come close and while you could certainly compare the two in a lot of ways, we tend to view them as being pretty different from one another.
Flair was given the freedom to reinvent himself with Evolution which, in many ways, didn’t even seem possible after carving out such a great run with the Horsemen.
4 OVERRATED - Poor Role Model
While we can completely understand the idea behind a pro wrestling character being nothing more than just a character, it doesn’t seem or feel like that logic really applies to Ric Flair.
We’re talking about a man who lived an incredibly high profile and luxury life, and a big part of that stems from what kind of persona he had in the pro wrestling world. We all know that Ric is a big drinker and has been for many years, and we shouldn’t be teaching people that it’s ‘okay’ behavior.
3 NOT - The Character
With the last point being said, one thing we do have to commend Ric Flair on was his ability to make things feel unique. His character certainly fell into that definition, from the tremendous robes to the strut to the entrance music and beyond.
Whenever Ric Flair went out in front of a crowd, whether it was for an appearance or to wrestle, it just felt special. People tuned in to see this man do his thing, and there’s nobody else on the planet who could’ve pulled it off quite as effectively.
2 OVERRATED - Reaching That Next Level
Throughout the course of history, there have been a handful of stars that have stood out as genuine heroes and icons within their own right. In our opinion, this group features Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena and potentially Bruno Sammartino.
There are many of you out there who would include Ric in that description, but in our mind, he falls just sort alongside the likes of Shawn Michaels, Dusty Rhodes, The Undertaker and more old school legends within that bracket. He’s great, but not ‘god tier’ great.
1 NOT - Cultural Influence
Remember all of those legendary mainstream figures that came to Ric Flair’s birthday? Or perhaps all of those other sportsmen that imitate him at every turn? That’s the sort of cultural influence and impact that this man has had over the years.
The “WOOO!” in particular seems to have gained a cult following within itself, and while some people hate that, others use it as a way to celebrate the legend of Flair. We’d imagine that’ll continue to be the case long after all of us, including Ric, are gone.