Ric Flair was recently a guest on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling, where he had this to say:
"If I was 35 years old right now, they wouldn’t be able to afford me, and boy they need help with the ratings right now, both of them [laughs]. Those written interviews, you can tell a mile away whether the kids feel it or not, it’s a lot of pressure to read something that you don’t actually feel in your heart. That’s a big difference. If they are thinking about what they are handed to memorize, they put no emotion into it. That’s just talking generically. It doesn’t sell tickets. When The Rock comes back to wrestle Roman (Reigns), that will sell tickets. When Steve Austin came back, that sold tickets. It’s a different timeframe. The talent is great, make no mistake, there are some great wrestlers. (Randy) Orton, my daughter [Charlotte Flair], Sasha Banks, AJ Styles. There’s a list of a great top ten between the two companies, but the events sell themselves now, as much as the wrestlers do. I don’t think they turn them loose enough. They want to make sure they get the right advertisers, everyone has to be happy. It’s a whole different world. I still love it, I just feel that the guys who are really great like Randy and my daughter, they are held back because they only want people to go that far. They don’t want anybody to become The Rock, that’s going to walk off or become Steve, who can say, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ Back in the day with Hulk (Hogan), he’d say, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ he had that kind of power. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but Vince won’t let that happen again. He won’t let anyone get in a position where they can say, ‘Hey, see ya.’ I understand that, it’s business."
On wrestling companies lacking stars:
“I think Roman, my daughter, Randy, AJ are larger than life, but they don’t let them get larger than they want them to get. There has never been a better worker, period, in the company than my daughter, but they’re going to keep her in check. They keep everybody in check. They don’t let the situation get out of control to where someone walks off and ‘wow, how do we replace them?’ Talent is limited. They just signed 70 different guys, college athletes, out of that 70, I bet two of them make it. It’s a different business. Being a good athlete in college has nothing to do with being a wrestler. Time away from home, sacrifice, three days a week from noon until midnight. It’s a lot.”
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