I've watched the video of Ric Flair on Monday night Raw now about five times, not counting seeing it live last night, and I still don't know what to make of it, Cagesiders. What were they going for? Was Flair impaired? Was Triple H pissed, for real?
I thought maybe transcribing it would help:
Is this St. Louis, Missouri?
Have I ever been here before?
Well I have and I've had a lot of fun, thank you. But what I'm here tonight is to tell the whole world that it's great being in the ring with men that exude what this business is all about. DOMINANCE.
Now I ran for years with The Four Horsemen. Ran up and down the road - we ran wild. But we controlled the marketplace. We styled (WOO) and we profiled. The same can be said for Evolution. Good Lord, Dave. I miss seeing you out on Saturday night. You too, buddy. You were always home eating a ribeye. You know, in my years on the road, I have seen everything come full circle. And I mean the word greatness come full circle. And tonight, I'm surrounded with Superstars that exemplify power, style and grace. But what I'm talking about now...is...The Shield.
But it doesn't. It's a lot shorter than what it seemed when watching Flair's staggered annunciation throughout, but it still rambles. The basics of "I know dominant stables, Evolution used to be one, The Shield is one now" are all there, but when as much time is spent on cheap pop and self-congratulatory in-jokes, those nuts and bolts get lost.
Nothing about Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins characters indicates that they would particularly care about an endorsement from Naitch, so they're weary reception of his praise makes sense. But the three men who are supposed to be disrespected no sell this to an epic degree.
Hunter goes from mocking his mentor's mannerisms, to smirking at his jokes to just staring blankly by the time he's shaken hands with his young rivals. Batista never takes off his shades, only smiles once and shares a few side words with The Game when it's over that don't look like they were acting. Randy Orton is the only one who remembers to look outraged that The Nature Boy just dissed him, but it takes him a beat to do so.
Then there's the wink from Flair to Trips when it's over. Was that supposed to be enough to let us know that this was part of an Evolution mind game, or just another mis-step from a Legend who isn't as savvy in front of a big crowd as he once was?
Help me out here, cSs. Was this just a bad idea or a poorly executed segment, or is there something more going on here, and something we should be legitimately concerned about?