The important news first. Days removed from his most recent hospital stay for a planned procedure which was delayed due to complications, Ric Flair is home, cutting promos, and getting ready to hit the road for an appearance in Moline, Illinois. WOO!
As to the content of said promos... woo. In the initial video above, Naitch gets meta, talking about “boring” Richard Fliehr not having friends like Ric Flair does. Naitch shouts out some of those friends, like Steve Austin, Charles Barkley, Triple H & Offset, then vows to “never get old” - both because he wants to continue to influence people across pop culture, and because his wife “wants a 35 year old man every day.” Flair also hints at some grudges he’s holding.
In this second video, after he’s “calmed down”, we learn one of those grudges is against the man he wrestled at WrestleMania 24 - and it stems from Shawn Michaels comments in the 2017 ESPN “30 for 30” documentary, Nature Boy.
“Shawn Michaels? I’m sorry, but you’re not in a position to judge me, buddy. Telling me I’ll never know who Richard Fliehr is. Really? You think I’ll ever know, I don’t know. Richard Fliehr, like I said before, was an irresponsible kid, who was blessed with the greatest parents in the world, did everything wrong, and by the way? Who are you to judge me? I mean, really? Come on, man. Let’s get serious. You’ve opened the door - you opened the door, I’m giving it back to you. Who are you to judge me? I mean, are you kidding me? You idolized me, and then all of a sudden contempt - for what? For what you grew up loving and what inspired you to be who you are? I don’t think so, man.”
Jim Ross’ interview during the ESPN doc also earned a mention, although Flair thanks JR for calling him “irresponsible”. HBK saying Naitch had gone from his idol to a warning appears to have cut Flair much deeper.
Again, the important thing is Ric Flair is healthy and it looks like he won’t miss another beat. Fans can probably expect his cancelled/postponed Starrcast dates, including “The Roast of Ric Flair”, to be re-booked soon.
Beyond that? Other than learning he must have caught a repeat of ESPN’s special on him recently... at 70 years old, Flair is who he is at this point. As the “30 for 30” and these promos show, that’s a man who’s decided to treat parts of his past as if they happened to someone else, and ride his gimmick all the way to the end. Whether Michaels or anyone chooses to judge him for that is their own decision.
If you make that judgement publicly, expect the Nature Boy to fire back.