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Ric Flair reminded us he’s still one of the best in the game

For some reason, neither WWE or any of its affiliates has uploaded video of Ric Flair’s speeches during the closing segment of Raw on Aug. 10.

The most we get is these few seconds from WWE on Fox’s compilation of the entire last half-hour of the show:

And the first 20 seconds or so of this one from WWE (which, if you’re like me, you’ll watch to the end every time, even if you already watched it in the first video, because every nuance of Randy Orton’s betrayal is perfectly, heartbreakingly executed):

I considered hitting Hulu to transcribe Flair’s words. But while they’re well-crafted speeches, it’s not the content that destroys me. It’s Naitch’s delivery, and overall performance.

Orton spitting truth to Ric about his current state as a fame addict visibly deflates him. He starts the scene off posing as the limousine riding, jet flying son of gun. The Viper rips that away from him, and Flair isn’t afraid to show his vulnerabilities.

WWE’s gone to this well with the Nature Boy before, from “I’m sorry, I love you” at WrestleMania 25, to when Charlotte turned on him, to last year’s Batista birthday attack. This one works a lot better than anything since Shawn Michael’s Sweet Chin Music-ed him off to TNA, though. Only Flair could possibly tell us why, but this one felt much more real.

Perhaps there was truth to his pleading to remain in the spotlight for what could be the last time in his legendary career? Even if that’s the case, he still gave us a flash of what made him one of the coolest men alive for so many years. His sales pitch to Randy includes a bit of fire when he talks about being there when Orton, not his nemesis John Cena, breaks his WWE-recognized World title record. Maybe if he’d summoned a little more of his old myth, the Legend Killer would have listened - or at least spared him?

Instead, he can’t muster any more of his old bravado. He returns to pleading, almost begging to remain by Orton’s side during a defining run in the younger man’s own legendary career. That’s when The Viper decides to strike.

Not sure why WWE hasn’t served up Ric Flair’s masterclass from last night on any of their online outlets, but it’s worth pulling up on your DVR or skimming through the Hulu version for. If those aren’t options, add it to your WWE Network watchlist as soon as the Aug. 10 Raw gets uploaded.

Naitch wasn’t afraid to be both the man and the myth in this scene, and took us on an emotional ride as a result.

In the process, he reminded us he’s still one of the best in the game.

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