Ric Flair Wasn’t Warned About Late Son Being Used in Controversial WWE Storyline
On WWE Monday Night Raw, the death of Reid Flair was used as part of an angle between Divas Champion Charlotte, who is Reid’s sister, and No. 1 contender Paige. Reid died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2013 at just 24 years of age, and the tragic nature of his demise is a large part of why Paige telling Charlotte that her baby brother “didn’t have much fight in him” ruffled so many feathers on Monday night. However, many of the segment’s defenders argued that WWE wouldn’t have taken the angle in that direction without approval from the family.
Well, as it turns out, they didn’t give a heads up to Ric Flair, Reid’s father and one of the most respected figures in this industry.
The 16-time world champion admitted on the Tuesday episode of the WOOOOO! Nation with Ric Flair that he wasn’t told ahead of time that his son’s death would be a part of the storyline. He added that watching the segment made him break down, and I can only imagine it was a bit of a good news/bad news situation: good news, your daughter is one of only a handful of female wrestlers to main event Monday Night Raw; bad news, your late son’s death is being used as part of the story without your knowledge.
In giving his opinion on the segment, Ric tried to avoid stepping on any toes. However, he felt that Charlotte likely didn’t want to “rock the boat,” and so went along with the suggestion to use her late brother as part of the storyline. It’s an interesting way of beating around the bush, since his comments basically lay the blame on Vince McMahon without actually naming him.
“Obviously, I have an opinion, but I’m afraid to voice it because I don’t want anything to affect [Charlotte’s] career,” he stated. “I know that Hunter and Stephanie and Michael Hayes have her back.”
Basically, by naming powerful backstage figures such as HHH, Stephanie McMahon and Michael Hayes as people who support Charlotte, the implication is that using Reid’s name wasn’t their decision. That basically leaves it down to Vince McMahon, who’s used this sort of angle in the past when Eddie Guerrero passed away (as Randy Orton famously declared that Eddie was in Hell during an angle with the late wrestler’s friend, Rey Mysterio). Hopefully, Charlotte doesn’t catch any heat for what her dad had to say, although I really hope she didn’t feel bullied into going along with an angle that made her feel uncomfortable. Anyone should be able to voice their opinion and avoid bringing personal matters into business. Did this make the angle feel more real? Maybe. But I feel like this is the sort of move that makes the fans angry with the company rather than with the heel.
Regardless, Ric ultimately understood what WWE was going for with the angle, and supports his daughter no matter what.
“In the business, I mean how many people, I’ll pose the question to you, ‘How many people in your company can tell you what to do?’ And you tell them to do something, are you gonna take time to listen to everyone and say, ‘Listen, I don’t have to explain to you why I want you to do it. Do it.’ Is that fair to say? Because you can’t run a successful company and listen to 40 people complain about their individual likes and dislikes. Is that fair? And I would assume with your success and rate of growth with which your company is growing, you got bigger obstacles in your path like recruiting new people. As your company grows, you can’t have somebody that’s been there for awhile asking why when or where or how. And that’s no different than in wrestling except, in wrestling, it might be a little more insensitive, but that’s the nature of the beast.”
All in all, Ric is expecting this will have all blown over by the time this Sunday’s Survivor Series event rolls around.
“I’ll be at Survivor Series and can’t wait to get there. And by the time I get there, this will be old news and [Charlotte] and Paige will have a phenomenal match. And if anything else, we came out of it with a definitive bad guy and definitive good guy.”
What do you think of the Reid Flair angle from Monday night? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on this incident, find out how Reid’s mother responded to her late son’s name being used on Monday Night Raw!