All Elite Wrestling doesn’t need Ric Flair in any fashion

(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images) /

Ric Flair made a surprise appearance on AEW Dynamite as a “gift” to Ric Flair, but in reality, the story nor the promotion needs his presence at all.

All Elite Wrestling has positioned itself as the alternative to WWE and sports entertainment. In many ways, the show consistently excels at that, especially with the presentation of professional wrestling. But there are ways in which the company doesn’t meet the mark, and bringing in Ric Flair is an example of such. Sting’s retirement is a big story in professional wrestling and one that should have the fans’ attention, but it nor AEW needs Ric Flair’s presence.

Ric Flair has contributed so much to professional wrestling. He’s been recognized time and time again for those contributions. But in recent years his negative transgressions have also come to light. So much so, that entities outside of professional wrestling have distanced themselves from “The Nature Boy.” If those situations and revelations caused those types of reactions, why can’t professional wrestling distance itself in the same manner?

And here’s the thing, AEW’s leader and decision-maker, Tony Khan, has shown the ability to course correct in the face of bad actors. Look at how quickly the company responded when instances of Brian Kendrick’s past came to light just hours before he was supposed to make his debut in AEW. He was pulled from the card, and never mentioned again. Even something on a “smaller” scale such as Max Caster’s raps was met with an immediate, and correct response.

Dark Side of the Ring has put the spotlight on a lot of the negative aspects of professional wrestling. The 2021 episode about the “Plane Ride From Hell” put him centerstage, including highlighting Heidi Doyle who had made allegations about Flair’s sexual harassment while on the flight. Flair responded with a statement denying those allegations and ESPN removed a “30 for 30” special that made light of his behavior. That was also the moment that caused WWE to begin to distance itself from the performer.

According to WON, Flair is supposed to be on AEW television until March 2024. That’s quite the stretch, that will go beyond Sting’s projected retirement. Fans should expect at least one Flair heel turn on Sting, which has long been the narrative of their relationship in wrestling. But again, what does that bring to All Elite Wrestling? The company doesn’t need Flair to be a part of this angle. The relationship between Darby Allin and Sting should have more than enough juice to carry the retirement angle, especially if Allin is the one to put him away at the end. Flair’s presence is just another example of an old guard stepping into a role in AEW that can potentially take away time from the younger and newer talent that needs the time.

All Elite Wrestling must do more to avoid unforced errors. Bringing in Ric Flair is one of them as this angle, nor does this promotion need him in any fashion.

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