Due to the Royal Rumble booking, Flair had to pull out of a scheduled appearance as the Grand Marshall at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA. Flair currently resides in Atlanta, so the appearance was easy for him to make until he got the WWE booking on Monday. Flair issued a statement on the cancellation, saying, "To the fans, crew and drivers, I profusely apologize that I won't be able to be at the race, but hope everyone still heads out to Watermelon Capital Speedway this weekend to support my buddy David Ragan at Zaxby's SpeedFest 2014."
After Dennis Rodman's recent visit to North Korea (and his outburst while over there), USA Today interviewed Flair regarding his time in North Korea when Antonio Inoki put together a pair of shows with WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling in April 1995. Highlights of those shows were later aired via PPV by WCW so one would expect it will be available on the WWE Network when that launches next month. To read the interview, click here. Some highlights are below:
The Reaction he received about going to North Korea: "I talked to some friends of mine in politics and asked what they thought, and they all thought I was crazy for going. Back then I was just a team player, and they wanted me to go. I think they asked, if I’m not mistaken, George Foreman if he wanted to go. When I’m in the same light, the same consideration as George Foreman… that’s pretty cool and I’ll accept the opportunity."
Visiting there: "It was extremely intimidating. They split us all up, took our passports, took us to different hotels, and they assigned different people to take care of us. I had someone who stuck with me all the time, from the sports ministry department. The guy who was taking care of me looked at me, and I had a Rolex on. He said “do you know how many years I would have to work to buy one of those?” I had no idea, he said “10 years.” People over there were making six dollars a day."
The Government There: "They kept us three days after the event — we were supposed to leave right after but they kept us three days longer. The thing that really disturbed me the most was that they wanted me to make a public statement…. that after my time in North Korea, I saw that they could dominate the United States of America if they wanted to. I couldn’t say that, you know what I mean? I can’t remember how I angled my way around that one but I did not say that. I just said that I was thrilled and honored to be there and appreciated their hospitality. They were, for the most part, very nice. It was just an intimidating format, the whole time. There was no misunderstanding that [the North Koreans] wanted us to know that they were a threat as a world power. One of the guys over there [Scott Norton], apparently called home and said something that would indicate I guess that he wasn’t happy where he was, that he didn’t like being there, and they cut off his phone. I didn’t communicate to anybody… I brought my wife and kids to Tokyo with me in case I didn’t make it back."