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By Mike Johnson on 2023-11-03 10:30:00

It was officially announced yesterday that Ric Flair had signed a multi-year deal with AEW.  Flair sat down with immediately after the news was announced by the promotion to discuss the two-year deal, his Wooooo! Energy drink being named the company's official Energy Drink and the chance to reunite with Sting on TBS for the first time in decades to be part of the Stinger's retirement chapter.

Signing with AEW: "Well, I was excited of course. I mean, it's been my life, I have no problem admitting that. An opportunity to work with Tony, it's something I've thought about a couple times. I'm at a point now where I think that people are actually happy for me to be doing something that I enjoy so much. But I think they recognize the positive contributions I've made for whatever company I've ever worked for. And I don't think anybody begrudges me going there from the WWE whatsoever. It's not like, it's not a personal issue. It's just, I'm doing what I like to do. And I think I've earned that respect and I I love Sting as a human being, as a person, as a performer. He's one of the top three or four guys I've ever worked with. And Tony Khan couldn't be a nicer guy to work for."

His first memories of meeting Sting in the mid-1980s: "I thought, 'What a nice young man and how handsome.' The paint...I just thought, "This kid is a million dollars." I didn't know if he could work or not and then take all that and he's a really good athlete, and the guy worked out and he became a great worker. He learned how to work all these different styles. I mean, when he was The Crow, when you're able to change and work different styles, that's another factor that goes into the world of being great. And he's been this young guy with the blonde hair with the paint, he's been The Crow. He's been capable of so many things, and the word great is really way overused in our business, but he is in that select few that in my words, that are great."

Making Sting at the Clash of Champions live on TBS in March 1988: "Well, here's the thing. I get credit for that and he says it all the time, he made himself that night. I didn't make him. He did it 50/50 with me. Does that make sense? I get way too much about making him. I mean, I was the champion, yes, but he made himself and that's what people lose sight of. I didn't do the work for him. He press-slammed me 10 times.  I can't press-slam anybody. Does that make sense? He suplexed me, he took care of me. I threw him in a railing as hard as I could. And man, when I chopped, I was knocking the sh*t out of him, he stayed open, he didn't flinch. And that's very unusual man. And we just, we just clicked right away, he listened to everything I said. I've been in the ring with guys that go, "What? What? What?" He didn't miss a beat. So he made himself. I'm honored they keep saying that, but he made himself."

Sting's Retirement: "Oh, boy, that I would like to make suggestions about but I don't even know...It's going to be big. I mean, and Jesus. I mean, it's like when Taker went down. I mean, you know, there's some guys when they retire, they're just plain special. And for him- boy it needs to be really special. And Tony Khan's got more money than God, so I'm sure that it will be as elaborate and first-class a ceremony that has ever been witnessed in wrestling and needs to be. He is that classy of a guy and he's meant that much to the business. And you know what? He's always done it the right way. Nobody can ever point a finger at Sting and say he did anything that wasn't asked of him. He may not have liked some of it, he may have been disappointed but you never heard him vocalize it, he internalized it and he can never say that he ever did anything but be positive and be a very impacting part of our industry."

The Black Scorpion as part of the Sting retirement run: Absolutely not. *[Laughs.]I can promise you that. I'm not sitting under the ring for five hours again for nothing, especially in St. Louis, Missouri. We really fooled a lot of people. Do you know the real story on that? OK - it could have been me, Arn or Barry and I go, "Guys, I'll take the bullet. I'll do it." And then Arn and Barry went and tore it down with Doom, with Ron and Butch, and I sat under the ring. I just couldn't possibly ask those guys to do that. So I did it but I wasn't the same afterwards. 

Whether Ric will return to the ring as part of the AEW run: "No, I don't think I will. If you're asking me if I want to? [Laughs] I have to be careful what I say because it never comes out [correctly]. I just made it very clear to everybody that I can take bumps. I have a doctor's release to do anything I want like that. Do I think I'll wrestle again? No. Would I like to? Obviously. [Laughs] I'm never going to say no.  There you go. [Laughs]"

The Wooooo! Energy Drink being part of the AEW deal: "Well, it's amazing because I don't think people understand but this is the best advertising in the world. I mean, they have six hours of wrestling a week, six hours of wrestling a week, worldwide. So I mean, this is still very special opportunity for the drink and for me to be part of it.  Half the roster drank it, we brought in about 50 cans and they were gone in a second."

How Often He Will be at AEW: "I would like to be there as much as they want me. I mean, they have a real deep roster and they come to the shows. I mean, every show is almost entirely different from that. Very few times you see people back-to-back except maybe like Chris or Sting or MJF. I mean, they have a really deep roster with, you know, which they need to produce three shows. So, I just, I hope I can establish myself as an important part of it after Sting retires and continue to do something for him, if possible. I have ideas, but the one thing I want to make very clear: I am not in any politics. The one thing I made very clear is I'll do whatever you ask me to do. I'm not going to come and ask you for a favor. I'm not going to ask you and I don't want to be you know what I mean? That's another thing, "Who's ear you got?" That is the kind of bullshit that wrestling, you know, it circulates. I mean, I'm in nobody 's ear. I'm there to do whatever they want."

Thoughts on MJF's run as AEW Champion: "I think he's been phenomenal. I don't say that about very many guys. I think he's done a great job. I could make some suggestions that I think would be beneficial but I'm not doing that. Does that make sense? He's still young, but he represents them. I mean, he dresses nice, you know how I feel about that. He's a first-class guy. He looks the part, he's got a good physique. He can work and he can talk, To find all those components at a young age, to have all that going on at this point in time, I think he's done a phenomenal job. I've never had a chance to reach out to him about it, but I've seen a few things that I would do differently. Not him, but what they've done with him. But that's just, you know, again, I'm not getting involved in any of that, but to answer your question, I think he's done a phenomenal job and I think he represents the company. You know, I'm a big fan of people that get dressed up and sell more of their merchandise."

Thoughts on Returning to Pro Wrestling full-time: "I'm thrilled, that is the only way I can put it. I'm thrilled. It's a huge opportunity for me. It's a great opportunity for Chad [Bronstein, President and Chairman of Carma HoldCo, parent company of Wooooo! Energy] and I and our other partners to take this drink to another level and for me personally, you know me man, I love the camera (laughs). There are a lot of people pissed off that I'm back on the camera, trust me."

For more on Flair's Wooooo! Energy Drink, visit

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