Ric Flair, one of the most iconic professional wrestlers of the 20th century, is without a doubt an institution. While there are multiple professional wrestlers from the 1970s and ‘80s who are household names – Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper are a few examples – Ric Flair is the only one of those men still actually wrestling. On September 15th Flair will meet Sting on an episode of TNA Wrestling’s Impact and at 62 years old he’s one of the few professional wrestlers ever to perform at his age. However, it’s not Flair’s in-ring performances on trial here but his absurdity, appearing on his personal website RicFlair.com.
Aimlessly lurking around on the internet this afternoon I did what so many people do on occasion: started typing in random names, phrases, and words, adding .com afterwards to see if they actually exist. Eventually I typed in Ric Flair’s name and found his personal website, featuring very little other than links to his Facebook, Twitter, and online shop. Curiously, I clicked on his shop and found myself amazed at what he’s selling. Below are the most absurd things he’s hocking online:
1. The Ric Flair Signed Lottery Ticket
In 2009 North Carolina launched The Ric Flair Wooooooo scratch off lottery ticket. Just like his world title record you have 16 chances to win. What’s crazy is Flair is selling a losing lottery ticket for $20. Of course it’s signed but it’s still a losing lottery ticket. Here is the ridiculous commercial for the ticket:
I can’t believe this one: a five minute phone conversation with Flair costing $495. That’s almost $100 a minute and of course some of that time is eaten up by greetings and pleasantries; I’m also curious whether pleasantries and customary greetings are part of the five minutes. The website actually states the following conditions regarding the call: “In the event client engages in inappropriate language, celebrity has the right to terminate the phone call/Skype session. Once we confirm via email, please make your nonrefundable payment through PayPal on this website.” I thought this was absolutely ludicrous until I saw this…
$750 dollars for a Skype call from Flair ($1,000 if anything is used in a commercial). The advertisement part I understand, $1,000 for an ad appearance seems appropriate, but $750 for Flair to shoot the shit via video phone seems not only pricy but preposterous. Also, like the $500 phone call Flair, “has the right to terminate the Skype session,” if the “client engages in inappropriate behavior or language.” So don’t ask Flair about his various legal controversies or let any profanity slip out or you’re out hundreds of dollars.
I’m not even sure what Flair would consider inappropriate language or behavior as this phrase is quite vague. Realistically, why would anybody pay this much money if they couldn’t ask Flair some controversial questions? I’d want to ask about his various exploits involving sex, drug, and alcohol and I’m not sure if this would be “inappropriate.” Sounds like a bad purchase to me.
Of course Flair has other items on his website which make sense (autographed books, DVDs, and so forth). He’ll even sign a personal item for $30 which isn’t such a bad deal when considering what people will charge for autographs at fan conventions. After all, William Shatner charges $80 for an autographed picture through his website – and probably around the same amount at conventions – and other professional wrestlers will charge close to Flair’s price. However, these few items on Flair’s site mentioned above are inane and I’m amazed at the audacity it shows.
This makes me ask why – why is Flair charging so much for a personal phone call or voided lottery ticket? Like The Rolling Stones Flair’s retirement a few years back (during his final stint with WWE) it didn’t stick and Flair is still going strong, wrestling out of Orlando, Florida occasionally and appearing on TNA’s weekly series regularly. Is he broke; did he lose his money in the great recession of 2008; is he just greedy? These are questions I don’t have the answers to and I doubt I’ll get one not surrounded by internet speculation and possible libel. In the meantime I can only post a little piece about it and stand in awe at Flair’s arrogance.
Until I get an answers to these questions please enjoy this flattering picture of the Nature Boy: