Injured Flair forced to miss Japanese Match
By Phil Allely
The living legend (of NWA, WCW, TNA and WWE fame) was lined up to tag with Japan's own icon The Great Muta against the formidable duo of Seiya Sanada and Tatsumi Fujinami for All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Flair however developed a health issue that warranted a visit to the local emergency room, which subsequently saw him removed from the match. Sources say that many fans were unhappy to hear that they would not see the veteran US star once more step into the ring for a match.
This health scare is rumoured to be a blood clot in his leg, which caused severe swelling and had the possibility of becoming far more serious if untreated.
Flair's son Reid took his place in the scrap and joined Muta in a pretty decent encounter. Flair senior (against hospital wishes) made an appearance at the show and threw a few of his trademark chops at Fujinami and Sanada. His interference proved to be futile however, as Muta and Reid fell to the superior might of their foes.
Ric is now back in the US and said to be fulfilling his indy obligations and forthcoming ones with the WWE in the lead up to WrestlMania as well.
I hope Ric learns from this medical fright and re-addresses any future in-ring plans. Flair has the potential to be everything from a manager, mentor and even an on-screen authority figure in the WWE if he so wished. There will always be a place for men like him in the business and we sincerely hope to see 'slick' Ric on our screens for many more years.
I met Ric two years ago at The TNA live show in Dublin. He was warm, friendly and everything you hope your hero will be. I'd hate to see him come to harm by trying to enter the ring as a grappler again.