Monday, March 26, 2012

Mania Memories: Flair's Swan Song

Michaels vs. Flair (My 1-2-3 Cents)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunperger on Twitter

Of all the Wrestlemanias I've attended, hands down I'm the one that stands out to me the most was 24. There are several reasons, but most notable was the fact that my idol wrestled his last match that night, or at least we thought it was his last match.

Ric Flair had a long and illustrious career in the ring. By 2008, it was decided that Natch needed to retire. I don't know if that was Flair's decision or Vince McMahon's, but the stipulation had been going that if Flair lost a match, it would be his last. The angle played out for months before Flair signed on to wrestle Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24.

Flair says goodbye 
It was an emotionally charged match, a classic student vs. teacher type scenario. I think most fans knew going in the Shawn would win and Flair's career would end. Sure enough, after a hard fought battle, HBK caught Slick Ric with the Sweet Chin Music and covered the 16 time world champion for the three count. Just like that it was over. Flair wept in the ring as he said goodbye to the fans. As sad as I was that this era was over, I was happy knowing I was there to witness it. Chad and I stayed in Orlando an extra day to witness the send off on Raw live in person. It's another decision I'm glad we made.

Big Show-Mayweather
Sure Wrestlemania 24 featured two big title matches, a boxing/wrestling match with Floyd "Money" Mayweather abs the Big Show, and a Playboy Divas tag team match, but for me that retirement match was all that mattered.

The other thing I enjoyed about 24 was the outdoor aspect of it. The weather was perfect and we were close to the ring. It was a great night, even if Flair didn't stay retired. Then again, wrestlers rarely do.

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