Thursday, September 1, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Ric Flair Show, Episode 8

Angle is one of Flair's guests this week
Photo Credit:
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: The Ric Flair Show
Episode: 8
Run Time: 1:26:50
Guests: Kurt Angle, Dana White

Summary: Ric Flair has a new, re-titled podcast with the same format as his old show, WOOOOO! Nation. Co-host Conrad Thompson still leads the proceedings from an actual recording studio, while Flair and the guest are on different phone lines. Thompson and Flair begin this episode with a quick review of recent wrestling news, and then get right to their first guest, Kurt Angle. Since they've already had Angle on their old show, they mostly talk about recent developments in Angle's career, like his upcoming (now past) match against Cody Rhodes. After Angle's short interview, Thompson and Flair get on the line with UFC President and Donald Trump supporter, Dana White. A UFC/WWE cooperation is more possible these days according to White, as Vince McMahon is more open to it than in years past, though McMahon is still, as White says, "a fuckin maniac." The show ends with a quick discussion of one of Flair's old matches and a lightning round of short questions.

Quote of the Week: Angle, on AJ Styles - "The great thing about AJ, why he reminds me of you, Ric, is because I can wrestle AJ for a half hour and not break a sweat. Same as you, Ric, when you were working you were always bumping and feeding and selling, you were always going to where you needed to be for the next spot, you just had a great feel for it. AJ does that too and he makes it really easy to wrestle him. I was injured a lot when I wrestled AJ, and I didn't have to do anything. He just did all the work for me."

Why you should listen: Because Flair is still Flair. He tells vague, giggly stories about his partying days. He has tremendous respect for his old rivals and current talent. He does sound like he wants to be here and he has pretty decent chemistry with his co-host.

Why you should skip it: Because Flair is still Flair. He doesn't have deep insight on much of anything, his phone connection makes for bad audio quality, he accidentally interrupts his guests and his co-host, and his co-host sounds like a Confederate robot who just learned how to communicate with humans.

Final Thoughts: It's unclear as to why WOOOOO! Nation ended and The Ric Flair Show began, but it might be due to two things: one, WOOOOO! Nation is a terrible name; and two, they seem to be pushing pretty hard, where you can get a "Ric Flair For President" hat, of which Thompson says, "...and you know you want one of those" with all the enthusiasm of a child going in for a tooth drilling. I do believe that Ric Flair loves wrestling, but his passion for the business doesn't radiate from his being as it does for someone like Steve Austin. Flair is mostly doing this just so he can promote his autograph signings and stay in the limelight, and not as much so that he can contribute to the broader conversation about pro wrestling. They do a "This Week in Flair" segment where he's supposed to bring you behind the curtain of one of his classic matches (this one being his match against Chris Jericho at Summerslam '02), and his analysis amounts to, "I sure was glad that Jericho let me go over." Remember: to be the man, you've got to let the man beat you.