WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.02/22/2017 - 13:30
John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Kalisto, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley battle for the right to headline WrestleMania against WWE Champion Bray Wyatt.02/22/2017 - 00:15
Fearless Nikki gets checked out after battling The Queen of Black Harts and suffering a pipe assault courtesy of Maryse.02/21/2017 - 23:45
After Naomi was forced to relinquish the SmackDown Women's Championship, The Wicked Witch of WWE battles her longstanding adversary to become the new titleholder.02/21/2017 - 22:00
Fearless Nikki looks to rid her life of The Queen of Black Harts in a brutal Falls Count Anywhere Match.02/21/2017 - 22:00
Just nine days after realizing her lifelong dream, an injured Naomi must surrender the SmackDown Women's Title to General Manager Daniel Bryan.02/21/2017 - 21:00
See incredible slow-motion footage from the explosive SmackDown LIVE WWE Title Triple Threat Match between Bray Wyatt, John Cena and AJ Styles.02/17/2017 - 15:45
Three of SmackDown LIVE's best square off for the WWE Championship in a main event free-for-all.02/14/2017 - 22:45
A 'Flair' for disrespect
Wherever the "Nature Boy" goes, there are a few things that are sure to follow: an overwhelming resonance of countless fans shouting "WOOOOOO!" and, more importantly, an irrefutable legacy of a 16-time World Champion.
Something less auspicious that seems to follow Ric Flair is envy and resentment -- particularly from a number of younger, brassy, self-asserting Superstars. Namely, WWE competitors like Flair's Vengeance: Night of Champions opponent, United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter. Before being drafted to the azure-hued brand of SmackDown, it was the callous Caribbean Superstar, Carlito who isolated the "Nature Boy" as a rival to the apple-spitting competitor's progression in WWE.
Despite the blatant disrespect paid to Flair, the competitive Superstar claims to not be bothered at all, but literally "thrilled."
"For guys like MVP and Carlito, it's a nice notch to have on their belt to beat the legend," admitted an astute Flair. "These guys are trying to become the best by beating the best. It's flattering to be in that role."
An icon with as much clout as Flair who has the admiration of millions is the ideal target for young lions like Porter and Carlito as they look to forge their mark on sports-entertainment. It's one thing, however, to spit in the face of people who don't want to be cool, but it's a complete mistake to try to spit on a legacy as celebrated as Ric Flair's. This Sunday, the Dirtiest Player in the Game may, in fact, prove just that.
"I'm happy these younger guys are stepping up," the Nature Boy explained. "WWE needs players. But they need to understand that nobody's going to run through Ric Flair."
For weeks, Carlito waged a fairly unsuccessful war against the 16-time World Champion on the Raw brand. This weekend, MVP gets his chance to beat the legend. But as gifted an athlete as Porter is, does he truly have the developed skill set to defeat Flair? It's possible that the brazen Superstar may show his inexperience and has allowed his overconfidence to be his own defeat. This, along with Flair's infamous Figure Four Leglock could very well lead to the "kiss-stealing, wheeling, dealing, jet-flying, limousine-riding son-of-a-gun" becoming a record-breaking six-time U.S. Champion.
"To get by the Nature Boy, MVP will have to work real hard," Flair said. "And if he does get by me, he will have accomplished a lot, because I'll be ready."