Golden "steal"

Golden "steal"

Ric Flair wasn't about to walk into WWE in 1991 and not be considered the preeminent champion.

With Hulk Hogan gleaming as the esteemed WWE Champion, the "Nature Boy" decided to selfishly keep the NWA Title he won in WCW and claim to be the "Real World's Champion." The jealous Superstar's audacity to bring an unsanctioned title into foreign territory made this the No. 2 all-time Great Highway Robbery in the history of the squared circle.

Prior to Flair's WWE debut, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan showcased the title to the WWE Universe for weeks and declared that it belonged to a personal friend of his who was set for his highly-anticipated arrival. The devious manager, additionally, claimed the gold in his hands versus the one "The Hulkster" flaunted was like comparing "ice cream to horse manure."

Strutting around with his elegant, untarnished gold, "Slick Ric" made it clear upon his unveiling that he was a revered ring warrior alluded to by his harbinger, Heenan. WWE officials, however, decided to blur Flair's title on all WWE programming, distorting the unrecognized and invalid championship.

"Naitch" even used his title as a weapon -- attacking, for example, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper during their heated rivalry in late 1991.

After dominating the competition in WCW, it didn't take long for Flair to move to the front of the aristocracy in WWE. In his first pay-per-view event with his new company, the WWE Hall of Famer was the sole survivor for his team at Survivor Series, defeating the likes of Piper, Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith.

It only got better for Flair from there. The "Nature Boy" stunned the WWE Universe when he was the last man standing in the 1992 Royal Rumble to capture the WWE Title and prove to be the true, undisputed keeper of the gold. He managed to surpass Superstars like Hogan, Sid, The Undertaker and "Macho Man" Randy Savage in the process.  

"Naitch's" "pilfering" of the NWA Title upon his WWE debut, undoubtedly, helped launch the eventual 16-time World Champion to astonishing heights. Flair's sneakiness, in fact, helped him become an instant threat to anyone who posed as a challenge to him.

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