Extreme in "Nature"
SAN DIEGO -- Victorious alongside ECW's CM Punk, the "Nature Boy" proved why he is Hall of Fame bound in a rare and successful visit to the Land of the Extreme -- just 24 hours after being named the first inductee into the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame. (WATCH)
On Raw, an emotion-swept Shawn Michaels revealed that his friend and mentor, Ric Flair, would join his fellow sports-entertainment elite at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on the eve of WrestleMania XXIV. Seemingly on top of the world, a humble yet elated Flair came to ECW on Sci Fi in a mindset to celebrate -- until met by a pair of ECW's more audacious Superstars: Elijah Burke and Shelton Benjamin.
With intersecting agendas on ECW, both Burke and Benjamin interrupted the Nature Boy's genuine, earnest address to the sports-entertainment world (Flair's first since being named a Hall of Fame inductee). Like countless others before them, Burke and the "Gold Standard" boasted of their own talents while debasing the 16-time World Champion.
Flair fired back with some words of his own along with his signature "Wooo!" but was met by a jaw-droppingly disgraceful slap to the face by Benjamin. Almost instantly, Flair retaliated with fiery chops and quick strikes, but was soon downed by his young adversaries.
Clearly disgusted by the display, a competition craved CM Punk charged to the ECW ring and came to the aid of the legend. Benjamin and Burke retreated, but soon resurfaced in ECW General Manager Armando Estrada's office where they were given the chance to redeem themselves in a main event tag match.
Redemption would certainly be the premise for the tag team encounter, but in Flair's favor. The uniquely skilled tandem of the Nature Boy and the Straightedge Superstar -- a team of champions -- brought a relentless fight to their remarkably athletic opponents.
Victory in their united camp, Flair ultimately stood triumphant with Punk, who respectfully raised the hand of his partner -- the soon-to-be only active Superstar in the WWE Hall of Fame.