• 48°

Whooo! It was a fun ride, Mr. Flair

By Staff
Commentary by KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
The robe. The strut. The hair.
And, most importantly, The “Whooooo!”
I can’t believe that it’s all going to be gone.
Ric Flair, the “Nature Boy,” wrestled his final match Sunday evening.
Shawn Michaels saw to that in a Career Threatening Match in front of scores of fans at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
I didn’t watch it. And, to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I saw a wrestling match on television.
I missed out on WrestleMania 24. And WrestleMania 23. Come to think of it, I’ve missed about 20 or so WrestleMania’s.
But hearing that Flair’s wrestling career had come to an end certainly brought a flood of memories.
Back in the day… WAY back in the day, my brothers and I would pretend to be our favorite wrestlers. How could you not want to be Ric Flair, strutting around the “squared circle,” mussing the hair and bellowing out a loud, “Whoooo!”
My younger brother, Gregg, was a huge fan of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Of course, we didn’t have the ropes you could jump off of, but the top of the couch worked just fine.
And since we didn’t have a turnbuckle in which to pound the head of our opponent, say Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, a footstool worked just as well.
I may not have been big, but I had freakishly strong hands when I was younger. On more than one occasion, I used what I liked to call, “The Claw,” as my submission hold.
There were serious clashes, with world peace at stake, when Sgt. Slaughter would battle The Iron Sheik.
My older brother, Scott, who actually went to Flair’s final match (not sure he wanted that published!) would remember such former greats as the Junkyard Dog, Bobo Brazil, Big Tex MacKenzie, George “The Animal” Steele and Dusty Rhodes.
Yes, Hulkamania ran rampant in our house, much to my mother’s chagrin.
I would take my vitamins, brother, so I could slam Andre the Giant.
I’m pretty sure I, tipping the scales at 107 pounds or so back then, attempted to rip out of a T-shirt or two, just like the Hulkster. Again, mom didn’t find that so amusing.
Hulk was certainly a favorite. But nobody can really compare to the “Nature Boy,” who walked away as a competitor for the final time at the young age of 59.
Thank you for the memories, Mr. Flair. Thank you for the Figure Four Leglock.
Thank you for, “Whooooo!”
Kevin Travis is the Sports Editor of the Washington Daily News. You may reach him at 940-4217, or by e-mail at Kevin@wdnweb.com.