Ric Flair comes from an era of wrestling that required sacrifices, both physical and mental, that modern WWE wrestlers don’t experience.
But while «The Nature Boy» doesn’t think anyone should go through what he went through in the ’70s and ’80s, he no longer feels the company has many true athletes.
«I can name three. I can’t name 10,» Flair told Fox News Digital while promoting his new Wooooo! Energy drink. «I can name three: Brock Lesner, Kurt Angle and my daughter. I have a hard time thinking about who the great athletes are.»
However, there is one fighter that has piqued Flair’s interest in terms of athleticism and having «balls.»
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Logan Paul, the YouTube sensation who made his WWE debut in 2021 and signed a multi-event contract in 2022, has impressed wrestlers and wrestling fans alike with his ability to step in and quickly make a name for himself in the ring. .
Flair is among those who believe that Paul can be a superstar in wrestling.
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«Oh, if he committed to it, yeah. He’s better than, I think I said, probably 70% of the full-time guys,» Flair said.
Paul did not enter the ring without training. He worked with WWE legend Shawn Michaels, something Flair believes was worth what he’s been able to do.
Paul has already been a part of viral WWE moments, including his mid-air collision with Ricochet in a Royal Rumble match in January.
His match against Roman Reigns, the WWE Undisputed Universal Champion, in November 2022 may have been the first loss of his short career, but he earned praise for his passion and athleticism. He also left that game with a sprained meniscus and MCL, showing that he put his body on the line for the fans watching in the arena and at home.
«A good athlete can do anything and achieve anything,» Flair said of Paul.
«The thing that struck me about him is that he has balls. Never doing it, just starting to jump off a ladder and s — like that and never having done that in my entire life, it’s a little different.»
While Paul’s athletic abilities have earned him praise in his young professional wrestling career, a journeyman who is finally getting his shot at stardom, the LA Knight, is someone Flair likes to watch as well.
«I did a car show commercial with him,» Flair said with a laugh. «Good Guy.»
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Knight, a 40-year-old Maryland native, has criticized some for his behavior. Others, however, believe his microphone skills can be compared to The Rock and «Stone Cold» Steve Austin, which always makes for compelling storylines and in-ring rivalries.
«The best thing he did, I didn’t realize if they rehearsed him or not, or if he was being a know-it-all, but when he told the Undertaker that Joe Rogan said that today’s fighters are soft, it caught my attention», Flair explained. «I hope he came up with that on his own… Personally, I like the guy. He’s not Roman Reigns yet, but he’s just getting started. He’s been on the market, he’s been back and forth, up and down.
«Sometimes you just have to find the niche, the right opponent and the right time. That meeting when he teased Taker, I think that kind of started that for him.»
Knight and Paul met during the WWE Money in the Bank ladder match on July 1. And even though Knight punched Paul while he was in the ring, he understands why WWE wants him in matches like these.
«I see the draw,» Knight told Fox News Digital before the game. «I’m not blind or ignorant of any of that because, I mean, obviously, look, you’ve got the reach of all his followers on YouTube and social media and all that stuff. I was recently at an event that was this boxing match with all these people who were from YouTube and social media, and it was like a whole other world.
“But here they are and they had a completely packed arena. It’s like, ‘Wow, this is a whole different audience.’ I feel like a lot of those people don’t watch TV. You have your WWE audience, and now you have this huge social media audience that he has. So, I can appreciate that and I can see it.»
And while Flair likes what he sees of these two, his favorite wrestler in WWE today will always remain an obvious choice.
«My daughter,» he said quickly, referring to Charlotte Flair. «She’s the best wrestler or wrestler in the company, and they know it too. There’s no one who can deny that.»
However, Flair and Paul have more in common, as the two-time WWE Hall of Famer has joined the energy drink game with Wooooo! Energy.
Flair’s energy is unmatched even today at 74 years old. He says that this new drink, which differs from the others because of its mushroom-based recipe, is one of the main reasons why he is always on the alert.
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«It’s me in a can, bro. That’s how I define it,» he said.
«It’s very durable. I gave this to a guy who coaches Olympians, ran the NFL Combine, and was a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Georgia for 10 years. He’s seen it all. He drinks it every day now , and said it makes time pass.»