Ric Flair is one of the most highly decorated WWE Superstars of all time, and he almost had the honor of being in the main event of the first ever SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV).
"The Nature Boy" is currently tied with John Cena for the most World Title wins in WWE history at 16. He began wrestling in 1972 and has worked for promotions such as the American Wrestling Association (AWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), WWE, Global Force Wrestling, (GFW) (formerly known as TNA or Impact Wrestling), and various promotions in Japan. He is highly regarded as one of, if not the, best professional wrestlers of all time and is recognized as a pioneer of the industry.
Flair has recently been embroiled in some harsh health woes, as he is currently hospitalized and in critical condition following emergency surgery. Prior to his hospitalization, however, Sports Illustrated did an interview with the former WCW Champion to talk about his professional wrestling career.
During their conversation, Flair discussed the first ever SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) of all time, as SummerSlam is set to go down tomorrow night (Sun. August 20, 2017), back in 1988. Flair revealed that original plans had him main eventing the show against Macho Man Randy Savage for the WWE Championship (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
"It's true," Flair said. "I was on my way to work for Vince [McMahon] and wrestle Savage at the Garden. My contract was up and Vince McMahon had been in touch with me. But I decided my best move was to remain in the NWA because I was so attached to my friends in the Four Horsemen. I thanked McMahon for the offer. I just couldn't get myself to leave."
Flair added, "I was too attached to my friends down there and too loyal to the NWA. Ultimately, it worked out, and I ended up working for Vince later. I respected Vince so much for asking me, but at that point, I just could not find a way to leave."
Instead, the main event wound up being Macho Man and Hulk Hogan teaming up against Andre the Giant and Ted Dibiase with Jesse "The Body" Ventura serving as Special Guest Referee. The team of Hogan and Savage would emerge victorious and Flair wouldn't sign with WWE until 1991.
What are your thoughts on Flair originally being planned to take on Macho Man for the WWE Championship at the first ever SummerSlam? Have YOUR say in the comments section below, and the fourth episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
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