Why didn’t AEW sign Ric Flair to wrestle for the company?

Hamish Woodward

ric flair aew

In 2021, Ric Flair seemed certain to sign for AEW.

His son-in-law, Andrade El Idolo, had signed for All Elite Wrestling, with Flair even accompanying him to the ring during a match against Kenny Omega in Mexico.

Ric Flair was set to make his AEW debut, two years after almost dying due to illness, by being the manager of Andrade and marking his full-time return to TV for the first time since he was in TNA in 2011.

However, one day the deal was off. AEW wanted nothing to do with the 16 time World Champion and Ric Flair was not mentioned on AEW Dynamite again.

While some fans may have been suprrised as his signing and his signing being cancelled, there is a good reason why Tony Khan and AEW decided not to pursue Ric Flair and invite him into the AEW family.

Ric Flair to AEW

Ric Flair seemed destined to work with AEW, but an episode of Dark Side of the Ring dissipated all interest Tony Khan had for the Nature Boy in AEW.

Dark Side of the Ring is a TV show chronicling all the worst sides of wrestling. From wrestler deaths to the worst personalities and in-ring tragedies, nothing is off limits.

One of those episodes was about the “Plane Ride from Hell“, a air journey WWE took from the UK in 2002 which, among other awful things, featured Ric Flair getting naked and sexually harassing a stewardess.

This act was common knowledge in wrestling but had never been revealed on such a large stage as on DSOTR. Flair was immediately disregarded as a pervert by wrestling fans and was effectively “cancelled”.

Mark Madden on Twitter revealed that it was the Dark Side of the Ring episode Ric Flair has to blame for him not being signed to AEW. He revealed Ric Flair was planning to sign for AEW but that deal was off once the Plane Ride from Hell came to light, and he was even uninvited from Tony Khan’s birthday party.

Mark Madden said on Twitter;

“Ric was planning to work at AEW ’til the Dark Side ep. Not sure what Tony Khan thought. Khan doesn’t talk to Ric now. Disinvited Ric from his b’day party,”

Ric Flair is coming out of retirement this summer to wrestle one last match, although he has still not signed with AEW at the time of writing.

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