WWE’s decision to keep working Ric Flair into storylines is reckless due to Flair’s age and COVID-19 dangers.
WWE has reportedly had up to two dozen employees test positive for the coronavirus recently, forcing the promotion to start taking the pandemic seriously.
However, there is still one thing happening in WWE that is inexplicable. While the company sent Jerry “The King” Lawler home for his safety when the pandemic began, this has not stopped it from bringing in “Nature Boy” Ric Flair to work an angle with Randy Orton.
This decision makes no sense. Flair is 71 years old and almost passed away a few years back. In August 2017, after complications from a blockage in his bowels, doctors placed Flair in a medically induced coma. This medical problem resulted in kidney failure, and he was in the hospital through September 21 before returning home. According to John Hopkins Medicine, some people who tested positive to COVID-19 showed signs of damage to their kidneys, with 30 percent of hospitalized patients in China and New York suffering severe kidney damage.
Furthermore, the CDC reports that people aged 65 and older are at a higher risk for severe illness. The disease is also harsh for people with heart or lung disease and other medical conditions. Eight out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States are people aged 65 or older.
At the moment, the only reason that Flair is showing up in WWE is to help push Randy Orton’s “Legend Killer angle.” Flair showed up first before the Edge vs. Randy Orton match at Backlash and said that he picked Orton as the greatest wrestler today, believing Orton would win the match. When Christian came out to confront Orton on Raw, an unsanctioned match resulted, one in which Flair came out and hit Christian with a low blow to allow Orton to deliver the punt kick.
Flair next showed up when Big Show confronted Orton on Monday Night Raw. Flair backed Orton once again, and this caused Big Show to tell Flair that he lost all his respect for him as a man and as a legend. However, this wasn’t the end, as Flair showed up again for the third week in a row on Monday Night Raw, there to try to take out Big Show.
Yes, it makes sense that Flair would be there to sing the praises of Orton. They were partners in Evolution and if anyone is going to call Orton the best wrestler today, it might as well be the man that many fans consider the best of all-time. Flair was perfect for that for that role. That said, the second that the COVID-19 positive tests hit WWE, the company should have pulled the plug on Flair’s part in this storyline. There isn’t anything else he needs to do unless Orton plans on turning on him too.
There is the fact that Flair has reportedly said he is more than happy to show up and take part in the storyline, but the choice should not belong to Flair. As long as he keeps showing up, Flair takes the risk of contracting COVID-19. Even if it is his choice to continue, WWE has a responsibility to its talents. Flair has the right to do what he wants, but WWE has to ensure the company does not get the The Nature Boy killed by sending him out every week on Monday Night Raw.
There is no word on whether or not WWE has put strict rules into place to protect Flair from anyone who might be a risk. So far, fans have watched him interact with Orton, Big Show, Zelina Vega, Andrade, and Angel Garza. It is nice to know that Flair interacted with his daughter’s fiance, Andrade, on Raw, but there is no reason he should be there at all. Until there is a clean bill of health in WWE again, no one Flair’s age should be out there performing, whether they want to or not. WWE has to take better care of its talent — it’s just not worth risking the death of one of its legends to promote an angle that’ll be forgotten in a month anyways.