Ric Flair has fuelled rumours that he is planning on making a surprise entry into the 2017 Royal Rumble today, after posting a video on his Facebook page that claims to show the Nature Boy deadlifting an impressive 400lbs. The video was accompanied by a message that simply stated ‘I. Will. Never. Retire’ and a hash-tagged number 17. Could this be hinting at a potential return on January 29 in San Antonio? This is all conjecture of course, but where if there is smoke it is generally recommended to check for fire.
Despite the defiant message included in the video, Ric Flair has indeed retired on a number of occasions in the past, most memorably after losing a classic to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV. Of course, the Alimony Pony could well be referring to weightlifting, in which he has a long and storied history. Prior to the plane crash that almost ended his life in 1975, Flair was predominantly a power wrestler known for his lifting prowess, with some sources claiming he was deadlifting around 600lbs at the time. Following the crash, Flair noticeably reduced his mass but continued to lift throughout his career.
So why is Flair posting this video now? If the hash-tagged ‘17’ wasn’t included then you could easily just put it down to the excited vanity of a true wrestling legend. If a 67-year-old man lifts any sort of substantial weight, they reserve the right to brag about it. The timing of the video and aforementioned number hint at something more. However, that something more could well be a one-night-only return for Naitch at the Royal Rumble.
We won’t have long to find out, as the Royal Rumble is just over three weeks away. It seems unlikely that Flair would go back on his WWE retirement, not least in such an unsubtle fashion, but until number 17 comes out at the Rumble and it is someone other than Flair, his fans will continue to dream.
Most news outlets are reporting this as a 400lb deadlift by a 67 year old man, and whilst the numbers are impressive they aren’t exactly true. The exact weight is unknown, but judging by the weights on the bar a number of people are claiming it is closer to 285/300lbs. Even so, such a lift must be considered impressive, especially when completed by a man in his late 60s with terrible lifting form. Will we see Flair in the Rumble? We sure hope so.