In 2013, Ric Flair was among the WWE legends who appeared on a video game panel shortly before SummerSlam. The host of the discussion, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, recently gave his take on how the event ultimately led to his release from the company.
Flair’s son Reid passed away in March 2013, five months before the video game symposium. The 16-time world champion became emotional while talking about his son. He also appeared to be intoxicated at the event.
On his Grilling JR podcast, Ross recalled how his handling of the panel resulted in his exit from WWE. He also clarified that he does not blame Flair’s behavior for WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon deciding not to renew his contract:
“The more Naitch [Ric Flair] talked, the bigger hole we all seemed to dig ourselves. But I don’t blame him whatsoever. I don’t know how he could have reacted any differently based on the circumstances of going into the event. Why he was on that panel, I’m not really sure. We didn’t all think it through. It wasn’t thought through well enough. And that’s sad. It didn’t have to be like it was.” [1:21:44 – 1:22:18]
A month after the event, McMahon informed Ross in a meeting that he was no longer needed by WWE. He also incorrectly assumed that the current AEW commentator was drunk while hosting the panel.
Jim Ross reflects on Ric Flair stealing the show
The symposium consisted of Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Mick Foley, Paul Heyman, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, and Steve Austin.
Although the stage possessed lots of star power, Jim Ross remembers how Flair dominated the hour-long discussion:
“Ric is such a strong personality that he stands out when these things happen. He steals the scene. He’s star of the show. And I don’t say that in a catty or wise-a** way. He’s just that big a personality. He’s Ric Flair, for God’s sakes. But it was hard. It was a little daunting, to say the least. More than a little daunting. It was unfortunate, unacceptable.” [1:22:28 – 1:22:59]
Ross also explained why his friendship with Flair has become “strained” in recent years.
Do you have any memories of the video game panel? Let us know in the comments section below.
Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.