A wedding toast with Flair

By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, May 30, 2010




Photo of Mike Mooneyham

The smile on Ric Flair’s face last Saturday night said it all.

Earlier that evening, at a joyous occasion in which tears rolled down those same smiling cheeks, he gave his daughter in marriage.

To Flair, arguably the greatest performer in the history of the sport, the moment was as sweet as any he ever experienced as a 16-time world champion.

And, as he toasted the newlyweds, he imparted some sage advice.

“Life is short, so live every day as if it were your last.”

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MIKE MOONEYHAM/STAFF

Ric Flair shares some final words of wisdom with his daughter Ashley and new son-in-law Riki Johnson ...

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MIKE MOONEYHAM/STAFF

... Before turning over the reins as he walks away and wipes a tear from his eye.

The glowing bride, daughter Ashley, and the dashing groom, former Ole Miss football player Riki Johnson, hung on every word.

No one can ever say the Nature Boy hasn’t followed those profound pearls of wisdom to a tee. Despite the highs and lows of a career that has been unparalleled in the wrestling business, and a personal life that has had more than its share of ups and downs, Flair has persevered and flourished.

Flair lives by those words. And with the passage of time, as those platinum gold locks have thinned and those shiny gold titles have become but a memory, he takes them even more seriously.

He’s lived his life to the fullest. He simply doesn’t know any other way to do it.

The “limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin,’ son of a gun” was in London for a TNA promotional tour less than 24 hours following the wedding festivities and told one publication that he’ll never retire again.

“I have already had one retirement. I’ll never retire again. I’ll just walk away. Or fall off the top rope and turn to ash or dust! I’ll just crumble and they will sweep me into a waste basket and I’ll be gone!”

Flair also offered some other familiar words post-wedding.

“We’re gonna dance all night, dance a little longer, party all night, party a little longer!”

And he did.

-- Randy Orton suffered a separated shoulder during his Over The Limit pay-per-view match with Edge last Sunday night. He initially had injured his shoulder during a tag-team match at a house show the previous evening.

Orton is expected to carry out limited ring work prior to WWE’s Fatal Four Way pay-per-view.

TNA’s Mr. Anderson (Ken Anderson), who credits Orton with causing him to be released from WWE, called Orton’s misfortune “karma.”

“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” he sarcastically noted on his Twitter page.

The show exacted a physical toll on other top stars as well.

C.M. Punk had more than a dozen staples in his head as a result of his hair-losing match to Rey Mysterio. John Cena also suffered a laceration and lost a tooth during his “I Quit” bout with Batista.

-- Last Sunday marked the 11-year-anniversary of the death of Owen Hart. Oddly enough, the pay-per-view at which he fell to his death was called Over The Edge, a fact that may have eluded WWE officials when they planned last weekend’s Over The Limit PPV.

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WWE performer Carlito was released from his contract due to his first violation of the WWE Wellness Program and his subsequent refusal to attend a rehabilitation facility.

-- Carlito Colon has been walking a tightrope with WWE for the past few years, but the shaky relationship recently ended with the dismissal of the second-generation performer.

Colon, 31, was released after failing a company drug test. The Wellness Policy violation was Colon’s first, which is only a 30-day suspension, but when the company asked him to go to rehab and he refused, the decision was made to release him.

Colon had been with WWE since 2004, but the book on him was that his lack of motivation prevented him from rising beyond mid-card status. He had asked for his release in 2007 due to frustration over the direction of his character.

Colon’s father, Puerto Rican legend Carlos Colon, told Primerahora.com that his son was released by WWE after testing positive for painkiller use.

“Carlito was not suspended by cocaine use, nor of heroin or marijuana, but by abuse of painkillers,” Colon said.

“That is not something (uncommon) with the wrestlers due to the cause of the falls and blows in the ring that cause pain, combined with the constant traveling,” said Colon, owner of the World Wrestling Council promotion in Puerto Rico.

Carlos said that Carlito “started using one or two for his back pain, but it seems that the situation has become much more serious and needs help.”

“When WWE asked him if he would go to the rehabilitation program, he did not accept as he did not recognize he had a problem, which caused his dismissal despite being only their first violation,” said Carlos.

Colon also claimed WWE would welcome his son back to WWE if he accepts a rehab offer.

“But it is up to him to accept that and want to improve and get out of this situation,” he said.

-- Scott Hall’s at it again.

The TNA tag-team champ recently found himself in familiar confines — the Seminole County Jail — after being charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest at a bar in Florida.

According to reports, the bartender told a deputy that Hall had been “drinking heavily” and “became aggressive,” pushing a patron and arguing with the female bartender. After the bartender lined up a ride home for Hall, he punched the window of the car and pushed two female patrons near the car, according to the report.

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PROVIDED

Scott Hall was recently arrested on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest following a disturbance at a bar in Florida.

When the deputy arrived, he said that Hall, 51, was yelling and cursing and appeared intoxicated, with slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. When Hall was told that he was being taken into custody, he refused to comply and the deputy forcibly put him in handcuffs, according to documents.

Hall, who has battled alcohol problems for years, was taken to jail and later was issued a trespass warning. He was told never to return to that bar.

-- Hulk Hogan has filed a lawsuit against Post, the makers of Cocoa Pebbles, for allegedly using his likeness without his permission in a commercial.

The character in the commercial, “Hulk Boulder,” shares Hogan’s blond hair and mustache.

“Hulk Boulder is shown humiliated and cracked into pieces with broken teeth, with the closing banner, ‘Little Pieces... Big Taste,’” said The Hollywood Reporter, citing the complaint filed by Hogan (Terry Bollea).

Hogan used the name “Terry Boulder” early in his wrestling career.

-- Comic Jon Lovitz, who was the guest host for WWE’s Raw broadcast last Monday night, is among a group of people being sued by the Los Angeles Dodgers for failing to pay for season tickets.

The lawsuit claims Lovitz and 100 other individuals entered into a written agreement in March 2008 to buy three dugout club seats for all baseball games played at Dodger Stadium in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The suit alleges the group refused to pay $95,400 for the 2010 season.

The company is seeking the $95,400 and other unspecified damages in the lawsuit

The ticket broker filed the suit in Los Angeles on that same day Lovitz was in Toledo, Ohio, for Raw.

-- Former pro wrestler Rusher Kimura died Monday in a Tokyo hospital from pneumonia caused by kidney failure. He was 68.

Kimura, whose real name was Masao Kimura, broke into the business in 1965 and was known early in his career as “the master of the steel cage.” He retired in 2004 due to poor health.

Reach Mike Mooneyham at (843) 937-5517 or mooneyham@postandcourier.com.

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