World Wrestling Entertainment has become one of the most popular television entities in the free world, and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is a huge reason why. Even before he came to the WWE, he was making wrestling relevant to generations of great fans. Though he has toiled in all of the various wrestling venues across the country, it is his WCW and WWE days that this article focuses on primarily. No great wrestler becomes legendary without some seriously important opponents over the years, and Flair is no exception. He is almost as well known for his feuds as for his wrestling accomplishments. Here are the top five Ric Flair opponents in history, along with what made them great in the first place:
Shawn Michaels has long been considered to be a huge fan of Ric Flairs, and at Wrestlemania he proved it. Flair and Michaels had a fantastic match that “retired” Ric from the WWE, and is widely considered to be one of the best story lines of the last decade. Though Michaels and Flair had a very short history against one another, the historic nature of the story puts him on this list.
Sting and Ric Flair was WCW for many years, and with good reason. The popular Stinger had years of failed attempts at taking the World Heavyweight Championship from Flair before he finally pulled it away. When he did, many felt as though Flair was passing the torch. Little did anyone know at the time that Flair still had many glorious years left before he was done.
Throughout the eighties, you could not watch any NWA broadcast without seeing Flair and Dusty go at it. Dusty was the “common working man” while Flair represented the “jet setting, limousine riding, son of a gun” to perfection. Because they were polar opposites in every way, Dusty versus Flair was a perfect wrestling feud.
Piper makes this list because he is largely considered to be the only man from Flair’s era that could hang with the Nature Boy on the mic. Roddy Piper could cut promos with the best of them, and during his and Flair’s feud he had some great ones. Flair and Piper were also fantastic in the ring, so that made for an awesome feud.
Of all of Flair’s opponents, Ricky Steamboat is without a doubt his greatest. Steamboat was made by Flair early in his career, and their match ups were always considered to be classics. The match in Chicago where Steamboat finally takes the strap is considered by many to be the greatest wrestling match in history. Steamboat versus Flair is as good as it gets.