WWE Hall of Famer, Ric Flair, is facing a serious health battle, and his manager has asked for prayers and positive energy. Longtime WWE superstar, Dolph Ziggler, is taking care of the “positive energy” part with this first-person story on what the Nature Boy has meant to him and the wrestling business throughout Flair’s illustrious career.
I was lucky to be in the ring with Ric for the first time 12 years ago and I was just as lucky to be in a room with him a few weeks ago. I know what he’s done for the wrestling world, I know what he’s done for the fans and I know what he’s done for me, personally.
Getting the approval of Ric Flair is the wrestling worlds version of Johnny Carson calling you over to the desk after you just crushed a standup set on The Tonight Show. He is royalty and if he likes your work. he lets you know. If you let him down, even once in 100 matches, he’ll let you know that, too, That’s Ric, I thank him for it every time and always will. He has been instrumental in making me the performer I am today.
The 16-time World Champion has done it all and trust me, that doesn’t just pertain to the ring! Ric lives as only Ric can live, looking only as Ric can look. Every time I see him at a wrestling show, a Cavs game, a hotel, an autograph signing, you name it; he is holding court, everyone is gathered around, hoping to get some advice from The Man, or hear some of the greatest road stories of all time. We will lock eyes, he’ll let out a “Wooo!,” and call me out by name and some other hilariously awesome things I wouldn’t dare repeat here, always making me feel like the king of the world and graciously treating me as his peer.
Ric is everything that embodies sports entertainment, and was so even before that phrase existed. He looks the part, he struts in a room, he steals the show and has gone toe-to-toe with the greatest of all time, and more often than not, some of the worst of all time (but watching him while growing up, I’d never have known that). A lot of people are successful in this business because of a catchphrase, or athletic ability or charisma or wrestling, Ric Flair is the personification of all of those things, much like his daughter Charlotte, as she is already a multiple-time champion after only a few years in the WWE.
Number One Contender Battle Royal for a United States Title Match at Background featuring Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Tye Dillinger, Erick Rowan, Jason Jordan, Sin Cara, Epico, Konnor, Viktor, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Mojo Rawley, and Zack Ryder
Everyone pairs off as the match starts. Ryder battles with Dillinger in the corner. Ziggler is sent to the apron but he returns to the ring and Zayn goes after Ziggler and sends him to the apron again. Viktor tries to eliminate Fandango but Fandango is back into the ring. Styles is sent to the apron but he returns to the ring. Rowan works over Cara while Jordan battles with Ryder. Harper and Konnor battle and Harper clotheslines Ziggler on the apron to eliminate him.
Winner: AJ Styles
Dolph Ziggler versus Shinsuke Nakamura
Ziggler tries for the leg and Nakamura misses a kick. Ziggler grabs the leg and Nakamura with a waist lock. Ziggler with a standing switch. Nakamura with a standing switch and Nakamura goes for the arm but Ziggler gets out of the hold and goes to the floor. Nakamura with a wrist lock but Ziggler with a waist lock and rollup for a near fall. Ziggler with another near fall. Ziggler tries for a punch on the break but Nakamura moves and he challenges Ziggler. Nakamura with a kick and forearm to the head. Nakamura with a cravate and a knee to the midsection followed by a kick. Nakamura with boots in the corner. Nakamura misses a splash into the corner but he avoids a drop kick. Ziggler sends Nakamura into the ring post. Ziggler with a drop kick for a near fall. Ziggler with a wrist lock and he rakes the face and kicks Nakamura in the shoulder. Ziggler runs his boot across the face. Ziggler with a reverse chin lock. Nakamura with punches but Ziggler kicks Nakamura in the knee. Nakamura with a back drop that sends Ziggler over the top rope to the floor and we go to commercial.
We are back and Ziggler with a reverse chin lock. Nakamura misses a round kick but he hits an enzuigiri. Nakamura and Ziggler miss with punches but Ziggler pulls Nakamura down by the hair. Nakamura with a knee to the midsection and a kick to the back. Nakamura with kicks to the chest and Nakamura with a flying boot to Ziggler. Nakamura puts Ziggler on the turnbuckles and he connects with a running knee to the midsection. Nakamura gets a near fall. Nakamura with knees to the ribs. Nakamura with a front face lock and he hits a gourdbuster. Nakamura sets for Kinshasa but Ziggler moves and kicks Nakamura in the knee. Ziggler with a Fameasser for a near fall. Ziggler sets for a super kick but Nakamura moves. Ziggler with a rollup for a near fall. Nakamura with a cross arm breaker but Ziggler wtih a rake of the eyes. Nakamura with kicks to the arm and Ziggler lands on his feet on a reverse exploder. Ziggler with a Zig Zag and Nakamura kicks out. Ziggler with a sleeper on Nakamura. Ziggler adds a body scissors. Nakamura gets to his feet. Nakamura with a snap mare and a running boot to the back of the head. Nakamura sets for Kinshasa and he hits it for the three count.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a Title Match for the WWE Championship: Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn vs Dolph Ziggler vs Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens
Baron Corbin attacks Nakamura as he makes his way to the ring and he grabs a ladder. Corbin hits Nakamura in the ribs with the ladder. He hits Nakamura a second time. Corbin hits Nakamura a few times with a video camera. Medical staff checks on Nakamura and Corbin wants the match to start. Styles punches Ziggler while Owens and Corbin go after Zayn. Owens with forearms to Corbin and Corbin fires back. Zayn and Styles work over Ziggler. Styles punches Corbin while everyone else goes to the floor. Owens with a forearm to Zayn and then Ziggler. Owens sends Ziggler into a ladder on the floor. Owens and Zayn exchange forearms. Zayn hits Owens with a ladder and Corbin sends Zayn into the ringside barrier. We see Nakamura being sent to the back. Zayn sends Owens into the apron. Zayn looks around while Corbin and Ziggler work on Styles. Zayn with a flip dive onto Owens. Styles with punches and chops to Ziggler and Corbin but they stop Styles. Corbin and Ziggler grab a ladder and they hit Styles with it. Corbin punches Ziggler. Corbin drops a ladder on Styles’ ribs. Ziggler with a super kick to Corbin.
Ziggler is sent to the floor. Owens pulls the ladder out of teh ring. Zayn with a running clothesline to Owens. Zayn puts a ladder against the ropes so he can pull it in but Styles hits Zayn from behind. Styles sends Zayn to the floor. Styles grabs the ladder but Ziggler stops him. Ziggler tries to send the ladder into Styles’ face but he stop. Ziggler is pushed into the ring steps. Ziggler climbs the ladder on the apron and hits Styles when he goes for a springboard move to the floor. Corbin with Deep Six to Ziggler on the floor. Zayn with an Arabian Press onto Corbin but Zayn holds his knee. Styles pulls the ladder into the ring but Owens with a super kick and he punches Styles. Owens picks up the ladder and he hits Styles in the ribs with it. Corbin and Ziggler get on the apron and Owens knocks them off. Styles with a drop toe hold and Owens falls onto the ladder. Styles and Owens exchange punches. Styles sets for a Styles Clash but Owens blocks it and Owens back body drops Styles over the top rope to the floor. Zayn hits Owens before he can set up the ladder. Owens goes to the apron and he drops Zayn on the top rope. Owens looks around and he goes up top and sets for a swanton onto Ziggler, Corbin, and Styles but Zayn press slams Owens onto the ladder opened on its side and the ladder is bent. Zayn tries to set up the ladder but he knows it will not work so he throws it to the floor. Zayn sends a bigger ladder into the ring and something happens on the floor that the camera missed. Ziggler with a forearm to the back of the head to stop Zayn. Ziggler sets up a ladder in the corner and he sends Zayn into the ladder. Ziggler climbs the ladder and Zayn pulls him off. Ziggler pulls Zayn off and hits a drop kick. Ziggler has a super kick blocked and Zayn with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn climbs the ladder and Corbin stops him. Zayn is sent into the ladder by Corbin and the ladder falls down. Continue reading
Backstage: Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler get ready in the locker room and the Face of America enters. He wants to talk and he tells Baron not to act up. Dolph asks Kevin if he is going to tell them to follow their lead. Baron says he won’t listen to Kevin. Kevin says he does not like Baron and he likes Dolph a little more than he likes Baron. Kevin says there are two options tonight. They can work together and take out Nakamura, Sami, and AJ. Then on Sunday it is just the three of them to try to get the briefcase instead of six. Or you can punch him in the face. Dolph can kick you in the face and then Kevin can power bomb Ziggler. They don’t have to be friends, they just have to not be their own worst enemies.
Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler versus Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and Shinsuke Nakamura
The match is joined in progress and Ziggler with a wrist lock on Nakamura but Nakamura with a reversal and a knee to the midsection. Nakamura with a snap mare and knee drop. Nakamura with boots in the corner. Ziggler with an uppercut and drop kick. Owens tags in and he kicks and punches Nakamura. Corbin tags in and he punches Nakamura and connects with knees. Corbin chokes Nakamura in the corner. Ziggler tags in and he snap mares Nakamura and applies a sleeper. Ziggler with a leaping elbow drop but he misses. Styles tags in and he chops Ziggler and hits a flying forearm. Styles takes care of Corbin on the apron before hitting a splash on Ziggler and then he hits a pump handle gutbuster. Styles takes care of Owens and hits an Ushigoroshi on Ziggler. Owens goes after Styles and Zayn stops him. Owens is sent to the floor and Zayn with a plancha onto Owens. Styles sets for the Styles Clash but Ziggler counters into a DDT and Ziggler gets a near fall. Corbin and Zayn tag in and Zayn leaps over Corbin. Corbin with Deep Six for a near fall. Continue reading