from James Caldwell pwtorch.com:
Ric Flair is still committed to the wrestling business. He won’t directly admit to feeling like he was forced to retire from the ring by WWE at last year’s WrestleMania, but the emotional scars are still on the surface.
During a significant mainstream interview on CBS News last night, Flair was interviewed about his wrestling career post-retirement from the ring. Flair broke down crying at the end of the interview reflecting on how much he misses being part of the business and being in the ring.
“Greatest ride and the greatest time. Retired a year and still close to the guys,” Flair told CBS News’s Jeff Glor. “Going back to the Hall of Fame (this year).” Flair broke down into tears and looked to the ceiling. “It’s great. It’s all good,” he said.
The first ten minutes of the interview was focused on Flair reminiscing about being part of wrestling during four decades and how the business was “a way of life for us.”
“The business gave me so much,” Flair said. “The business really gave me a lot. I didn’t get nearly as much as it gave me.”
Flair admitted he lived for the rush of a live crowd. Having the ability in the ring to command an audience was Flair’s greatest thrill, he said.
“I was just so excited about being Ric Flair and being a wrestler that I couldn’t wait to get in front of the audience,” Flair said. “You walk out that door and try to be everything they think you are. If you’re really good, it’s a rush knowing you own the audience.”
Flair said the general public doesn’t have a real understanding of the physical toll it takes on a wrestler’s body to keep wrestling and traveling. He said “The Wrestler” movie helped shed some light on the subject, but he doesn’t think the outside public can truly grasp it.
“They have no idea,” Flair said. “It does take a toll – hard physically, hard mentally.”
Following up on the physical toll in wrestling, Flair was asked about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in pro wrestling to enhance cosmetic appearance. Flair said it’s part of every major sport, but WWE tests harder than anyone else.
“We test – I mean we test,” Flair said, with his lingering association with WWE evident throughout the interview despite not being with the company anymore. “So much more intense than baseball, basketball, or football.” He added: “Nobody makes you do anything. (It’s) individual choice.”