Call of "Nature?"
The Raw ratings are down, the ECW ratings are down, the Smackdown ratings have been down for the past 347 years, Vince McMahon is calling WWE the WWF on ESPN and to make matters worse against all odds, Ric Flair might be stepping back into the ring.
I’ve said it before on The Voice of Wrestling and I will say it here in my debut column on WrestleZone, I think WWE would be making a big mistake should they put Ric Flair back in the ring. But the naysayers will disagree by arguing that if it’s good for business then it’s the smart thing to do no matter how you feel about Flair’s grandiose send off at Wrestlemania last year.
So then that’s the million dollar question. Can Ric Flair’s return to the ring actually improve WWE Raw ratings, and more specifically can those ratings remain high for a lengthy period of time? My answer to that question is "no." Ric Flair returning to the ring, even if it’s for one more big money match against someone like a Randy Orton or a Triple H, can only ever draw for the company temporarily. In my opinion, he is not the company’s key to long term ratings success, and therefore to me it’s not worth tarnishing The Nature Boy’s once-in-a-lifetime retirement weekend he received from WWE.
To me, Vince McMahon tends to look at things from an immediate perspective. "What can I do to spike ratings right now?" As opposed to taking a step back, a deep breath, and asking the real important question; "What can I do to maintain spiked ratings?" Eventually, the novelty of Ric Flair returning to WWE for one more match, or one more run, will ware off with the fans, and the decline will start all over again. Do you think Flair would stop at that point and ask himself if a hot shot payday was really worth sacrificing a humble goodbye? Or does money talk just a little too loud?