WWE Editor @jeffersonlake
Ric Flair says 1992 Royal Rumble victory was 'life changing'
Last Updated: 18/01/19 6:38am
Ric Flair's recollections of his famous 1992 Royal Rumble win remain as vivid as ever - because that was the day he went from a career low point to a world championship.
The stage had been perfectly set 27 years ago, for both Flair and for the then-WWF.
The Nature Boy had arrived in the north-east having become deeply disillusioned with life at World Championship Wrestling, where his role as the company's marquee player had been gradually eroded by a combustible relationship with executive vice-president Jim Herd.
Flair left WCW for Vince McMahon's company in late 1991, taking the title belt with him and parading it on WWF television as he described himself as "the real world champion".
At the Royal Rumble in January 1992, Flair would prove that fact. After entering as number three, he produced a masterclass of resilience, consistency and sweat-soaked stamina to last more than an hour and win the vacant championship.
For wrestling fans of a certain age, it remains the iconic Royal Rumble performance and resonates with Flair to this day.
"What made it special was, number one - I didn't know I was going to win it," he said. "And number two I had just left Atlanta (WCW) with no self-confidence, I just couldn't figure out how Jim Herd couldn't see who I was, he didn't understand.
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"I went from Atlanta to Albany, New York and my life changed in one day. Literally one day, that's the truth.
"One day I was just trying to figure out what I was going to do and the next day I was the champion."
All of the ingredients were in place for that Rumble. Bobby Heenan's commentary - which has been argued is the best of all time - added another layer of enjoyment, and then there was that post-match promo.
Lining up alongside Heenan and his 'advisor' Mr Perfect, Flair delivered a superb speech which came straight from the heart and had his former employers in its sights.
"When I was walking back down the aisle, Pat Patterson came to me and said 'you've got a promo'," said Flair.
"That was it. He said 'talk about how happy you are' and I said 'no problem'. What I said was directed right at Jim Herd and anyone who had anything to do with WCW.
"I've always liked Ted Turner and Ted loved wrestling but he didn't have anything to do with hiring the idiots that ran it. And I repeat: idiots."
Flair's daughter Charlotte is the favourite to win this year's Rumble, where the winner gets a WrestleMania title shot of their choice, and you can see the action live on Sky Sports Box Office from midnight on Sunday, January 27. Click here to order the event.