The Undertaker: It Took ‘The Streak’ Ending To Finally Understand Why Ric Flair Thanked Me At WrestleMania X8
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You can now add Taker to the list of his retired legendary colleagues after last night’s Survivor Series, but made certain to share with Steve on his “One More Round” of Broken Skulls Sessions on the WWE Network about the unique bond that he and Flair share with one another.
“There’s just so much you can learn from that guy, even today,” Taker said as he and Austin re-watched The Deadman’s WrestleMania X8 match against The Nature Boy. The moment where Taker was counting his ten fingers on the apron after his victory was the first time he actually made note of “The Streak.”
“That was the start of it and then after that it kind of took on a life of it’s own and it kind of magnified each year because the lore and the legacy and the mystique of the whole thing continued to grow year after year and it became almost as important as whatever the main event was,” he said before talking about how his bout against Flair came to be.
“So going into that year, I remember Vince pulling me into the office at a TV and goes, ‘Mark, I’m so sorry, I haven’t got you figured in to Mania.’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah, I kind of noticed,’ right? Everybody’s deep into their builds already, right? And he goes, ‘I got two guys for you,’ you know? He goes, ‘I got RVD and I got Flair,’ and I don’t think he got Flair all the way out before I said ‘Flair.’ And he was shocked, right? Cause he thought I was gonna go with the younger, you know the guy, and RVD was on his way up and he was doing good things, but it was like, ‘I want to work with Flair.’ And he was still trying to like, ‘You don’t want to work with RVD?’ I said, ‘No I got plenty of time to work with RVD, I want to work with Flair.’ Cause Flair wasn’t one of Vince’s guys, he didn’t come up, right? So he didn’t have the same feel like me and you do, that respect level. I said, ‘I got a choice, right?’ He goes, ‘Yeah.’ I go, ‘I want to work with Flair.’ And he goes, ‘Okay.'”
Taker then brings up a moment that happened post-match between he and Naitch. It was a moment that at the time, even a literal superstar as he didn’t comprehend until he actually went through such twelve years later at WrestleMania XXX.
“Ric thanked me after that match. And he goes, ‘I just want to thank you because you restored my confidence.’ And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, you’re Ric Flair,’ right? ‘You’re the greatest to ever do this,’ right? And he was as sincere as he could be and I didn’t understand until after my ordeal with Brock and it wasn’t that I lost, but it was the concussion and the fact that for the first time ever, I felt vulnerable to our business and up until that point I was invincible. There was nothing that I couldn’t overcome, there wasn’t no injury that I couldn’t work through. That match with Brock really destroyed my confidence and it’s really hard for people to understand that. Like, ‘Wait a minute, you’re The Undertaker.’ And it wasn’t until, once I got my wits back about me did I truly understand why Ric thanked me for helping him and we kind of have that bond and that link now. But yeah, it took that concussion and all that to truly understand what he was talking about.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)