First, watch this clip of Ric Flair circa 1988:
I never was a huge Ric Flair fan, but this clip is fantastic. If wrestlers had to take a class on making promos, this would be in the curriculum. Here are the things he does well:
- He demeans the city he's in. Heels in wrestling have to call out the city where they perform. Make fun of their sports teams. Cheer for the their rivals. Play up negative stereotypes. Dale Murphy and Hershel Walker get made fun of in this case and it's perfect.
- Use a catch phrase. Repeat it over and over. Like clockwork he builds people up and then says, "But he's not the champ!" The slight cackle after each one helps as well.
- Be egotistical. He talks about how he is rich, famous, gets all the girls, etc. To be a heel, you have to be an asshole.
- Call out every wrestler, not just the one you are fighting in the near future. Flair names off all of his possible opponents, not just Lex Lugor. Why be focused on your next match when you can use your face time to talk crap about all the other wrestlers you're going to work over with a Figure-Four Leg Lock.
- This isn't really a rule for promos, but how funny is it that his voice cracks when he says, "Black people?" He sounds like he is a 14 year old teenager.
My friend Ben (bartender, G St Pub) and I have started using Ric Flair's catch phrase on a daily basis. It usually is best when talking about inanimate objects. For example, someone comes up to order drinks. "Two shots of jager and a Bud." To which you stir up the conversation, "Wow, that's a pretty strong drink order. Seriously, that's a great drink order... but IT'S NOT THE CHAMP!" You can throw in a "WOOOOOO!" for good measure. Feel free to use it. If nothing else, people you don't know will give you a crooked look and people will think you're crazy.