10. Ric Flair The Real Worlds Champion (1991)
By the turn of the 1990s, Ric Flair had reached his 40s, and Jim Herd, the booker in WCW, had decided that Flairs role in the company should be phased down. He also had the grand idea of rebranding him as Spartacus and cutting his famous platinum blond locks off. This sounded like the sort of thing that the WWF would do to a debuting wrestler, as opposed to what a company would do to its reigning World Champion. Flair refused to ditch his legacy and Herd, in his infinite wisdom, fired him. This was the catalyst for Flair making the previously unthinkable move to Vince McMahons WWF. However, unlike many other notable stars of the time, Flair kept his name, his gimmick, his nickname and even his Also Sprach Zarathrustra entrance music. Most notable of all, however, he kept his NWA World Heavyweight Championship title belt. Upon becoming champion, a wrestler had to pay a $25,000 deposit to ensure the safe keeping of the belt. However, Herd never repaid the deposit to Flair, who therefore kept hold of the physical belt and brought it with him to the WWF. When Flair debuted on WWF Prime Time Wrestling, with financial consultant Bobby Heenan, Heenan was brandishing the big gold belt as fans around the world rubbed their eyes in disbelief. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ggDRV5Rj4 Flair eventually settled with WCW and the belt was returned to them. The WWF then used an old tag team belt on TV tapings, which was blurred out on screen, supposedly on the orders of then WWF President Jack Tunney. However, this angle meant that Flair arrived in the WWF with a bang, was immediately placed at the very top of the card and had memorable and money making feuds with Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.
Dean Ayass is a well known name to British wrestling fans. A commentator, manager, booker and ring announcer who has been involved in the business since 1993, Dean's insight into the business is second to none.