Ric Flair is getting into business with AEW.
Variety has learned exclusively that Flair’s Wooooo! Energy will become the exclusive energy drink of the professional wrestling promotion. Under the deal, during AEW show dates, select host venues will carry the drink at concession stands. It will also be stocked in the wrestlers’ locker rooms and will also be seen on the announcers’ desk during live broadcasts.
More from Variety
The Wooooo! Energy announcement is part of a multi-year deal Flair has signed with AEW. In an interview with Variety, Flair said that he has known AEW boss Tony Khan for nearly a decade, which made discussing such a deal easy.
“I just reached out to Tony,” Flair said. “Then Tony got back to me and he said he’d be interested in that. And I wasn’t selling myself. I was just selling energy drinks…And then Tony was thinking about Sting’s retirement and asked if I wanted to be a part of it.”
Flair then made his first ever appearance for AEW on the Oct. 25 episode of “Dynamite,” joining Sting, Tony Schiavone, and Darby Allin in the ring to discuss Sting’s upcoming retirement from wrestling.
“I can’t put it into words,” Flair said of that night. “It was huge. I was nervous until I walked through the curtain, and then I went out like, ‘Here I go. It’s where I belong.'” Flair and Sting have a relationship spanning over 30 years, with the two having an epic classic of a match at Clash of Champions I in 1988. Likewise, Flair first began working with Schiavone 40 years ago.
Flair went on to praise Khan for his work ethic, noting that in addition to running AEW’s three weekly shows, he is also an executive for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL and Fulham F.C. of the Premier League.
“[Tony] doesn’t get tired and he never loses composure. He’s just as nice as can be and, boy, he’s got the respect of that locker room, I can tell you that,” Flair said. “And not from being pushy, just from being totally calm.”
Wooooo! Energy is available at Giant Eagle stores in select markets and is the official energy drink of not only AEW but also the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Columbus Blue Jackets. It is one of Flair’s current businesses. He is also the face of Ric Flair Cannabis, working on both projects with Chad Bronstein, whom Flair calls a “genius.”
“Chad brought me into the cannabis business,” he says. “And now this Wooo! Energy thing he thought of, he and his partners put this thing together. And boy, it’s got traction now…I’ve had bad experiences in business mainly because I didn’t know enough. Then I had people taking advantage of me when I was getting a divorce or something and making capital calls. Business can be ruthless.”
“I’m still I’m on a learning curve,” he continued. “I learn something new every day. The business world is complicated, but these guys have got it down.”
When it comes to any future plans with AEW, Flair says the company can give him a call at any time and he will be there. “I like going the night before if I can so I can have a couple of drinks with the guys but yeah, it’s my life. It’s what I love doing,” he said.
“I can still talk better than anybody. They’ll find out if they turn me loose,” he added with a laugh. “I’m dying to go one on one with MJF, man. It would get a rating too. ‘Let’s talk, young man.'”
Flair also said he would love to manage Andrade El Idolo, who happens to be Flair’s son-in-law, and a chance to have a war of words with Christian Cage. And Flair was quick to quash any notion that his appearance in AEW marks any kind of bad blood between himself and WWE.
“I don’t think anybody at WWE begrudges me. I’ve earned their respect and I respect them,” he said. “I haven’t heard one negative word from anybody over there, because I think they feel I’ve earned the right to go out and do what I want to do.”
Best of Variety