WWE star Ric Flair is adamant the company's former CEO Vince McMahon shouldn't have retired.
Vince stepped down from his role at the wrestling firm on July 22 after four decades in charge pending an investigation into accusations he paid women hush money after having affairs with them - but ring legend Ric is adamant Vince should have stayed on.
During an interview on TMZ.com, Ric was asked how he felt about Vince's retirement and he declared: "I hate it".
When asked if Vince should have stayed on, he added: "Yes. I think he's one of a kind and I've said this. He's made so many people rich and he's literally has made chicken salad out of a lot of chicken s**t ... He's made a lot of people rich."
Ric insisted he is not condoning the allegations made against the former CEO, adding: "I'm certainly not defending anything that's negative and I'm not taking a side on the issue that apparently has been brought up but I know as a person and what he did for me, there's nobody like him."
However, he insisted the company will do well with Vince's daughter, WWE executive, Stephanie McMahon, in charge, adding: "I think Stephanie's a genius!"
Vince faced claims he paid a female employee millions of dollars in hush money after having an affair with her. The woman with whom he is alleged to have had an affair was a paralegal and he allegedly doubled the woman's salary from $100,000 (£83,000) to $200,000 (£167,000) when their apparent romance began. It is said when their relationship turned sour he kept her quiet with a $3 million (£2.5 million) payout.
Vince announced his decision to step down via a statement released through his attorney: “As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. “Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you. “I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand. “Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment. “I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.” No mention was made to the allegations that have dogged McMahon and it is unclear how his stepping down impacts the investigation into his alleged misconduct.