Jim Herd and Ric Flair never really got along during Herd's tenure as the Executive Vice President of WCW when he was hired in January 1989.
The relationship between the two was fractured early when Herd wanted to go with younger stars and allegedly wanted to change Flair's gimmick. Herd had trouble getting Flair to agree to drop the NWA World Heavyweight Title, though Flair finally agreed to put over Sting at Great American Bash 1990.
When asked by Conrad Thompson on AdFreeShows if the relationship was beyond report at that point, Herd said, "It probably was. I may have not recognized it as such because Ric, in person, he could hate you and walk in a room and make you think he loves you. He had that kind of personality. Vince Jr and those guys thought, 'we could steal this guy,' and they did."
Flair was reportedly upset that guys like Sting and Lex Luger were making more than him while he was asked to take a paycut.
"I didn't want to pay the same amount I was paying at the time because I was getting pressure as far as money coming in," said Herd. "The dynamic never changed. Luger never made more than [$240,000]. The difference between his contract and Ric's contract was huge. You can try to make them all happy so they'll work together and do the things we felt we needed to do to attract eyeballs from around the United States to fulfill Turner's ideas. He's not only a visionary, but he's brilliant. He sets the rules and you abide by the rules. Wrestlers don't always understand that. Ric, it just wouldn't work with Turner's deal."
Herd ended up firing Flair in July 1991, resulting in a legal battle as Flair jumped to WWE and took the WCW World Title with him.
"I do [regret how it played out]. I always thought Ric and I were friends. Actually, it turned out, I don't think Ric ever liked me all that much. Those things come to bear when you're negotiating who is going to be the champion and who is going to get this much money. Whoever is in the middle between the ultimate money and the guys [below] is going to take the brunt of the criticism. That was me," said Herd.
Herd said that he was not a fan of Flair's attorney Dennis Guthrie because he legalese'd him coming through the door.
Elsewhere during the interview, Herd discussed the infamous Spartacus gimmick that was rumored to be for Ric Flair. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t to AdFreeShows and link back to Fightful for the transcription.