Ric Flair has been a headlining name in professional wrestling for almost forty years. His in-ring work is almost as legendary as his life outside the ring. Almost.
Ric’s signature catchphrase, “to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man” speaks volumes to his confidence inside the squared circle as a wrestler and performer (and sports entertainer if you’re a fan of that turn of phrase) and for four decades Flair has been “the man.” But Flair’s impressive life resume doesn’t just include awards, accolades and achievements from his time in the NWA, WCW and WWE. Rick Flair has proved he’s the man in life.
Here are eleven reasons Ric Flair is “the man” which have nothing to do with professional wrestling.
Ric Flair Is A Two-Time Hall of Famer
Alright, we’re toeing the line already because this is wrestling related, but it speaks volumes to the character of “The Nature Boy.” Many wrestling legends have yet to sniff the glue sealing the WWE Hall of Fame nominee envelopes together (though allegedly Randy Savage will be in very soon) while Flair has been inducted, not once, but twice in the last few years. Impressive for a man with a massive body of work done in rings other than those branded with a WWE logo.
Flair was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a singles wrestler and again as a member of the Four Horseman. In 2006, Jack Nicholson allegedly expressed interest in inducting Flair into the WWE Hall of Fame and called The Nature Boy “his all time favorite wrestler.”
Ric Flair Has Considered Throwing His Hat Into A Different Ring
Flair is incredibly popular in his home state of North Carolina. Flair once considered a run for Governor of the date but dropped out of the race thanks to friend, former wrestler and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Ventura told Flair, a notorious partier with probably more than a few skeletons in his closet, that the press and his opponent would have a field day with his personal life. Flair remains on the political sidelines but is still a public supporter of other candidates.
Ric Flair’s Real Life Feuds Are As Epic As His Wrestling Matches
A few of Ric Flair’s legendary matches involve the biggest names in professional wrestling — from Harley Race to Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes to Sting, Flair usually came up the victor in those bouts. If he happened to lose, or even drop the title, it wasn’t long before the gold was once again around the waist of The Nature Boy.
In his autobiography, Ric Flair: To Be The Man, Flair criticized Bret “The Hitman” Hart for over-exploiting the death of his brother, Owen Hart, and the controversy surrounding the Montreal Screwjob. Flair also claimed that Hart was only popular in Canada and was never really that big of a draw in the US. In the same book, Flair called Mick Foley a “glorified stuntman”, took a shot at Hulk Hogan for a match involving his son David and even continued beef with WWE legend Bruno Sammartino for refusing to shake his hand at an event.
Ric Flair Had His Own Day In Several Towns
Ric Flair is beloved in his own hometown, as well as, in towns he called home for a short period of time. According to Wikipedia, here are all of the “Ric Flair Days” that have been celebrated around the country.
“On October 19, 1998, it was declared “Ric Flair Day” in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Mayor Sharon Belton and on November 15, 2008, it was declared “Ric Flair Day” in Norfolk, Virginia. On March 24, 2008, Mayor Bob Coble, of Columbia, South Carolina, declared March 24 to be Ric Flair Day in Columbia. Flair also received the key to the city He received the key to the city of Greensboro, North Carolina on December 5, 2008, to commemorate Flair’s victory in a steel cage match against Harley Race at the inaugural Starrcade event.
April 18, 2009 was declared “Ric Flair Day” in Charleston, West Virginia and he was presented with the key to the city by the mayor. Also, on June 12, 2009, Flair was presented with the key to the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and, in September, he received the key to the city in Marion County, South Carolina.
On July 17, 2010, Flair made a special appearance at Scotland Motors in Laurinburg, North Carolina and received the key to that city, as well.”
He has as many town keys as he does world titles.
And now a brief intermission for the greatest non-wrestling move ever, perfected by The Nature Boy himself, the “Flair flop.”
Ric Flair Is ‘Slightly’ Humble
Calling Ric Flair, the self-proclaimed “man” and “jet-flying, limo-riding, kiss-stealing, wheeling-dealing, son-of-a-gun” humble might be a stretch but there is something to be said about a man who doesn’t even recognize some of his world title victories.
Flair is, for now, the most decorated world champion of all time (until Cena eventually passes him) and he’s usually billed and announced as a 16-time former World Champion, however, many wrestling historians estimate the number anywhere between 16 and 22 title wins because of more than a few officially unrecognized victories and defeats over the years.
Ric Flair Was Almost On People’s Most Beautiful People List But…
Ric Flair was probably one of the biggest letharos in wrestling history (on the actual show), and who knows how many gorgeous women he’s scored over the years, but it would be tough to call Flair one of the “most beautiful men” to ever wrestler. No offense, Natch.
In 1998, Ric Flair somehow landed in a group of celebrities on People.com asking fans to vote for “the most beautiful people in the world.” Flair came in a second place, which is rather impressive, until it’s revealed he lost out to Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf from The Howard Stern Show. WOOOOOO!
At 65 Years Old, Ric Flair Took On Dennis Rodman And Won…Sort Of
Alright, so it was a video game battle, but still, Flair comes out on top again.
Ric Flair Was Fired For Being A Dad
According to several insiders, Flair was fired from WCW in 1998 for missing a match to attend an amateur wrestling tournament that his son Reid was wrestling in. Fans, as well as wrestlers, were livid about the Flair’s departure and started an online effort that included a boycott of WCW.
Ric Flair Survived A Horrific Plane Crash
Survived a plane crash in Wilmington, N.C., on Oct. 4, 1975. Suffered a broken back as a result and was told by doctors he would never wrestle again.
Ric Flair Is Officially The World’s Coolest Fred
According to his book, Flair was adopted at the age of three weeks. In the bio, Flair mentions his birth surname varies from Phillips to Demaree to Stewart on various documents, but one thing is for certain, his birth first name appears as Fred on all the documents. Flair also stated in his autobiography that even though he is adopted, he is considers his adopted father to be his real father and his adopted mother to be his real mother. He also stated in the book he hasn’t bothered to find out who his biological parents are and doesn’t ever care to know.
Ric Flair’s Not Really A Wrestler Anymore — He’s More Of A Rock Star
Read this. The dude is a rock star. Enough said. It would be really hard to live a life that would beat “the man.”