Ric Flair’s “woooooo,” became a signature of professional wrestling. It was as good, if not better, than Macho Man’s gruff style of speak, or the Bushwackers mirrored walk when entering the ring.
Over the course of an illustrious 40-year career, Ric Flair won 21 titles. He, and his family became wresting aristocracy, founding numerous businesses and broadening into the world of entertainment.
But what comes with great power, comes great responsibility. The family’s had its fair share of setbacks and scandals, to go with all the success and fame. This balance, is a tough thing to control.
When you’re the Flairs, you need a brilliant PR team. Without a PR team to manage all this drama, they’re left dead in the water, struggling to swim up stream against a torrent of negative press and attention. Most times my assumption is the PR team manages these things well. But, as stated, not everything, especially with dangerous elements like social media.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are photo-driven. Photos are shared and liked. When a photo catches fire, it has the ability to go viral. When something goes viral, the amount of people who see said-picture and judge it, grow exponentially. This is the sort of thing that does little damage to you or me. But for the famous, those folks under the microscope, it can cause an unmanageable downpour. Something often times, nearly impossible to rise out of.
Here are 10 pictures the Flair family doesn’t want you to see, and 10 they do.
20. Don’t: Flair Finance
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? A quick and easy way for families to get approved with a lender without all the unnecessary mumbo jumbo. When you’re as wealthy as the Flair’s are, this sort of venture makes sense. And yet, corny robe and all, this venture fell flat rather quickly.
Established in 2007, Flair Finance didn’t even last a year. Financials were so bad, Ric was forced to opt for bankruptcy. This wasn’t the first time he had an issue with business. High Spots Inc, a promoting company, sued Flair in 2011 for $40,000 back-pay. They cited him not showing up to numerous events, despite being paid his arranged amount. A warrant was issued. And Flair was forced to hand over one of his World Heavyweight Title belts, as collateral.
19. Want: Divine
Ric Flair could do no wrong for much of his 40 years in wrestling. He was a dogma, the kingpin of the craft. He was: THE FLAIR. Gifted with outrageous outfits that made him look like a tinseled angel with a body built by bricks. Ric Flair won 21 titles in total and amassed a wealth surpassing $200 million by the end of his prime. As you saw above, he wasn’t always responsible with his wealth, but under the spotlight he was the admiration of many young men. He was pre-Hulk Hogan. The pre-Macho Man. Ric Flair will forever be the greatest wrestler in league history. This picture sums up wrestling royalty in all its glory. It’s also from Flair’s brief WWE stint in the early 90s that he’s want us to remember.
18. DON’T: Charlotte’s First Marriage Fail
Like father, like son, is normally how the saying goes. But in this case, it’s like father, like daughter. Charlotte Flair is barely 30-years old and has already had her fair share of failed marriages like her playboy of a father.
Charlotte’s first marriage came in 2010, to a man by the name of Riki Johnson. The marriage ending in mid-2012, when Charlotte signed her first deal to become a wrestler for the WWE. To no major surprise, she followed her father’s footsteps, remarrying just a year later, in 2013. That marriage, as you’ll find it, didn’t end well either.
It’d make most sense for Charlotte to quit commiserating with married life, and focus all her attention on her wrestling career. If you’ve been paying attention, her career is absolutely scorching hot, as is she.
17. Want: Ric Flair With Kids
There might be plenty of failures coming from the Flairs, but one thing you can never doubt is how much Ric loves his kids. Yes he’s been married more times than Barry Bonds hit home runs, but his kids mean everything to him. As seen by this photo, he usually found ways to create an atmosphere that gave his children some kind of normalcy. Known for his love of Hawaii, Ric bought numerous time shares across the isles, so during his tremendously hectic schedule, they could get away and share valuable time together. Flair probably didn’t see his kids as much as he would have liked back in his heyday, given that he was always traveling, but he seems to have made the most in his spare time the last few years.
16. Don’t: David Flair Falls Flat
So much for living up to being Ric Flair’s kid. When David Flair entered wrestling with the WCW, he was expected to further build the Flair brand with more pizzazz and dominance. Unfortunately for David, and for wrestling fans, the guy clearly knew nothing about real athleticism. His matches were so bad, the promotion hit lows in ratings, and WCW pondered liquidating their league after his first unsuspected title.
David won two belts on family lore alone. He was bad. So bad, that when the WCW folded under bankruptcy claims, the WWE offered David nothing. Sometimes even a legend’s kid can’t find his footing. Perhaps WCW just pushed David too soon and maybe he could have had a decent career with the proper training.
15. Want: Kissing the Belt
If there was one thing Ric loved, it was this: his belts and his respect for the league that built him as a tremendous celebrity and brand. Ric kissed 21 of these. And yet each time he won, it was like the first time. We can all point toward Ric, his broken marriages, and his failed business ventures, but the guy loved what he did. The passion he had was unrivaled really. He was contagious, a perfect spokesman for a league that went through numerous re-branding’ and economical ebbs-and-flows. He was the henchman, the foundation, the sure footed legend with the flash and passion to make this league what it is today. Flair enjoyed a late career run with the Intercontinental Title and very few wrestling fans were complaining.
14. Don’t: Lost Pants and Saggy Bottom
During Hulk Hogan’s “Hulkamania Tour,” essentially a tour for a bunch of old legends to get together and pretend they still go it, a spot happened, where Hulk pulled Ric Flair’s pants down. The shot was embarrassing. Flair, long known for his stunning physique and buff abs, looked rather flabby and a bit out of shape. Yes, at this point, he was well into his 60s, but when you’re a legendary super hero like Flair, you can’t let fans see you like this. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In fairness, this picture is probably one that not just the Flair family doesn’t want you to see but honestly, not what any of us wanted to see. Sorry about that one. Hopefully that’s the last we see of that.
13. Want: Touching Moment With His Family
Ric’s old school. He comes from a time when famous athletes were all about honoring the fans. Ric is also smart. He knows that it’s all about building his brand, and that there is no brand without including the fans intimately at every major event. Why that’s rocket science for some celebrities is beyond me.
One thing I like about the Flair’s, is they all do this sort of thing. It was a core value passed down by their father. Here’s Ric doing what Ric does best. Showing emotion and selling a story. Following his career-ending loss against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV, he said goodbye to all his fans at ringside and shared a special moment with his family who was in attendance to see what was presumably his final match, at least on a WWE stage.
12. Don’t: Charlotte’s Mug Shot
We all know about the Flair family’s ongoing issue with the cops. Many of them have had numerous encounters with police officers. This has led to a nearly laughable amount of mug shots floating around the Old Internet, like flies in a bar.
One such incident we didn’t know about, was Charlotte’s short history with authorities in the 2000s. Her arrests were covered up easily, since it was before her wrestling days. The story of this arrest, goes like this: In 2008, Charlotte, her brother and dad were messing around at home when a fight broke out. Someone’s feelings were hurt, escalating what was a casual push and tug wrestling match, into a serious choke out. The result were two things: Charlotte with bruises all over fists, and her egregious act of assaulting a police officer. She was set to spend one year in jail but was acquitted with serious amounts of probation.
11. Want: David Flair’s Love For His Wife
David Flair may have fanned out quick in the world of wrestling, but he’s done something his sister and dad never did: stay married. The former two-time champ and man infamously bloodied by the Undertaker, met his wife Robin in 2008. They two enjoyed a quiet ceremony in 2010, and have enjoyed seven fruitful years of marriage.
Seven years of marriage in the Flair family, is like 70. The two are still going strong. They have two beautiful kids, and live in their home state of North Carolina running a business together. David still makes appearances at wrestling events, but only as a face. He has no desire whatsoever, to get back into the sport and to be honest, it’s better things stay that way.
10. Don’t: Flair Being Flair
When Ric Flair kissed Becky Lynch on live television, it was a bad look. Mainly for Flair, who has long been a known womanizer and playboy – the reason for all his failed marriages. So, there’s that. But there’s also the reemergence of the misogynist-centered WWE, a company that for most of its history has made women either secondary characters or objects of affection.
The misgiving by Flair is so bad, the WWE edited it out. This is a huge deal. Flair who has long been the henchman for the league – a longstanding star and spokesperson – deteriorated that legacy. It will mostly be forgotten about in the near future but still, this caused a headache for the company.
9. Want: Family Feud
A good look is making sure you and your family stay in the media. But that media comes with costs. It takes giving over of family information, privacy, ongoing investigations and all in the public fray.
Multiple times, though, Ric and his family have gone on popular hit show, Family Feud. There, they’ve won the contest twice, but more importantly, cast themselves on live TV as a fun loving family.
The look is a good one for Flair, who has cheated and ruined numerous marriages. It’s also a strategic play by the family, as the show airs at an hour housewives and stay at home dads, hang around watching television. It’s hilarious seeing Flair decked out in his robe on daytime television.
8. Don’t: Charlotte Flair Bikini Shoot
Charlotte Flair is sexy, this is true. Noticing Charlotte’s tremendous body and beauty isn’t the most difficult thing to pay homage to. But, for Charlotte, that beauty has to be held in check.
The WWE has toed a fine line for much of its Diva era. They dressed the ladies scandalously and wrote story-lines that bridge sex with their bad ass ability to fight. Because of that, many people have slammed the promotion for misogyny.
Charlotte has been asked to stay away from much of the classic diva behavior. This is because she’s equally a spokesperson as she is a sexy wrestler. This photo shoot her and the WWE decided to do, wasn’t the best move in that regard. It painted Charlotte as a saucy diva, more of a fantasy, than a pillar of the business.
7. Want: Passing the Mantle
So many legends struggle to let go of their legacy. Ric Flair is not one of those. Yes he celebrated a long and fruitful career, the most storied of any wrestler in WWE history, but he bowed out gracefully toward the end. One such way, was putting his daughter Charlotte on a pedestal before him.
The transition from Ric to Charlotte as the company’s new Flair, was painless and quite touching. It was a great move also by the promotion. They won back (perhaps) some fickle fans who struggled with Flair’s long philandering, by tugging at their heart strings. A good look for the Flair’s and for the WWE. While they’ve since split up on-screen, seeing how proud Flair was of his daughter was truly a touching moment.
6. Don’t: Charlotte’s 2nd Marriage Fail
Sexy Charlotte has a habit like her dad. Unfortunately, the habit Charlotte has is this: Get married in a hurried manner and get divorced in a hurried manner. Not only did her 2nd failed marriage to former WWE star, Bram, look woefully bad for the family, it brought to the surface and reminded fans of Ric’s longstanding issues.
Charlotte was married and divorced to two men in a matter of 4 years! Some folks might give her a pass, call her a romantic, and chalk it up as love-blinders. But come on, let’s be honest about this…Charlotte feels a little needy. Her constant failed marriages question her character as a person and weaken her image as a kick-ass diva leading the league in a new and brightening direction.
5. Want: Reid Flair Looking Content
The story regarding Reid Flair (on the right) is heartbreaking. Most of you reading know Reid Flair’s tragic end to drugs. But here is a photo that surfaced after his death. He’s enjoying a nice moment with his sister Ashley (Charlotte) and his mother Beth. The shot shows Reid happy, content, relaxed and laid back. After all, this photo is taken before Reid’s attempts toward WWE relevancy in the indies, a move in his life that may have costed him his life.
It’s always nice to see someone, post-tragedy, in a positive light. Reid was always outspoken about his love for his family. Despite his many difficulties he found time to spend with his sister, brother, mother and father, never letting go of the love they shared.
4. Don’t: HIAC Botch
If there was one thing Ric Flair knew how to do, it was work a stage. He was impeccable in his effort and acting, had the ability to be both outlandish, and unassuming. And yet his kids, somehow, seem to the lack the gene.
I get that it’s not easy being Ric Flair’s kid, especially when you’re a woman in a male-dominated sport. I salute Charlotte for her quick rise to fame. She’s adding to the Flair lore, and doing it in similar dominance like her dad. In five short years, Charlotte’s won three different belts – a better pace then her dad’s, during his career.
But who could forget this botched PPV event in 2016, against Sasha Banks? The two ladies made history that night, becoming the first female main event in WWE PPV history and the first Hell in a Cell match to feature two women. Unfortunately at one point, there was a botch in the match. Sasha pointed to a table to remind Charlotte to throw her through it. The table was supposed to split, but it didn’t. And the rest is history. Botch after botch after botch.
3. Want: Dr. Phil Means Good Mental Health
As you’ve seen throughout this article, the Flairs have had their fair share problems. The culmination of those issues arose when Ric’s son, Reid, died of an overdose. During that time, is when Ric struck up a strong friendship with Dr. Phil, the longtime loved and sought after straight kicker, with a bit of a background in behavior science. Yes, it’s true: Dr. Phil is NOT actually a therapist. I know that hurts many hearts, but he is a guy who is respected by many, for important emotional advice. He is also a mega star. The bond between the two has benefited them both: showing Dr. Phil’s light-hearted side, and Ric’s desire to find stability. Hopefully Ric has been able to find peace following his son’s death.
2. Don’t: The Flair of the Party
Ric Flair has never been shy about his love for parties. His partying habits go back to the drug infested 70s, when a star had everything he or she wanted, with little to no moral reasoning. The result for Flair hasn’t usually been good: He’s had numerous drunken run ins with the law, and lost numerous partners to philandering. It’s brought him a lot of joy, but a lot of heartache as well.
Here he is enjoying a night out on the town with Batista, who has said he looks up to Flair. While Flair has never been one to shy away from being the life of the party, he’d probably rather not have images of him out there looking plastered. Oh and another note; why is he so red in this picture?!
1. Willing to Build a Bridge
During both their peaks, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were constant rivals. This constant rivalry pushed by the then, WWF, added to tremendous friction among them personally. They both were the key-stars of a league growing fast during it’s early peak. Because of that, they had shares of fame and immense economical gain, to split. Nobody likes splitting those things, fairly.
When the two retired, Flair reached out to Hulk, to mend their relationship. The result was positive, as Hulk extended an olive branch, by inviting Flair on his Hulkamania Tour. Since, they’ve enjoyed a fruitful friendship. While there will always be some sort of professional rivalry between the two, it’s good to see them in a positive light together and we hope that continues.
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