For a period this summer the whole pro wrestling world was collectively holding its breath as Ric Flair was rushed to the hospital. There were times when it seemed as if the outlook was bleak for the 16-time World Champion, but thankfully The Nature Boy kicked out of the situation like he has done on so many occasions during his lifetime.
There are few that would argue against The Nature Boy being one of the best performers to ever lace up a pair of boots, if not the very best. Flair is the epitome of a Superstar not necessarily needing to be the best in-ring performer in the world to make it in the business. For Flair, it was and still is about his overall aura. He portrayed a larger than life character on screen and in the ring but the reality of it was that was his real-life persona.
All of the Rolex-wearing and kiss-stealing naturally inspired a few of the Superstars that have come along since Naitch. In fact. you'd probably be hard pushed to find a pro wrestler who hasn't been influenced by Flair in some way. Flair knows it too and recently while talking to NBC Sports Radio mentioned a pretty big name that the Hall of Famer believes adopted a few aspects of his character.
That man is The Rock. "I think he'll admit that a lot of me was him," Flair said about The People's Champion. Naitch probably has a point too. A lot of Rocky's larger-than-life on-screen personality, even to this day outside of wrestling, can probably be attributed to him watching Flair while growing up. As Flair pointed out too, he isn't claiming anything that The Rock wouldn't likely agree with.
Ric Flair was so influential throughout his long and storied career that it's hard to imagine what the pro wrestling landscape would look like today had he not been around. He's the very best in the eyes of most fans, most of his peers, and most wrestlers that have come along since he retired. He is the only two-time WWE Hall of Famer and is the most deserving man of that unique accolade.