Now that that's out of our system...
He was the kiss stealing, limousine riding, jet flying son of a gun who kissed all the girls and made them cry. In the ring, the man and to be the man you had to beat the man. He was the original Space Mountain ride. There aren’t many wrestlers or fans who don’t universally agree that Ric Flair was the best there was and if you didn’t love it, you had to learn to respect it.
The 16 time World Heavyweight Champion, the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair has been in the business of professional wrestling for over 40 years. That means over 40 years of stories from the rigors of the road. But when you’re the caliber of performer Ric Flair is, you don’t really just go home and be Richard Fleihr – the guy was on all of the time. No matter the promotion, no matter whether he was home or in the ring, Ric Flair was Ric Flair and lived the gimmick of being the Nature Boy, wining and dining all over the globe.
Good, bad, unbelievable, or just plain inconceivable – there are a ton of Ric Flair stories circulating the internet and if you have the WWE Network, just watch the guy on Legends of Wrestling. Not matter the topic of the episode, the other panelists and Flair inevitably circulate to the Nature Boy to hear his opinions and personal recollections. Don’t worry, they’re not all stories of wild debauchery, but they are all insane and crazy Ric Flair stories.
14 He Walked Away From a Plane Crash
When you hear the word plane crash and survived, you might generally think mangled and irrevocably broken in half. On October 4th, 1975, Flair, along with Johnny Valentine (Greg’s father), Mr. Wrestling, Bob Bruggers, and David Crockett were involved in a plane crash in Wilmington, North Carolina. The crash killed the pilot, paralyzed Valentine, and broke Flair’s back in three places. Obviously, the doctors would tell the Nature Boy his in–ring career was over, but Flair endured a rigorous physical therapy and rehabilitation and returned just a few months later to continue his feud with Wahoo McDaniel and go on to have one of the best careers in history.
13 He Quit Three Times
You would think that the guy who is regarded as the best wrestler ever was a natural in the ring and was an instant star. That was absolutely not the case with the Nature Boy. Growing up in Minnesota, Flair trained in the snow-filled trenches of Verne Gagne’s wrestling camp with guys like Sgt. Slaughter and The Iron Sheik. Flair was unable to cope with the rigors of training in frigid cold Minnesota and tried to quit not once but three different times! Luckily for the industry, Verne was too smart to allow that and dragged Flair out of his duplex and dragged his ass back to the barn. Anyone who pays homage to Ric Flair needs to thank Gagne for keeping him in the business.
12 Road Rage Arrest
Ric Flair must’ve had a senior moment and flashed back to a time when the Horsemen lived to terrorize Dusty Rhodes and terrorized a fellow motorist instead. During the Thanksgiving holiday, Flair flashed a driver in front of him, pulled alongside him and dragged him out of his car by the neck, while damaging his car. This wasn’t even the first time either, as Flair supposedly had warrants for him on simple assault and personal property damage. At the height of his Rated R-ness, Edge would parody the incident in one of Raw’s most memorable bits.
11 Like Everyone Else, Flair Tried to Be 'Superstar'
By this point, we all know that Superstar Billy Graham is the proto-prototype for what a superstar should aspire to be, an all–around performer with an adonis physique. Besides wanting to be as good as Dusty Rhodes, it should come as no shock then that future Hall of Famer would also try to mimic the man who’s too sweet to be sour! Before spending a small fortune in sequined robes, Flair put on tie-dyed tights and waltzed around the ring like a dirty hippie, trying to be just like the original mouth that roared, Billy Graham.
10 Even Ric Flair Paid His Dues
Besides being tortured and stretched by Verne Gagne, Flair would also get ribbed by his hero, Dusty Rhodes, and his partner, Dick Murdock. Murdock and Rhodes took Flair to Japan with them and convinced him that he’ll need to trim his locks, so he shaved his head. During one match, Flair bladed but his riding partners demanded to leave the arena right away. So Flair was driving around Japan with blood pouring out of his head, asking for beer. That must have been a sight if any of the Japanese police had pulled them over. For all the ribbing, Rhodes did give Flair some sound advice when he asked Dust’ if he could be Ramblin’ Ricky Rhodes–“Why don’t you be the first Ric Flair instead.”
9 Wives All Wanted to Be the Man
Flair’s most famous saying is “to be the man, you have to beat the man.” On more than one occasion, at least three of his four wives decided they wanted to be the man or simply were fed up with being with a lothario like Flair. his second wife, Elizabeth Harrell, allegedly had assaulted Flair trying to provoke him into a physical altercation. Flair filed a criminal complaint on Tiffany Vandemark, his third wife, because she decked him with a phone charger. Lastly, in 2010, current wife Jacqueline Beams punched him in the face repeatedly. With rumors about Flair not being able to keep it in his pants, either Flair is a glutton for punishment or he should learn that he should convert to being a confirmed bachelor.
8 Drinks Are Always on the Nature Boy
Flair lived like a king in the eighties and his entire career, he lived his gimmick. According to Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, it would not be uncommon to see ‘Natich head to a local bar with several of the boys and buy rounds for the entire place, wandering around the establishment passing out drinks to everyone, acting like the host of the party, which he usually was. According to Ross, he would start dancing around with other people’s wives, doing all he could to be the life of the party. Schiavone revealed the secret of Flair’s seemingly alcoholic appetite; he wouldn’t finish every drink he drank and toss many of them aside. Flair would look like he could party all night and stay a little longer.
7 Drunken SummerSlam Panel
There have been several moments of debauchery involving superstars but only a select few that have happened in front of fans at a corporate sponsored event. The now infamous WWE 2K14 panel before Summerslam hosted by J.R. also had a loaded Nature Boy. To be fair to Flair, he had recently lost his son Reid. Flair was acting as if he'd be part of 'Mania XXX before JR tried to regain control of the panel by letting him know he might not be invited, but Flair had already hijacked the whole panel. If Schiavone is to be believed from the previous entry, then it's a good thing Flair didn't actually imbibe all those drinks, he'd more than likely be dead already if he had.
6 Night Out with Cena Ends Flair's Marriage
Once you're one of the boys, you're always one of the boys. The Nature Boy prides himself on this even at the expense of his marriage. While married to wife no. AAAA, 'Naitch decided to head out for drinks with John Cena. When questioned by his wife as to what the former leader of the Horsemen could possibly have in common with a man twice his junior, Flair's reply was "a beach of lot mor Ethan I do with you." The way Flair tells this tale, it sounds like the marriage didn't last much longer after that. Once a Nature Boy, always a Nature Boy.
5 Headlined the Biggest Wrestling Event Ever
While we all know that WrestleMania brings fans in by the motherload and, generally speaking, other events just don't draw as much. However, every so often an event will happen outside the country that demonstrates the true drawing power of professional wrestling. In what is the biggest pro audience ever, 190,000 people came to the May Day Stadium in North Korea to watch the Nature Boy take on Antonio Inoki for a special joint-PPV, Collision in Korea, between WCW and NJPW. Hulk Hogan might say 90K-plus watched him slam Andre, but 190K came to see Space Mountain in Korea.
4 On the Edge of a Lightning Bolt...Twice!
It's very rare to get hit by lightning, let along it happening to you twice.. You're probably going to hit the lotto jackpot before that happens, unless of course, you're the 16-time former World Heavyweight Champion. The first time was when he was the NWA champion in 1982, heading towards Richmond, VA. His connecting flight was late due to weather and eventually the passengers would get off and be handed umbrellas. A bolt bounced off Flair's umbrella and smacked another man in the eye, killing him. And since planes seem to love to try and kill the Nature Boy, Flair was on a small plane in 1986 and a bolt turned the plane upside down.
4. Robes that Cost As Much As Cars
Flair might have told his opponents that to be the man you had to beat the man but he must have also thought that you had to dress the part as well. There’s a reason the IRS hunted Flair down, as he just refuses to live a normal lifestyle. Everything he does has to be BIG. Even his ring robes had to be specified and tailored to his liking. At the height of Flair’s career, he estimates he had about 30–40 of them and they all cost upwards of $8000. He even once bought a fur coat that he might have worn once and then never again, continued proof that no one quite lived their gimmick like the Nature Boy.
3 Yet Again, More Planes vs. Flair
A crash almost ended his career and he had been struck by lightning twice while near or on board an airplane, so you would think Ric Flair would mind his Ps and Qs aboard the flying machines that have been set on getting the Nature Boy. But then, he wouldn’t be Ric Flair, now would he? ‘Naitch was part of the infamous “Plane Ride From Hell” that saw Michael Hayes trademark locks trimmed, several fights break out, several superstars get their pink slip, and finally the leader of the Horsemen dressed in nothing but one of his prized robes, exposing himself to flight attendants. Needless to say there was a sexual harassment suit filed against Flair and WWE.
2 Stalked by a Batcrap Nutty Fan
When you live like Don Juan, you're bound to gain a few ex-wives, jilted lovers, and angry boyfriends. It also shouldn't surprise anyone that Ric Flair had a fairly dangerous stalker. While the Nature Boy was having a banner year in 1990, a woman named DeAnn Siden began to follow the champ around all overy. She would eventually threaten his life and claim to have a child by him as well in the same year that Flair won the WWE Championship. She'd threaten to take her own and her daughter's life, before threatening Elizabeth's life as well. What's crazy is that not only were this woman's claims totally unfounded, but Flair allowed this to go on for eight years before having the woman arrested.
1 The Horsemen at the Marriott
At their height, not a single person or entity could touch the Four Horsemen. Flair himself has joked that if they ran in the WWE with Vince's backing they'd still be over to this day. As Flair lived his gimmick, so did the rest of the Horsemen and one night in Baltimore, Flair let all the ladies know that the Horsemen were staying at the Marriott and to come on over, but no boyfriends or husbands allowed. There were over 300 women packed into the hallway of the hotel. Flair would start telling the ladies in every town where the Horsemen were going to be that night. It's a wonder how Flair had four marriages, let alone one!