At first glance, how can any wrestling fan NOT respect Ric Flair? The 16-time World Champion is one of the biggest names in the industry. He worked tirelessly for decades (wrestling into his 60s) and even brought his children, most notably his daughter Charlotte, into the industry.
It's impossible to ignore and not admire all of the great things he's done for millions of fans. Without Flair, who knows if wrestling would be where it is today. His in-ring ability, longevity, and appealing persona is no doubt one of the most legendary ever and something that'll surely not be repeated.
But so many of us only get one side of the story; We see how Flair acts inside the ring as a wrestling character, but we don't know how big of a jerk he can be outside of the ring. One reason you should keep reading is to know this: If you're hoping to have a nice meeting with Flair in person, do be aware he can be a jerk.
Don't believe us? Well, we've dug through the many stories that show Flair isn't as cool outside of the ring as he is inside of it. Here are 15 times where The Nature Boy was a huge jerk.
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15 Being a Jerk to Scott Steiner
We will make it clear that Scott Steiner is the one who started the beef, but Flair didn't need to step in. It's ironic that The Nature Boy said "To be the man, you got to beat the man!"
That's because sometimes, the easiest way to "beat the man," is to walk away as the winner. After Steiner cut a promo in WCW where he viciously insulted Flair, The Nature Boy apparently challenged him to a fight in the parking lot.
The only problem? Flair walked away and backed out of a fight. Yes, Steiner started it, but Flair was a jerk for challenging a fight, only to run off. Was that really necessary?
14 Running The Jerk Store in Georgia
"Well the jerk store called, and they're running out of you!"
Ah yes, nothing like a classic line from Seinfeld's George Costanza. But if there really was a jerk store, Flair would be running it, because he apparently was a huge jerk to fans he met in Rome, Georgia.
The story goes that Flair was drunk in a bar and a group of friends went to meet him. When they tried talking to him, he told them to f*** off and proceeded to leave by flipping the bird at them.
Not a nice way to treat people who made you the Limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling dealing son of a gun that can kiss any woman in the world...
13 Ruining His Retirement
Flair should have been grateful for how Vince McMahon and the WWE treated him: They helped him extend his career past where it should've went after WCW was purchased and he could've had a cushy job backstage.
So when Flair lost an epic WrestleMania match to Shawn Michaels in 2008 that "ended his career," The Nature Boy got an epic send-off from the fans on the following Monday Night Raw. What a way to go out!
Except, Flair decided he had to keep wrestling, so he signed with TNA. Flair's tenure there was rather disappointing and he ruined the perfect finish to a career that WWE tried to give him.
12 Telling Natalya To Kill Herself
We're in an era where certain overly offensive jokes are just not funny anymore. A lot of people are easily affected by such things and it's not even humorous in any form to make those sorts of jokes.
But don't tell that to Flair. During a SmackDown taping this past April, Flair told Natalya, Charlotte's biggest on-screen rival, to "kill yourself." We'll give Flair the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn't mean it so harshly, and that it was meant to be a joke, but come on now. This wasn't funny or cool in any way.
11 Skipping His Own Autograph Session
It was set up to be a perfect day in the aforementioned Rome, Georgia area.
In November 2013, Flair was to do an autograph signing session for fans. They'd buy their tickets, get photos and autographs, and tell the story about how they got to meet one of the best wrestlers ever.
The only problem? Flair didn't show up, according to this fan. Fans had to pay $50 for the event, but Flair just hung around at a sports bar and decided to leave. Not a nice way to treat fans who spent all that money to meet you.
10 Attacking Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash won't be considered to be on the level of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, John Cena or even Flair for that matter, but it's hard to deny how monumental he was for the pro wrestling industry.
One of the original three members of the New World Order, Nash played a huge part in turning WCW and WWE into major powerhouses, but Flair doesn't seem to think the hard-working giant is all that special. Here's how he attacked Nash:
“Kevin Nash’s claim to fame is playing basketball in Tennessee, though I never saw him play; and coming in this business as a bouncer from a club. Good physique, good look. Just on the record, zero talent. Right place, right time; zero [talent] in the ring.”
Pretty sure a WWE Hall of Famer has some talents in the ring, Mr. Flair.
9 Attacking a Motorist
Now, we don't know the backstory here or why Flair did this, but we know it's not good to break someone else's property. In 2005, Flair attacked a motorist, allegedly grabbing him by the neck and kicking the door off his vehicle. He was charged with simple assault/battery and injuring personal property.
I think the Jerk Store found their new owner...
8 Being a Jerk to ROH
Ring of Honor was nice enough to give Flair some action after he "retired" from the WWE. Before TNA scooped The Nature Boy up, he had time to wrestle with ROH, as he had very limited options.
So what does he do? A company that treated him well probably treated him a little TOO WELL. He failed to wrestle in matches that he was to participate in under his contract. He also owed them at least $40,000, but they could never resolve the lawsuit.
7 Doing WWE and Its Fans a MAJOR Disservice
Think of all the dream matches we didn't see on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania. Well, Flair and Hulk Hogan, the two biggest names in pro wrestling at the time should have fought at WrestleMania VIII, when they were at the height of their prime.
But why didn't it happen? Both egos got in the way. The two couldn't come up with a proper finish to the match, but the story goes that Flair hated the decision and thought Hogan was behind the booking.
Whether that's true or not isn't known to the public, but it wouldn't surprise us. Why couldn't these two just make something happen for the fans sake?
6 Being A Jerk to Another Fan
Depending on what story you hear, Flair can either be a great guy to meet outside the ring or one of the biggest jerks. Sadly, one particular fan probably won't ever have a good impression of The Nature Boy.
This fan went up to Flair and told him to be nicer to Eric Bischoff and work with the team. He had to pay $100 to get a photo taken with The Nature Boy. So what happens? Flair shouts "NEXT!" and doesn't even acknowledge this fan.
Sure, the fan could have said something nicer, but shouldn't Flair at least smile?
5 Attacking Eric Bischoff
Ric Flair's tenure with WCW was a major hit for the most part and it paved the way for an awesome return to the WWE. But during the height of the Monday Night Wars, Flair and Bischoff got into tension that resulted in The Nature Boy leaving for some time. Bischoff tried suing Flair for not showing up to a WCW Thunder show.
When the two reunited in WWE, Flair apparently went into Bischoff's office and physically attacked him while he was on the phone, until Sgt. Slaughter diffused the situation. No one is questioning that Bischoff can be difficult to deal with, but that doesn't mean he should be attacked...
4 Taking Shots at Shane Douglas
Shane Douglas had a remarkable career, though obviously not quite as accomplished as Flair's. That didn't stop Ric from taking constant shots at Douglas, something that showed he was a huge jerk.
Flair stated that Douglas would always blame his lack of success on others and even accused Douglas of taking steroids during a WCW radio show, a very serious accusation to make. While it's true that Douglas does spend too much time blaming others, Flair can gain nothing from furthering insulting poor Shane Douglas.
3 Insulting Bret Hart's Success
There is no denying that Bret Hart is one of the most iconic names in the history of pro wrestling. The man has dealt with plenty, from the death of his younger brother Owen Hart to the infamous Montreal Screwjob.
The Nature Boy has shown no mercy, however, always finding ways to take shots at Hart. Flair said that Hart was not a huge deal outside of Canada and tried to make Hart look like he was overrated and nothing special.
Flair even attacked Hart for a "failed" run in WCW, even though the latter suffered from concussions. The two are friends now, but Flair's jabs at Hart were silly and unnecessary.
2 Insulting Mick Foley
Mick Foley changed the wrestling industry with his life AND career-threatening stunts. His legacy was all set after his epic Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker in 1998, when he almost died TWICE.
Foley suffered numerous injuries and lost teeth during the match, but Flair didn't have any regard for it, saying the following:
"I do not care how many thumbtacks Mick Foley has fallen on, how many ladders he's fallen off, how many continents he's supposedly bled on, he will always be known as a glorified stuntman."
Given how hard Foley worked to make a name for himself and entertain the fans, it's safe to say that you can't ever please some people, including The Nature Boy.
1 Being a HUGE Jerk to Bruno Sammartino
Before Flair, Hogan, Savage, Austin, The Rock and Cena, there was Bruno Sammartino, by far the first TRUE superstar face of professional wrestling. The way he kickstarted the global following of wrestling can't be ignored.
He's one of those people that every wrestler should look up to and respect greatly, but Flair felt compelled to be a jerk, saying Sammartino was only a "Northeast star who couldn't draw fans outside of New York."
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