Ric Flair is a professional wrestler. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1949, but he has lived most of his life in
and is regarded as a native of that state. He debuted in 1972 and has spent nearly all of his
professional career in the NWA
(which became World Championship Wrestling
in 1991 or so).
Back in the mid-seventies, Flair was actually built--a far cry from the slim figure he's known for today. In tribute to
Buddy Rogers, the original "Nature Boy", Flair took the nickname as his own. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair quickly became a
mainstay in the NWA.
In 1975, Ric Flair was in a plane crash
with Johnny Valentine, Bob Bruggers and "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods.
Modern medical science said that he'd never wrestle again, but he returned to the ring just months later with no ill
In 1986, Flair first formed the Four Horsemen
with Tully Blanchard
, Ole Anderson
, and Arn Anderson
famous wrestling stable
of all-time. The Horsemen would go on to have countless incarnations over the years, but
Flair was the backbone of the team and a member of every version.
In 1989, Ric was involved in what many consider to be the single greatest wrestling match of all time--an incredible
thirty-five minute match with Ricky Steamboat
for the NWA World Title at WrestleWar '89. The two would feud for
years both before and after this match, with nearly every match an instant classic.
Flair was booking the NWA during this period (1989). He was accused of shameless self-promotion (constantly
booking himself as champion and in the main event
), but it sure made some great matches to watch during that
period--Flair vs. Sting, Flair vs. Steamboat, Flair vs. Luger, Flair vs. Funk...Flair was carrying anything on two legs to
great matches during this period. He was forced to step down as booker in March of 1990 and replaced with Ole
Flair left WCW (which had eaten the NWA by this time) in 1991. WCW offered him a 50% pay cut and greatly reduced
booking power, including revoking his "veto clause" over World title changes, and wanted to put Lex Luger on top for
the next year. Flair disagreed, considering it a slap in the face after years of loyalty and hard work, and the week before
Great American Bash 1991 he was either fired or quit, depending on who you ask. He showed up in the World
in October of 1991 and was immediately put on top of the federation.
He showed up in the WWF *with* his NWA World Title, because he technically owned the title belt (sort of). He got
sued over this and eventually returned it, but it was quite a spectacle--with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
as his manager,
he was promoted as "The REAL World's Champion", and just the sight of the NWA belt on WWF TV instantly
He won the 1992 Royal Rumble
in what most consider to be the best Rumble ever, winning the vacant WWF
Championship in the process. He held onto the belt until Wrestlemania VIII that summer, when Randy Savage
in a terrific match.
Flair's WWF contract expired in 1993, and, ever loyal to WCW, Flair opted to return there. By all accounts, McMahon
and Flair mutually agreed to part ways and they remain on amicable terms.
Flair was again given booking power in late 1993 after an absolutely ATROCIOUS year of booking by Eric Bischoff
which lost WCW millions of dollars and is generally considered to be the worst year of wrestling in modern history. He
almost immediately booked himself to win the WCW World Title from Vader
, and went on to enjoy few months on
...until the summer of 1994, when WCW lured Hulk Hogan
away from the WWF. He was immediately pushed to the
, and many of his friends--Jim Duggan
, Randy Savage
, Brutus Beefcake
--were hired and pushed. Flair
was pushed to the backburner (except when he was being fed to Hogan).
Flair stayed loyal to the company (just about the only person more
loyal to WCW is Sting
), even when his role as
stable-leader of the Four Horsemen
became trivialized due to the coming of the nWo
in 1996. Ric's son,
, debuted in WCW in 1999, prompting Flair to become more involved again after taking off for much of
1998 (and being sued by WCW for no-showing a Thunder after being off the booking sheets for months).
He stayed until the end, wrestling Sting
in the last match of the final taping of WCW Nitro on March 26, 2001, after which
time WCW as a seperate entity ceased to be--the company had been bought out by the WWF
the previous day.
He has not wrestled since.
THIRTEEN TIME WORLD CHAMPION
8 NWA World Titles
1 WWF Championship
4 WCW World Titles