The Nature Boy of the World of Wrestling Entertainment
The History of Wrestling’s Legendary Hero Ric Flair
“I’m sorry . . . I love you,” mouthed superstar Shawn Michaels as he looked at Ric Flair across the squared circle. The Heartbreak Kid was tasked to take down the Nature Boy at Wrestlemania 24, and with his signature move, Sweet Chin Music, he ended the career of Ric Flair in 2008. Shawn Michaels kissed his hero on the forehead and left the ring, leaving the Nature Boy alone in the ring, crying. Ric Flair’s sendoff was also quite emotional as it was one of the biggest events that celebrated a long wrestling career. All the WWE superstars came out to celebrate and pay their respects to Ric Flair’s career, which spanned more than four decades and cemented his status as one of the most decorated wrestlers of all time, with an unmatched sixteen world championship reigns.
Many expected the Nature Boy to slowly step away from the spotlight as this marked the end of the road. Or was it really the end?
Born in 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee, Richard Fliehr grew up in Edina, Minnesota, and went to high school at the Wayland Academy in Wisconsin, where he displayed athleticism by joining the wrestling, football, and track teams. His athleticism then would serve him well when he entered the world of wrestling. Trained by the likes of Josh Klemme, Billy Robinson, and Verne Gagne, he joined a wrestling camp run by Gagne in a barn outside Minneapolis in 1971. A year after that, he adopted his now-well-known name of Ric Flair and made his debut appearance in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) until 1974. After his stint in the AWA, he joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and won his first singles title in 1975. Tragedy almost struck as Flair was in an airplane crash where he broke his back and was told he would never wrestle again. Determined, Flair underwent rigorous physical therapy and returned to the squared circle eight months later. This accident made him change his wrestling style, which led him to use the Nature Boy style, which would stick to him for the rest of his career.
This stylin’, profilin’, limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ and dealin’ son of a gun then went on to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, which helped him establish himself as a main franchise of the NWA. Ric Flair was also the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion, holding the two titles simultaneously. But with pay cuts and changing times, Flair signed with Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1991 and appeared on television as a villain. His career in the WWF soared after that, winning championship after championship while gaining friends as well as enemies on and off the ring. Fast-forward through all his incarnations, we reach the point where he retired. But retirement is not a word Ric Flair is familiar with because, even if he stopped joining matches, he reemerged as the manager to his daughter, Charlotte Flair, who took after her father and became a champion as well. Will Ric Flair ever flare out? With his more than forty years in wrestling as proof, quitting is not even an option.
Do you love entertainment wrestling? Do you have any thoughts you may want to share about Ric Flair? Write your comments below, and don’t forget to check out my book and website. Check out my accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads as well!
WWE. 2017. “Ric Flair.” Accessed on June 26, 2017. http://www.wwe.com/superstars.