Ric Flair

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Ric Flair
Statistics
Ring name(s) Ric Flair
Rick Flair
Black Scorpion
Nature Boy
Height 5'11"
Weight 220 lb
Billed height 6'1" (185,42 cm)
Billed weight 243 lb (110 kg)
Born February 25, 1949 (age 58)
Memphis, Tennessee
Resides Charlotte, North Carolina
Trained by Verne Gagne
Debut 1972

Ric Flair (born February 25, 1949 [1] and named Richard Morgan Fliehr upon his adoption several weeks later), is an iconic American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment on its RAW brand. Also known as "The Nature Boy", Flair has been one of the leading personalities in professional wrestling since the mid 1970s. For much of the run of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), he was considered their flagship wrestler. He is recognized by WWE as a 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, but his actual tally of World Championship reigns varies by source.

Flair was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but was adopted by a couple from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he grew up and attended school. He trained under Verne Gagne in Minnesota and spent his first three years with Gagne's American Wrestling Association. . Afterwards, he joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) affiliated Jim Crockett Promotions. On the rise as a promising young brawler, he suffered a severe back injury in an October 4, 1975 plane crash in Wilmington, North Carolina. Doctors told Flair that he would never wrestle again, but Flair would return to active wrestling the next year. The crash did force Flair to change his wrestling style, which led him to adopt the "Nature Boy" style he would use throughout his career.

Flair won the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship five times, then won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time by defeating Dusty Rhodes on September 17, 1981. Harley Race won the title from Flair in 1983. Flair regained the title at StarrCade 1983 in Greensboro, North Carolina in a steel cage match; afterwards, Race and Flair would fight in many different matches in early 1984. Flair would go on to win the NWA title, officially, seven more times. As the NWA champion, he defended his belt around the world. Flair lost the title to Race and won it back in the span of three days in New Zealand in March 1984. At the first David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions at Texas Stadium, Flair was pinned by Kerry Von Erich. Flair regained the title 18 days later in Japan. He then reigned for two years, two months, and two days, losing his title to Dusty Rhodes on July 26, 1986 at The Great American Bash; Dusty had been a notable foe in Flair's career, and both men began a famous feud with one another after Flair helped break Dusty's leg on September 29, 1985. Flair regained the title two weeks later. Flair would engage in many different matches throughout his title reigns, and face many opponents like Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, Kerry von Erich, Jay Youngblood, Sting, and Dusty Rhodes throughout his career as well.

Contents

[edit] World Championship Wrestling (1986-1991)

By 1986, wrestling promoter Jim Crockett had consolidated the various NWA member promotions he owned into a single entity, running under the banner of the National Wrestling Alliance. Controlling much of the traditional NWA territories in the southeast and midwestern United States, Crockett looked to expand nationally, and built his promotion around Flair as champion. During this time, Flair's bookings as champion were tightly controlled by Crockett, and a custom championship belt was created for Flair.

Flair lost the NWA World Championship in Detroit to Ron Garvin on September 25, 1987. Garvin would hold the title for two months before losing to Flair on November 26, 1987 at WCW's first pay-per-vew event, Starrcade in Chicago, Illinois.

In late 1988, booker Dusty Rhodes proposed that Flair lose the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Rick Steiner in a short match at Starrcade '88 when no agreement could be met regarding the finish to the scheduled main event between him and Lex Luger. Feeling that Rhodes had always conspired to make him look weak as champion, Flair refused, and threatened to leave WCW if Rhodes was not removed as booker. Rhodes was fired for various issues within the company, and former JCP booker George Scott was given his role as booker.

Scott immediately negotiated to bring in Ricky Steamboat for a series of matches. On February 20, 1989 in Chicago, Steamboat pinned Flair to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. This prompted a series of rematches, where Steamboat was presented as a "family man" (often accompanied by his wife and young son), while Flair opposed him as an immoral, fast-living "ladies man". Following a best-of-three falls match with Steamboat that lasted just short of the sixty-minute time limit (and ended with a disputed finish where Steamboat retained the title) at Clash Of The Champions VI: Ragin' Cajun on April 2, 1989, Flair regained the title from Steamboat on May 7 at WrestleWar '89. This match has been cited by many as one of the greatest wrestling matches in history, and was voted 1989's "Match Of The Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Flair was attacked by Terry Funk (serving as a judge for the match, as per its stipulations) after the match when Flair refused to grant Funk a title match, telling Funk that he had spent too much time in Hollywood and out of wrestling, and was not a listed title contender. The attack reached its conclusion when Funk gave Flair a piledriver through the judges' table.

Months later, a "recovered" Flair returned to competition in an emotional match against Funk at The Great American Bash. The two continued feuding through the summer and eventually Flair reformed the Four Horsemen, with the surprise addition of longtime rival Sting, to combat Funk's J-Tex Corporation. This led to an I Quit Match at Clash Of The Champions IX: New York Knockout. Before the match, Funk stated that he would shake Flair's hand if he lost, a promise he kept when he shouted "Yes, I Quit!" after being in Flair's figure-four leglock.

Flair then kicked Sting out of the Horsemen upon his challenge for the NWA Championship, y, resulting in a revived feud between the two which had to be delayed due to Sting injuring his knee, forcing WCW to slot Lex Luger as Flair's main challenger until Sting returned. On July 7, 1990, Flair dropped the title to Sting in what the wrestling world at the time believed was a changing of the guard. Flair wasn't finished winning NWA World Titles, however. After being unmasked as the Black Scorpion at Starrcade 1990, he regained the title from Sting on January 11, 1991. Prior to this reign, WCW split their recognition of a world heavyweight champion from the NWA, and Flair was subsequently recognized as the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion, while still being recognized as NWA World Champion. On March 21, 1991, Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Flair in a controversial match in Tokyo. While the NWA recognized Fujinami as their new champion, WCW did not because Fujinami had backdropped Flair over the top rope in a violation of WCW rules. On May 19, 1991, Flair defeated Fujinami at SuperBrawl in St. Petersburg, Florida to reclaim the NWA title and retain the WCW title. In doing so, he became an eight time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, breaking Harley Race's record.

In the summer of 1991, Flair had a contract dispute with WCW president Jim Herd, who wanted him to take a substantial pay cut. Herd had removed Flair as head booker in February 1990, and wanted to reduce Flair's role in the promotion even further, despite the fact that Flair was still a top draw. According to Flair, Herd also proposed changes in his appearance (i.e. by shaving his hair, wearing a diamond earring and going by the name "Spartacus") as well as his in-ring name in order to "change with the times", a move that Kevin Sullivan equated with "changing Mickey Mantle's (uniform) number" as an example of unnecessarily altering a legend. Flair disagreed with the proposals, and two weeks before the 1991 Great American Bash, Herd fired him. Flair's popularity in WCW would be proven during his absence, as broadcasts were often punctuated by unignorable chants of "We Want Flair!". While Flair had left for the WWF he was still recongized as the WCW World Champion until July 1, 1991 when the title was officially vacated. Though the NWA does not recognize this whole run as Flair had lost an NWA title bout against Tatsumi Fujinami on March 21, 1991 in Japan (in a non-WCW matchup). Flair than retained the NWA title from Fujinami on May 19, 1991 on SuperBrawl I (in a title fight according to NWA, but non-title fight according to WCW), but since Fujinami was never recognized by WCW to have beaten Flair before for the Championship title and thus he was never recognized as a WCW Champion, the title was then stripped from Flair on July 1, 1991. [2]

[edit] World Wrestling Federation (1991-1993)

Flair signed with the WWF in August 1991, and began appearing on television the next month. Initially, he appeared on WWF shows with the "Big Gold Belt", calling himself "The Real World Heavyweight Champion". WCW sued Flair in an attempt to reclaim the belt, but Flair claimed that he owned the belt in lieu of the $25,000 deposit paid by NWA champions upon winning the title, which had not been returned to him when he was fired from WCW. The matter was settled later that year, with Flair's deposit being returned to him along with interest.

Flair as the WWF Champion.
Flair as the WWF Champion.

Led by his "financial advisor" Bobby Heenan and his "executive consultant" Mr. Perfect,Flair repeatedly issued challenges to WWF notables like Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan, wrestling a team led by Piper at Survivor Series 1991 and helping The Undertaker defeat Hogan for his WWF Title that same night. At the 1992 Royal Rumble, he won the Rumble Match to claim the vacant WWF Championship. Flair drew number three in the Rumble match, and lasted a then-record 59 minutes, last eliminating Sid Justice with help from Hulk Hogan, who had been eliminated by Justice seconds earlier. In so doing, Flair joined Buddy Rogers as the only men to win the WWE and NWA Championships in their careers. He also became the fifteenth man to hold the WWF Heavyweight Championship.

After a planned program with Hogan was scrapped due to Hogan's hiatus following the WWF's steroid scandal, Randy Savage challenged Flair for the WWF title at WrestleMania VIII. Flair taunted Savage by claiming that he had a prior relationship with Savage's wife, Elizabeth, and that he had the pictures to prove it (which were later revealed to be doctored photos). Savage defeated Flair for the title at WrestleMania. In July 1992, as Savage prepared to defend the title against The Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam, Flair and Mr. Perfect sowed distrust between the two by suggesting that they would back one or the other during their match. They actually attacked both Savage and Warrior and injured Savage's knee sufficiently, an injury that Flair exploited to regain the title in a match on September 1. Due to an inner ear injury that affected his equilibrium, his second reign would be short-lived, as he lost the title to Bret Hart on October 12.

Flair teamed with Razor Ramon to take on Savage and Perfect at the 1992 Survivor Series and appeared in the 1993 Royal Rumble. After losing a Loser Leaves Town Match to Mr. Perfect on an episode of Monday Night Raw, Flair returned to WCW. On The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection DVD, Flair described his first stint with the WWF as "the greatest year and a half of my career, outside the time I spent with Arn and the Four Horsemen".

[edit] World Championship Wrestling (1993-2001)

Flair returned to WCW in February 1993, and hosted a short-lived talk show in WCW called A Flair For The Gold as a compromise to work around a no-compete clause in his previous WWF contract, since he could appear on television but not wrestle. Arn Anderson usually appeared at the bar on the show's set, and Flair's maid Fifi (portrayed by Wendy Barlow) cleaned or bore gifts. Flair briefly held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for a tenth time before WCW finally left the NWA in September 1993. After WCW's withdrawal, however, the NWA dropped recognition of Flair's tenth reign, leaving him with nine official NWA World Heavyweight Title reigns.

WCW planned to have Sid Vicious win the WCW World title at Starrcade 1993, but Sid was fired after a violent real-life altercation with Arn Anderson in London. Flair was placed in the match, which was held in his adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The match was billed that if Flair lost, he would retire from wrestling. The match, which was one of Eric Bischoff's first opportunities to impress WCW management, would end with Flair using a chop block and roll-up on the gigantic Vader to win the title. The match was a huge success and used to draw in Hulk Hogan, who in Flair's book admitted he cried while watching the match, into WCW. In June 1994, Flair defeated Sting in a unification match, merging the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship with the WCW World Championship.

Flair later feuded with Hulk Hogan upon Hogan's arrival in WCW in June 1994, losing the WCW World Championship to him in July. Flair lost a retirement match to Hogan at Halloween Havoc 1994. Flair took a few months off before returning as a wrestler and part-time manager in 1995. He and Randy Savage renewed hostilities when Savage arrived in WCW late in 1994, and their feud continued off-and-on for almost two years with each wrestler winning the WCW World Championship from each other at different times. Flair assaulted Savage's father Angelo Poffo, defeated Savage in a steel cage at SuperBrawl VI to win the WCW World title, which saw Savage betrayed by Elizabeth in favor of Flair, with Flair and Elizabeth later shown on TV spending Savage's alimony payments on lavish items. Flair even defeated Konnan on July 7, 1996 at Bash at The Beach to win the United States Championship. He vacated it in November of that year due to an arm injury.

Flair would play a major role in the New World Order storyline in late 1996 & throughout 1997. He & the Horsemen often took the lead in the war against Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan. Flair would feud with Roddy Piper, Syxx, and his old nemesis, Curt Hennig, in 1997 after Hennig was offered a spot in the Four Horsemen only to see Hennig turn on Flair and the Horsemen at Fall Brawl 97, with Hennig punctuating the act by slamming the cage door onto Flair's head.

In April 1998, Flair became embroiled in a dispute with WCW president Eric Bischoff when he failed to appear at a televised event. Bischoff had placed Flair on the show only three days prior, and Flair had earlier requested time off on the same night to see his son Reid wrestle in a Greco-Roman wrestling tournament. Bischoff filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Flair, and kept him off television for over 5 months. He returned on September 14, 1998 to reform the Four Horsemen (along with Steve "Mongo" McMichael, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit) in Greenville, South Carolina. During his return speech, Flair would shoot on Bischoff, saying that Bischoff didn't care about the fans and kept shouting the words "abuse of power" and "Fire me! I'm already fired!". Flair feuded with Bischoff for several months afterward, eventually winning the "Presidency of WCW" from Bischoff. He used his power to make a WCW title match with Hulk Hogan at 1999's Uncensored, which he won. However, during this time, WCW gave Flair an unusual gimmick that played on Flair's tendency to ramble incoherently during his interviews, with the explanation that Flair was going insane and that his reign as "President of WCW" really meant that he was, in his own mind, the President of the United States of America. Flair would be sent to a mental institution and his status as WCW President was dissolved, although Flair would return later with the gimmick seemingly scrapped. Flair would win the WCW World Championship twice during 2000, WCW's last full year of operation.

When WCW was purchased by the WWF in March 2001, Flair was the leader of the heel group called the Magnificent Seven. Flair lost the final match in Nitro history to Sting on March 26, 2001. Following the loss, he did not wrestle at all for the rest of the year, although he did receive offers to wrestle on the independent circuit.

[edit] World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2001-)

After a long hiatus from pro wrestling, Flair returned to the WWF in November 2001 as the on-camera co-owner of the company. Flair reappeared on RAW following the end of the "WCW/ECW Invasion" that culminated in a "Winner Take All" match at Survivor Series 2001 won by the WWF.

Flair's new on-screen role was that of the co-owner of the WWF, with the explanation that Shane and Stephanie McMahon had sold him their stock in the company to a consortium (namely Flair) prior to purchasing WCW and ECW. This led Ric Flair and Vince McMahon to a match at the Royal Rumble 2002 in a Street Fight, in which Flair defeated McMahon. That match was Ric Flair's first match since his return to the WWE. Flair would also wrestle The Undertaker at Wrestlemania X8(2002) where Flair would lose a bloody brawl. From then, the "co-owner" angle would culminate in early 2002, when the WWF was split into competing "brands", with Flair taking control of the "RAW" brand, while Vince controlled "SmackDown!". After Steve Austin abruptly left the WWE while in a program with Flair, a match was hotshotted between Flair and Vince for sole ownership of the WWE, which McMahon won, thanks to interference by Brock Lesnar.

Flair would later turn heel (then face, then heel again) over the next two months, before joining Triple H's "Evolution" stable. Flair won the World Tag Team Championship with Batista twice in 2003-04. At the 2005 WWE Unforgiven event, Flair defeated Carlito for Carlito’s Intercontinental Championship, a belt Flair had never won. With the win, he became the thirteenth Triple Crown Champion in WWE history (Intercontinental, Tag Team, and World Titles,) as well as the first man to win the Intercontinental Title after a reign as WWE Champion since Chris Jericho (in 2004). After Evolution dissolved, Flair began a feud with Triple H, with Flair defeating him at Taboo Tuesday to retain the Intercontinental Championship. Triple H received a non-title rematch against Flair in a Last Man Standing match at Survivor Series, which Triple H won.

On February 20, 2006, Flair lost the Intercontinental Championship to Shelton Benjamin. Flair took some time off in mid-2006 to rest and marry for the third time, and returned in June to work a program with Mick Foley that has played off their legitimate past animosity. Flair defeated Foley at SummerSlam in a "I Quit" Match.

Since then, he has been involved in a rivalry with the Spirit Squad on RAW. On Sunday, November 5, 2006 at Cyber Sunday, he captured the World Tag Team Championship from the Squad with Roddy Piper. On the November 13 edition of RAW in Manchester, England, Flair and Piper lost the Tag Titles to Rated-RKO due to a disc problem with Piper and had to be flown immediately back to the USA as soon as RAW was off the air. On November 26, 2006 at Survivor Series, Flair was the sole survivor of a match that featured himself, Ron Simmons (replacing an injured Piper), Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter versus the Spirit Squad. He would become a victim of a conchairto by Rated-RKO and (kayfabe) was just sent to the hospital on the November 27, 2006 edition of WWE RAW. Flair then left television due to his divorce hearings. On the December 11, 2006 edition of Raw, Flair returned to team up with DX again. They defeated Rated-RKO along with Kenny. On March 19, 2007 Flair competed in a battle royal for Edge's money in the bank spot but failed to do so.

[edit] Legacy

Despite his age and his less-than-chiseled physique, and even though he is long past his prime as a "main-eventer", Flair is still a capable performer. Flair became over with the crowd, often due to his in-ring antics, including cheating ways (earning him the distinction of being "the dirtiest player in the game"), his trademark strut and his shouting of "Woooooo!". While his charisma has never been in question, Flair's moveset has always been limited, and has become even more so in recent years, mainly punches, chops,

The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection DVD cover
The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection DVD cover

back body drops and various devious manoeuvers. Some exceptions where he has stepped outside this small package of moves include a Monday night contest against Kurt Angle in July 2005, an intercontinental championship match at Unforgiven 2005, and a Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 22.

In a tradition started by the vocal fans of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and Shane Douglas during a time when the WCW management and Flair was thought to be unjustly holding a large amount of wrestlers down[citation needed], anytime a wrestler delivers a hard back hand chop to the chest of his opponent, fans yell "Woooooo!" in mockery to Flair, whose stiff chops often made his opponent's chest raw or even bloody. This tradition long outlived any controversy, as it was meant to protest and has carried over to WWE and almost all other North American promotions. The chant has since become a tribute to Flair(In Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 any time a wrestler does a chop the fans yell the signature Wooooo!) instead of the original connotation of being a mockery of Flair.

Since the late 1970s, he has worn ornate, fur lined robes of many colors with sequins, and since the early 80s, his approach to the ring was usually heralded by the playing of the "Dawn" section of Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra (famous for being used in the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Late in 2003, WWE released a three-DVD retrospective of Flair's career (focusing mainly on his career prior to 1993), The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection. It became WWE's fastest-selling video package up to that time.

A Ric Flair DVD will be released within the next year entitled "Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen".

Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen DVD cover
Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen DVD cover

On May 19, 2003, Triple H defended the World Heavyweight Championship in a match against Flair. After RAW went off the air, most of the people who were backstage came out to honor Flair, including Vince, Shane, and Stephanie McMahon. Triple H then appeared, and after a stare down, he placed the World Heavyweight Championship belt on Flair's shoulder and embraced him. Flair then gave a speech thanking everyone for the tribute.

K-1 competitor Bob Sapp pays tribute to Flair during his ring entrances by coming to the ring in a feather sequined robe to the tune of Also sprach Zarathustra.

Flair released his autobiography, To Be the Man, in July 2004. The title is taken from one of his catchphrases, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man!" Flair is an icon in the Carolinas on a par with Michael Jordan and Richard Petty, and he has made the Charlotte area his home since the days of the Crockett promotion.

WWE promotes Flair as a 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, but many records show that he has held more. Although some controversy still surrounds this, Ric Flair still holds the record of the most World Heavyweight Championships held by an individual in professional wrestling.

[edit] Controversy

[edit] Bret Hart

In 2004, Flair engaged in an off-screen rivalry with Bret Hart, in which both claimed to be the best wrestler of all time and accused each other of performing the same routines in most of their matches. In Flair's autobiography, Flair criticizes Hart over exploiting the death of his brother, Owen Hart and the controversy surrounding the Montreal Screwjob.[3] Flair also makes mention in his biography that he personally "never saw dollar signs" on Bret Hart in reference to what he claims as Bret being a poor draw in the U.S. These claims have recently been challenged by Hart, due to the fact that Hart's recent DVD set has surpassed Flair's in overall sales and also holds the distinction of being the highest selling wrestling DVD in Canada. Hart's documentary Wrestling With Shadows has been aired several times in prime-time over the course of the past eight years on the Arts & Entertainment Network. This, along with an appearance by Hart on the long-running animated series The Simpsons would suggest that Hart did indeed have a large contingency of fans throughout the U.S.

[edit] Shane Douglas

Flair has had a long running feud with Shane Douglas. Douglas accused Flair of sabotaging his push in the NWA/WCW after getting a solid push and a rub from his tag team partner Ricky Steamboat.[4] Flair, in turn, would respond that Douglas was always the guy that would blame his shortcomings on others. He called Douglas out as well as accused him of steroid abuse during a broadcast of the Internet radio show WCW Live! in which he said that he would meet him anytime and anywhere if he "took the needle out of his ass".[5] They were able to come to a working relationship during Douglas' last stint with WCW, but there is still no love lost between the two men.

[edit] Mick Foley

Flair has also had issues with Mick Foley, whom he attacked in his autobiography, writing "I don't 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'll always be known as a glorified stuntman."[6]

This was in response to what Foley said about Flair in his autobiography Have a Nice Day!: "Flair was every bit as bad on the booking side of things as he was great on the wrestling side of it."[7] This was in reference to how poorly Foley thought he was booked during his WCW career when Flair was on the booking committee.

In 2006, the two men would get involved in an on-screen feud on WWE television regarding their past, despite the fact that Foley has stated on his blog on WWE.com that the two have come to an understanding in real life and are on good terms with each other now.[8]

[edit] Hulk Hogan

In Flair's autobiography, Flair was enraged after an angle that involved both men. While Flair was held back by members of the nWo, Hogan would attack his son, David Flair. However, Hogan legitimately injured him as he nailed David with several very stiff shots with his trademark weightlifting belt even though it was agreed Hogan would not hit him more than 2-3 times.[9]

[edit] Wrestling facts

Ric Flair performing a Figure four leglock on Triple H
Ric Flair performing a Figure four leglock on Triple H
  • Finishing and signature moves
  • Signature illegal moves
  • Flair's "failing" moves
  • Flair has gained a measure of notoriety for his inability to successfully execute certain moves without being thwarted.
    • His most notable "failing move" involves his repeated failed attempts to execute a move off the top turnbuckle. Whenever Flair scales the top turnbuckle, he is almost inevitably pushed off the top rope to the floor below, knocked off balance so he crotches himself on the turnbuckle, or, most commonly of all, bodily hurled from the top rope to the mat. Recently, he has achieved these moves; although, for most of his professional career he had been unable to achieve these trademark moves. Most of the time Flair failed to finish these moves, he was a heel, or facing longtime rival Sting; as a face, however, Flair has hit a knee drop from the top rope multiple times.
      A variation of this is the "Flair Flip," when he goes over the top rope and lands on his feet on the ring apron. He then invariably attempts to run along the apron to a turnbuckle. Almost invariably, he will either be clotheslined by his opponent before reaching the turnbuckle or will make it to the turnbuckle and climb up it, only to suffer the same "fate" (typically to be pushed off, crotched, or thrown down). Flair rarely has done this in recent years.
  • Other signatures
    • Throwing an object down (such as his suit jacket or Mick Foley's autobiography, due to their rivalry) and subsequently dropping an elbow onto it.
    • The "Flair Flop", where after being pummeled in a corner, he will stagger out, presumably regain his composure, and flop flat on his face.
    • After being floored to the mat, holds his hands up whilst kneeling down submissively and begs his opponent not to strike him (often yelling "Nooo!" in the process); thus catching them off-guard, and usually then resulting in a low blow or a thumb to the eyes.
    • Punches self repeatedly in face to draw blood, usually during his crazed promos.

[edit] Championships and accomplishments

  • National
  • Regional
  • Note: Technically speaking, overall, Ric Flair has a total of 19 World Championship reigns as a singles wrestler split between, the now defunct, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, and the National Wrestling Alliance. The WWE recognizes Flair as a 16-time World Champion for storyline purposes (6 NWA, 8 WCW, and 2 WWE). However, Ric Flair is recognized as a 9 time NWA World Heavyweight Champion by the National Wrestling Alliance. He did win the championship belt itself a 10th time. However, after WCW's withdrawal, the NWA dropped recognition of Flair's 10th NWA World Title reign.[10] When World Championship Wrestling withdrew from the National Wrestling Alliance in 1993, the promotion lost the rights to use the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championship and created their own titles with their own separate and distinct lineages.[11] World Wrestling Entertainment, despite their storylines, have no control over the lineage of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship since it isn't property under their ownership. When World Championship Wrestling was purchased by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001, all WCW championships and their lineages came under the control of the WWE. The WWE chooses not to recognize Ric Flair's two reigns with the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship.
  • He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (inducted in 1996)
  • Wrestler of the Year award renamed the Lou Thesz/Ric Flair Award, partly in his honor
  • 1980 Most Charismatic Wrestler
  • 1982 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1982 Most Charismatic Wrestler (tied with Dusty Rhodes)
  • 1983 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1983 Most Charismatic Wrestler
  • 1983 Match of the Year (vs Harley Race)
  • 1984 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1984 Most Charismatic Wrestler
  • 1985 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1986 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1986 Most Outstanding Wrestler
  • 1986 Match of the Year (vs Barry Windham)
  • 1987 Most Outstanding Wrestler
  • 5 Star Match: vs. Barry Windham (April 11, 1987, NWA World Wide Wrestling)
  • 1988 Match of the Year (vs Sting)
  • 1989 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1989 Most Outstanding Wrestler
  • 1989 Feud of the Year (vs Terry Funk)
  • 1989 Match of the Year (vs Ricky Steamboat)
  • 5 Star Match: vs. Ricky Steamboat (February 20, 1989, NWA Chi-Town Rumble)
  • 5 Star Match: vs. Ricky Steamboat (April 2, 1989, NWA Clash of the Champions VI)
  • 5 Star Match: vs. Ricky Steamboat (May 7, 1989, NWA Wrestle War '89)
  • 5 Star Match: vs. Terry Funk (November 15, 1989, "I Quit" Match, NWA Clash of the Champions IX)
  • Wrestler of the Decade - 1980's
  • 1990 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1990 Best Heel
  • 1991 Best Interviews
  • 5 Star Match: with Larry Zbyszko, Barry Windham & Sid Vicious vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner (February 24, 1991, WarGames Match, WCW Wrestle War '91)
  • 1992 Wrestler of the Year
  • 1992 Best Interviews
  • 1993 Most Charismatic Wrestler
  • 1994 Best Interviews
  • Others

[edit] Personal information

Flair fought and lost against Antonio Inoki at the "International Sports and Culture Festival for Peace" in Pyongyang, North Korea in 1995. 190,000 North Korean spectators witnessed the event, the largest crowd in wrestling history.

Flair does not know his full birth name. In the opening chapter of his autobiography To Be the Man, titled "Black Market Baby," he notes that his birth name is given on different documents as Fred Phillips, Fred Demaree, and Fred Stewart. The chapter title is a reference to the fact that the Tennessee Children's Home Society, the agency with which he was placed for adoption, was revealed in 1950 to have fraudulently induced thousands of mothers to give up their children for adoption. The future Ric Flair was adopted when he was six weeks old by a physician (father) and a theater writer (mother). At the time of his adoption, his father was completing a residency in gynecology in Detroit. Shortly afterwards, the family settled in Edina, Minnesota, where the young Richard Fliehr lived throughout his childhood. He later attended Wayland Academy, a coeducational boarding school in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

The pilot of the private aircraft (a Cessna 310) involved in Flair's 1975 plane crash languished in a coma for a year before dying. It was discovered after the accident that the pilot was flying on a suspended license. Flair later sued the pilot's estate for damages and won.

Because of the injuries suffered in the plane crash, Flair is rarely observed bumping flat on his back, as the vast majority of wrestling performers are trained to do. Instead, he famously lands on the side of his back and one shoulder.

Flair is sometimes seen attending the Carolina Hurricanes NHL ice hockey games at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. At home games when the Hurricanes score a goal, a short video appears on the arena's Jumbotron monitors, with Ric Flair saying: "That's a Carolina Hurricanes Goal! Wooo! Wooo Wooo!"

Flair has been active in North Carolina Republican politics, supporting Jesse Helms. He has recently expressed an interest in running for the position of Governor of North Carolina, although he previously stated in his autobiography, which was a New York Times bestseller, that his sordid past would preclude any involvement in politics.

Flair has appeared in several motion pictures including: The Wrestler (1974) and Sting: Moment of Truth (2004).

Flair's son David Flair was also a professional wrestler. Flair's younger son Reid Flair is an accomplished high school wrestler and made several appearances on WCW television along with his sister Ashley and half-sister Megan.

Flair is not related to the Andersons, though he was billed as their cousin in the various NWA territories and WCW.

In May 2005, Flair's second wife Beth filed for divorce, citing alleged steroid use and alcohol abuse, in addition to incidents where he allegedly slapped, kicked, choked, and bit her. Flair contends that he and his wife lived well beyond their means and racked up substantial debt to the IRS and other creditors. Flair owed the government more than $1 million in 1997, and the IRS garnished more than $200,000 of his salary in 2005 to cover the owed taxes.

In December 2005, a magistrate issued arrest warrants for Flair after a road rage incident that took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, in which Flair allegedly got out of his car, grabbed a motorist by the neck, and kicked the door of the motorist's sport utility vehicle. Flair was charged with injury to personal property and simple assault and battery, both misdemeanors. This incident was ridiculed on WWE programming, most notably by the wrestler Edge. The charges were dropped after the witnesses failed to show for a scheduled court appearance.

Flair married Tiffany VanDemark, a fitness competitor, in May of 2005. This is Flair's third marriage.

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