Last night, ESPN aired their 30 for 30 documentary on the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. The 16-time world champion is one of the greatest of all time, and has influenced the wrestling product that we see today. With a career lasting as long as it did, there’s a lot we know about Flair. There are still some things that we don’t know, however. Last night gave us some more insight.
Here are five things we learned from the documentary.
Ric Flair was adopted
One of the beautiful aspects of a documentary like this is the background information we get to learn. In this case, we learned very early on about Ric Flair’s childhood. The main point is that he was adopted and that his parents really didn’t play that big of a role in his life. They only watched him wrestle three times.
Verne Gagne stopped Flair from quitting wrestling
In a show filled with stories, this one stood out quite a bit. Gagne was training Flair and having him go through a bunch of workouts. At one point, Gagne noticed Flair wasn’t there. The rest of the group told Gagne that Flair and quit and left. Gagne then found Flair at a bar, open hand slapped him and told him that he wasn’t going to quit — he was too talented to quit.
Flair’s plane crash created the Nature Boy character
Everybody knows the Nature Boy character now. The promos. The ‘Woos’. Everything. What some (myself included) may not have known was just exactly how that character was born. Following Flair’s plane crash, he was rehabbing in the hospital. During that stay, he was able to create the character of the Nature Boy, based off of Nature Boy Buddy Rogers. Flair, during that time in his life, decided he wanted to be the blonde bad guy, just like Rogers.
Flair claims he has slept with 10,000 women
There was a debate of whether or not to include this part of the documentary in this story, but this highlights who Flair is.
I tried to verify the 10,000 women claim but I stopped after number 1,417 #NatureBoy
— Rory Karpf (@RoryKarpf) November 8, 2017
There are the countless stories from Jim Ross, Sting and all of the others that Flair spent time with during his career this lead us to believe that the number cited may not be far off.
Hulk Hogan said Flair is 10 times the wrestler he is
This very well may be the most telling part of the documentary. The Hulk Hogan-Ric Flair rivalry never got its big moment in WWE, but it was a mainstay of WCW programming during the Monday Night Wars.
Hogan went to great lengths during this to put Flair over. He talked about how much better Flair was than him in the ring, and how Flair could do it all it. This stood out because it highlighted the impact Flair had on those around him, even a larger than life personality like Hogan.