Five Reasons Why I Like: Ric Flair
Happy Nature Boy Day, everybody. If you don’t partake in social media or you’ve lived under a sports world rock for the past few weeks, you wouldn’t know that tonight is ESPN’s 30 For 30 episode on 16-Time World Champion…
WOOOOOO…”The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. If you’re a pro wrestling fan you absolutely know about the “dirtiest player in the game” and if you’re not a pro wrestling fan you must realize he's a national treasure. Even if you're not aware of it, you probably at least heard of the GOAT in some facet of your pop culture life. So just like Steve Austin, CM Punk and Bret Hart, I figure what's a better time than now to give "Five Reason Why I Like: Ric Flair:
5. He Made Pro Wrestling Cool
For years, fans were expected to cheer for the smiling, slapping hands good guy (and when done right, that’s when wrestling is at it’s best), but people were getting tired of seeing an over-saturated Dusty Rhodes always in the forefront (and I love me some Dusty, daddy) which gave the brash, rolex wearing Ric Flair the opportunity to break the mold. The way he dressed, the “styling and profiling” way he handled himself and the magic he was able to pull off in the ring gave him a certain swag that appealed to the older demographic. This wasn’t just a temporary phenomenon, Flair’s appeal finds it’s way through all genres of sports (hence this “30 For 30” thing.)
4. He Led The Greatest Faction In Wrestling History
Growing up a 90s kid, you’d know that when you’re nWo, you’re nWo 4 Life,
(oh yeah, be cool) but even I can’t deny the greatness, the prestige, the hot damn swagger that were the original Four Horsemen. You not only had the pizzazz of “WOOOOO! The Nature Boy”, but you had “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson (who always looked like he was in his late 40s), his fake, ornery uncle Ole, the in-ring technician and dastardly heel Tully Blanchard and the manager of all managers in James J. Dillon. They set the precedent for what a wrestling faction should be, and without them, you wouldn’t have the likes of the nWo, Degeneration-X, or The Hart Foundation (and countless of other classic to downright horrible factions).
3. He Loves Wrestling
Just like Austin and Bret Hart, Ric Flair loves wrestling. Probably, admittedly a little too much because it did have a huge impact on his personal life. Flair was like the Keith Richards of the squared circle tenure, he just wouldn’t leave, but even up into his mid-50s the guy could still go.
2. He Lived His Gimmick (For Better Or For Worse)
Meaning that he lived the lifestyle of his character (and you’ll learn the detriments of that tonight if you watch the documentary). The limousine-riding, jet-flying and kiss-stealin’ were all apart of his daily routine and while that all sounds hunky dory for us regular people, there always comes a bill to pay at the end of the night. Ric Flair absolutely enjoyed being on top, but he also found what it’s like to be at rock bottom, which leads me to my final reason why I like Ric Flair:
1. He’s Self Reflective & Is In A Good Spot With His Life
With his recent and extremely scary medical issues, Flair has a new lease on life. From a health perspective, knows he’s lucky to still be where he’s at, and despite livin’ high, Ric has been through some real tough family times. It’s wonderful to see he’s in a positive spot currently. Let’s hope he can keep Nature Boy strutting in the right direction.
Now let's watch him cut a promo on Bruce Springsteen, Arnold Schwarzenegger: