Ric Flair turns 66 years old today. I don’t want to be blasphemous or anything, but Ric Flair is pretty much God in a feathered robe. There isn’t a lot that can be said about the best wrestler of all-time that hasn’t already been said, and really, a list of his awesomeness could probably be 1,000 entries. So, I decided to grab some of the Nature Boy’s nine lesser-known, yet still epic moments.
1. He Had Possibly The Most Grueling Wrestling Schedule Of All-Time
Flair used to wrestle hour-long matches every single day and twice on Sundays. In contrast, the usual WWE wrestling match today runs about 15 minutes long with a monthly pay-per-view match going maybe 30 minutes if it’s the main-event. Flair would wrestle an hour each night in a different city, then do “double shots” on Sunday. That’s eight hours of wrestling in a week. Every week.
2. His Partying Once Killed A Guy
There’s a legendary story of Ric Flair and the Horsemen partying all night in Chicago so hard that his limo driver had a heart attack and died that night.
Here’s the excerpt from his book: “We killed some poor limo driver in Chicago — not literally killed him, but our hours didn’t help, picking us up at three in the afternoon and dropping us off at eight in the morning. Poor Dave had been driving us around for three days when he had a heart attack and died in his sleep the day after we left town. ”
Best. Bender. Ever.
3. He Named His Dick ‘Space Mountain’
This’ll make you reconsider your family trips from now on. This isn’t really “little-known,” per se, but dammit it’s incredible. And this video is my favorite Ric Flair promo moment ever.
4. He Had The Greatest Trilogy Of Matches Ever
Ric Flair had three matches with Ricky Steamboat that probably still stand as the best three matches in a one-year span ever. Seriously, go out of your way to watch these matches.
5. He Was Part Of The First Table Spot In Wrestling History
After his last match with Steamboat, Ric Flair would hop into a feud with Terry Funk. Immediately after the match, Funk dragged Flair to the table outside and gave him a piledriver on top of it. The move was unplanned and is credited as one of the launching pads for hardcore wrestling. (This is the video of a different time Funk drove Flair through a table, but you get the idea.)
6. His Offspring Is Possibly One Of The Most Physically Gifted Athletes In Wrestling
Flair’s daughter Charlotte is an absolute beast in the ring. She debuted about a year ago in WWE’s NXT developmental division and is already the Alpha Female. As soon as she’s called up to the main roster, she’ll be as dominant as any Diva ever.
7. He Orchestrated A Title Loss So He Wouldn’t Get Killed
Wrestling was different in 1982. Tons of people still thought it was real, especially in Central America. Fans there would toss batteries at wrestlers and legitimately riot if villains won. In September of that year, Flair would go to the Dominican Republic and defend his title against Jack Veneno. Flair was so hated that he feared a riot would break out if he won.
So for their first match, Veneno held Flair in a sleeper hold and Flair’s hand went down for the three-count just as time was expiring. According to the rules, Flair had lasted through the time limit and kept the title. However, the crowd was so loud that Flair got scared of what would happen if they realized their hero actually lost. In the end, he just left the belt in the ring and let the fans believe Veneno had won. Flair even refused to take the belt back to America because he was so scared of the mob.
For their return match, Flair was supposed to retain and get his belt back with Roddy Piper by his side, but he saw the military at ringside point a gun at Piper when he cheated for Flair, so the Nature Boy pulled Veneno on top and forced him win the match. The fans cheered. Flair high-tailed it out of the ring and went back to America having lost the belt in the rematch. This time, he took the belt back to America and the NWA never acknowledged the title losses.
8. He Really Loved Sarah Palin
On Flair’s Shoot DVDs with High Spots, he delved into politics a bit and sang the praises of Sarah Palin. The DVD was filmed before Obama’s election, and Flair really thought Palin was going to turn things around for the Republican party. This doesn’t really make him awesome, but it’s pretty damn funny to think about.
9. He Was In The Most Entertaining Televised Round Of Musical Chairs Of All Time
It’s only by the grace of God and Ric Flair himself that this segment is so damn great. It’s on a 15th anniversary compilation of Monday Night RAW, and it’s one of the best parts about the set. This is the equivalent of wrestling a broomstick to greatness.