RIC FLAIR BIOGRAPHY
Richard Morgan Fliehr (born February 25, 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee), better known by wrestling fans as "Nature Boy" Ric Flair is a professional wrestler currently with WWE on its RAW brand. He has been the leading personality in professional wrestling since the mid 1970s and is considered by many wrestling observers as the greatest pofessional wrestler who has ever lived.
Ric Flair played football at the University of Minnesota while in a pre-medical academic program. In 1966 and 1967 he was minnesota state high school wrestling champion. He then worked as a bouncer before meeting Ken Patera, a former Olympic weightlifter who had established himself in professional wrestling. Patera encouraged Flair to pursue a pro wrestling career, and Flair soon joined the Minneapolis-based American Wrestling Association (AWA), working his first match for that promotion on December 10, 1972.
After three years with AWA, Flair joined the NWA affiliated Jim Crockett Promotions based in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. On the rise, he suffered a severe back injury in a October 4, 1975 plane crash in Wilmington, North Carolina.He had a broken back in 3 places but the pilot Michael Farkas died, doctors told Flair that he would never wrestle again but Flair proved them wrong by returning to active wrestling the next year.
Ric Flair won the United States Heavyweight Championship five times, then won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time by defeating Dusty Rhodes in 1981. Harley Race won the title from Flair in 1983. Flair regained the title at StarrCade '83 in Greensboro, North Carolina in a steel cage match. Flair would go on to win the NWA title 8 more times. As the NWA champion, he defended his belt around the world, including frequent stops in the Carolinas, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.
Throughout the 1980s Flair became affiliated with The Four Horsemen stable.. Flair's main rivals for the NWA title were Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Lex Luger, and Sting. Flair also feuded with Magnum T.A., Nikita Koloff, Ricky Morton of the Rock 'N Roll Express, and Kerry von Erich, among countless others. He was constantly seen with various valets such as Woman, Miss Elizabeth, Fifi, Sherri Martel and Baby Doll.
After a contract dispute with WCW head Jim Herd, while still WCW/NWA champion, Flair left WCW (a group run by Ted Turner which had just abdicated from the NWA alliance) in July 1991. Flair was offered a 50% pay cut and no longer shown any respect by Jim Heard. WCW officials wanted to make Ric Flair a midcard star even though he was the biggest draw in wrestling. A week before 1991 Great American Bash he either quit or was fired by WCW. Jim Herd wanted Flair to change his appearance (i.e. by cutting his hair and wearing a diamond earring) and change his name to Sparticus and have a Gay gimmick.Of course Flair refused so he decided to go to the wwf.
During Ric Flair's first run in the WWF, he took the WCW/NWA World title belt with him. This is because Herd refused to give Flair the $25,000 deposit he put down on the belt itself, plus interest. Back in the NWA days, the NWA World Champion required to place a $25,000 deposit on the belt to ensure that the champion wouldn't leave the NWA with the belt; he dropped the belt, the $25,000 would be returned to him, plus any interest that had accumulated over time. Eventually, WCW tried to sue the WWF to regain the belt, but the case was dropped, because the belt itself was still the property of the NWA. Eventually, when Flair returned to WCW, the company finally paid Flair $36,000 for the belt (the $25,000 deposit, plus $11,000 interest). In the meantime, he was billed as the "Real World Heavyweight Champion."
In January of 1992, Flair began his first run in the WWF including winning the WWF Title in a 30-man Royal Rumble in probably the greatest Royal Rumble of all time.Ric Flair set a Record that night by lasting over a hour in the Ring. Nobody has ever lasted that long in the Ring. Flair also won another WWF Title before leaving the company. Vince McMahon respected flair's wishes and let him go back to NWA/WCW. McMahon and Flair amicably ended Flair's contract were Flair could return home. Flair returned 'home' to NWA/WCW in February 1993, feuding with the likes of Vader, Sting, Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and Eric Bischoff, gaining the WCW Title 8 more times before the company was bought out by Vince McMahon's WWF.
Ric Flair was also sued by WCW in 1998 for failure to show for a wrestling event. Flair had been working without a contract since February and had refused to sign a new one, citing differences between the document and the terms he had previously agreed to work under. Seeing that he wasn't needed for any WCW television tapings at the time Flair he decided to not show up at a particular WCW Thunder taping. Flair was instead, busy watching his son Reid's amateur wrestling tournament.
WCW's booking committee decided out of nowhere to reform the Four Horsemen that particular night and announcers said he would be on the WCW Thunder show over and over with a "big surprise." When Flair failed to show up, WCW got upset and filed a $2 million dollar lawsuit against him for damages, saying he signed a letter of intent to re-sign with WCW. He later filed a suit of his own in response, but the matter was settled out of court. Ric Flair finally returned to television in September of 1998.
When WCW was purchased by the WWF, Flair was the leader of the heel group called The Magnificent Seven with Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Road Warrior Animal, Rick Steiner, Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell. Flair wrestled Sting on the final Nitro on March 26th, 2001
Ric Flair was also the very first WCW Champion.
World Wrestling Entertainment After a brief hiatus from pro wrestling Flair returned to the WWF in late 2001 as the on-camera "co-owner" of the company. He turned face by joining forces with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Flair later turned heel again by turning on Austin. When Austin walked out on the company, Flair turned face once again after an altercation with (then heel) Vince McMahon. McMahon, who purportedly only had control of SmackDown! at the time, challenged Flair (the onscreen owner of Raw) to a match. If Flair lost, he would surrender his ownership of to McMahon, giving him exclusive control of the WWE once more, whereas the opposite would apply if Flair was victorious. Ric Flair beat McMahon at the Royal Rumble 2002 in a Great Match.
Flair remained on Raw as an occasional wrestler, and eventually turned heel once more by betraying Rob Van Dam and joining forces with Triple H, with whom he later formed the stable Evolution.
Evolution disbanded in 2005 following weeks of in-fighting between HHH and Batista. After several months absence, Flair returned to RAW on August 22, 2005. He was interviewed on Carlito's Cabana, and eventually attacked the host, Carlito. As a result, Ric Flair has once more turned face. At unforgivin on Sept.18th 2005 Ric Flair won the Intercontinental Championship from Carlito. After the match he celebrated his title win with some lovely ladies including his beautiful real life fiancee with some champaign inside a limousine in some skits that only "Nature Boy" Ric Flair could do. Ric Flair just might be the most incredible athlete in sports history. To be doing what he is doing at his age at a awesome pace is one of the most incredible things ever in sports, lets cherish these last few years of Ric Flair's career because when he is done wrestling will never ever be the same.
Despite his age, Ric Flair can still take on wrestlers half his age. Even though he is past his prime as a "main-eventer," he still serves a purpose by getting in the ring and making the younger wrestlers look good. Flair is over in the ring due mostly to his in-ring antics, (earning him the distinction of being "the dirtiest player in the game"), his trademark strut and his legendary shouting of "Wooooo!"
In a tradition started by the vocal fans of ECW during a time when the WCW management was thought to be unjustly holding Flair down, anytime a wrestler delivers a hard back hand chop to the chest of his opponent, fans yell "Wooo!" in tribute to Flair, whose stiff chops often made his opponent's chest raw or even bloody. This tradition long outlived any controversy it was meant to protest and has carried over to WWE and almost all other North American promotions.Back in WCW at Superbrawl 2000 when Flair battled Terry Funk, Flair chopped Funk so hard that it busted Funk's chest wide open, and the next morning Funk woke up and his chest was in excruciating pain so he went to the doctor, the doctor did a exam on his chest and found out that he had a busted blood vessel in his chest.That is how hard Ric Flair can chop.
Since the late 70s, he has worn beautiful fur lined robes of many colors with sequins and diamonds which cost anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 dollars, and since the mid 80s, his approach to the ring was often heralded by the playing of the Richard Strauss composition Also sprach Zarathustra (the theme of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey). The look and sound complements his cocky in-ring persona and was also the late king of music Elvis Presley Opening theme music.
Late in 2003, WWE released a three-DVD retrospective of Flair's career, The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection. It became WWE's fastest and biggest selling video of all time.
Flair released his autobiography, To Be the Man, in July 2004 and it went to number 5 on the New York Times Bestseller List.. 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. His name has been mentioned from time to time as a possible candidate for governor of North Carolina.
In 2004, Flair engaged in an off-screen rivalry with Bret Hart, in which both claimed to be the best wrestler of all time. Flair has also had issues with Mick Foley, who he attacked in his autobiography, writing "I donít care how many thumbtacks Mick Foley has fallen on, how many ladders heís fallen off, how many continents heís supposedly bled on, heíll always be known as a glorified stuntman."
Hometowns: Memphis, Tennessee & Edina, Minnesota & Charlotte, North Carolina
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 243 lbs
Trained by: Verne Gagne
Previous Gimmicks: "Ramblin" Ricky Rhodes, Black Scorpion (masked), CEO of WCW (storyline), GM of RAW (storyline)
Factions: Four Horsemen, Evolution, Yamasaki Corporation, Team Package, Millionaires Club, Magnificent Seven
"To be the man, you've got to beat the man!"
"Diamonds are forever, and so is Ric Flair!"
"Hey baby! Do you want to ride Space Mountain?"
"I'm a limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheeling-dealing son of a gun, who's kissed all the girls and made them cry."
"Whether you like it, or you don't like it, learn to love it, because it's the best thing going today."
"Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park, but it still has the longest line!"
"Step back and see what's causin' all this!"
"The ladies are always in line to ride Space Mountain all night long!"
"Because I'm Ric Flair - and you're not!"
"This is Flair country!"
Finishing and signature moves
Kick to Groin
The Low Blow
Thumb to the eye
Stalling Butterfly Suplex
Elbow Drop to the knee
Flair's "Dirty" Moves Ric Flair has a history of using illegal techniques in order to gain the upper hand on his opponents. When he is being physically outclassed by an adversary, Flair will usually cower in a ring corner, pleading his opponent for mercy, or he will back away from his opponent while waving his hands before him and pleading, "Nooooo!" As his opponent stands bewildered at the spectacle of watching a 57 year old man cringe and beg, Flair then stuns his opponent with one or more moves from his arsenal of illegal maneuvers, usually a thumb to the eye or low blow. As his opponent staggers around in pain from the unexpected attack, Flair then capitalizes on the tide of battle turning, and executes his famous figure-four leglock, or, if he is willing to toy with his opponent, some more entertaining chops to the enemy's chest.
Flair's "Failing" Moves Ric Flair is perhaps as famous for the moves he doesn't perform as the moves he does. When Flair scales the turnbuckle, it's usually accompanied by a commentator stating that it never works. Ric is certain to be punched, shoved, or slammed off that turnbuckle.
The "Flair Flop": Flair, after attempting but failing a strenuous move or because he's "tired", will execute a perfect flop right on his face.
Title History NWA World Title 01. Defeated Dusty Rhodes September 17, 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri
02. Defeated Harley Race November 24, 1983 in Greensboro, North Carolina
03. Defeated Harley Race March 23, 1984 in Kallang, Singapore
04. Defeated Kerry Von Erich in Yokosuka, Japan on May 24, 1984
05. Defeated Dusty Rhodes August 7, 1986 in St. Louis, Missouri
06. Defeated Ronnie Garvin November 26, 1987 in Chicago, Illinois
07. Defeated Ricky Steamboat May 7, 1989 in Nashville, Tennessee
08. Defeated Sting January 11, 1991 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
09. Defeated Tatsumi Fujinami May 19, 1991 in St. Petersburg, Florida--regains recognition as "NWA Champion" in Japan but never lost his status as WCW Champion in the U.S.; victory does not count towards World Title totals.
10. Defeated Barry Windham July 18, 1993 in Biloxi, Mississippi--title considered as the "NWA Heavyweight Title" at this point and not a World Title due to the existence of a WCW World Title at the same time--does not count towards the World Title totals.
WCW World Title 01. Defeated Sting January 11, 1991 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
02. Defeated Vader December 27, 1993 in Charlotte, North Carolina
03. Defeated Ricky Steamboat May 14, 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia (title had been held up)--this victory settles the disputed finish of their previous encounter, but does not count towards the World Title totals.
04. Defeated Randy Savage December 27, 1995 in Nashville, Tennessee
05. Defeated Randy Savage February 11, 1996 in St. Petersburg, Florida
06. Defeated Hulk Hogan March 14, 1999 in Louisville, Kentucky
07. Defeated Jeff Jarrett May 15, 2000 in Biloxi, Mississippi
08. Awarded the title on May 29, 2000 in Salt Lake City, Utah
WWE/WWF World Title 01. Won the Royal Rumble on January 19, 1992 in Albany, New York
02. Defeated Randy Savage September 1, 1992 in Hershey, Pennsylvania
WCW International Title 01. Defeated Sting June 23, 1994 in Charleston, South Carolina--not recognized as a World Title.
WCW/NWA/Mid-Atlantic United States Title 01. Defeated Bobo Brazil July 29, 1977 in Richmond, Virginia
02. Defeated Tim Woods April 9, 1978 in Charlotte, North Carolina
03. Defeated Ricky Steamboat April 1, 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina
04. Defeated Jimmy Snuka April 19, 1980 in Greensboro, North Carolina
05. Defeated Greg Valentine November 24, 1980 in Greenville, North Carolina
06. Defeated Konnan July 7, 1996 in Daytona Beach, Florida
NWA United States Heavyweight Title (Toronto version)
01. Defeated Tim Woods May 1978 in Toronto, Ontario
02. Defeated Ricky Steamboat April 1, 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title 01. Defeated Wahoo McDaniel September 20, 1975 in Hampton, Virginia
02. Defeated Wahoo McDaniel May 24, 1976 in Charlotte, North Carolina
03. Defeated Wahoo McDaniel October 16, 1976 in Greensboro, North Carolina
NWA/NWA Mid-Atlantic T.V. Title 01. Defeated Paul Jones June 3, 1975 in Raleigh, North Carolina
02. Defeated Rufus Jones May 1977
NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title 01. Defeated David Von Erich July 15, 1983
NWA World Tag Team Titles 01. Defeated Ole and Gene Anderson December 25, 1976 with partner Greg Valentine
02. Defeated Ole and Gene Anderson October 30, 1977 with partner Greg Valentine
03. Defeated Paul Jones and Baron Von Raschke August 8, 1979 with partner Blackjack Mulligan
NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles 01. Defeated Paul Jones and Bob Bruggers in 1974 with partner Rip Hawk
02. Defeated Dino Bravo and Tiger Conway Jr. in 1977 with partner Greg Valentine
03. Defeated Paul Jones and Ricky Steamboat October 30, 1978 Greenville, South Carolina with partner John Studd
WWE World Tag Team Titles 01. Defeated The Dudley Boyz December 14, 2003 in Orlando, Florida with partner Batista
02. Defeated Rob Van Dam and Booker T on March 22, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan with partner Batista
Flair has won more PWI(Pro Wrestling Illustrated) Awards then any other wrestler in history. He won Rookie of the Year in 1975. He won Wrestler of the Year in 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1992. He was involved in the Match of the Year in 1983 (vs. Harley Race), 1984 (vs. Kerry Von Erich, 1986 (vs. Dusty Rhodes and 1989 (vs. Ricky Steamboat. He was involved in the Feud of the Year in 1987 (Four Horsemen vs. Super Powers & Road Warriors), 1988 (vs. Lex Luger), 1989 (vs. Terry Funk) and 1990 (vs. Lex Luger).
He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame (inducted in 1996) and the Wrestling Informer Hall of Fame (inducted in 2002).
Ric's son David Flair is also a part time professional wrestler.
Ric's youngest son Reid Fliehr is an accomplished high school wrestler having won numerous awards and made a couple of appearances on WCW TV along with his sisters Ashley and Megan.
Ric hosted a short-lived talk show in WCW called A Flair For the Gold in 1993 as a compromise to get around a no-compete clause in another contract. He could appear on TV, but not wrestle. Arn Anderson would sit at the bar and Flair's maid Fifi, would always be cleaning or bearing gifts.
Ric has appeared in three movies, The Wrestler (1974), Body Slam (1987) and Sting: Moment of Truth (2004).
Ric is not related to the Andersons. He has been called their cousin in the NWA and WCW.
Ric is sometimes seen attending the Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey games. At many home games when the Hurricanes score a goal, a trademark Ric Flair "Carolina Goal! Wooo! Wooo Wooo!" is played.
Fez Whatley, cohost of the XM Satellite show, "The Ron and Fez Show," has been doing a funny impersonation of "The Nature Boy" since the mid-1980s.
Flair has been active in North Carolina Republican politics, most notably supporting Jesse Helms.