On Tuesday night, ESPN aired the highly anticipated the 30 for 30: 'The Nature Boy' to critical acclaim. Ric Flair's story of success, flamboyance, heartbreak, excess, and utter charm is already en route to becoming a quintessential tale of Americana.
The documentary is necessary viewing for anyone who's even heard the name "Ric Flair" let alone every wrestling fan on the planet. ESPN's production is more of an oral history as told by some of the biggest names wrestling has ever produced like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Triple H, and of course, The Nature Boy himself.
Thanks to the Charlotte Observer, we have a collection of some of the more remarkable quote from the documentary. While a few handpicked quotes will give a nice frame to the image of who Ric Flair is, 'The Nature Boy' needs to be viewed in its entirety.
Nonetheless, here are some of our favorite quotes from ESPN's 30 for 30: 'The Nature Boy.'
While wresting skeptics love to debase the sport as "fake" most fans, even children, know that the in-ring violence is a production.
“It’s not fake. It’s choreographed. ... We started using the word ‘choreographed’ probably in the past 15 years," said Flair.
Upon closer examination, professional wrestling as an art form. Athletes strike the perfect balance of looking like they are causing physical damage to their opponent while actually trying to ensure their foe leaves the match without a scratch. That type of paradox calls for quite the delicate touch in the ring and Flair took decades to develop his.
“I hung a string in the doorway and I hit that string as hard as I could for three years, until it didn’t move," explained Flair.
One of the gifts of being The Nature Boy was being a sex symbol to certain cultures. But as if it were written in Greek Mythology, Flair's conquest of the female race turned into more of a curse.
“Let me tell you
Flair estimates he's been with 10,000 different women. But the fact he has 4 ex-wives is arguably more remarkable. To Flair, monogamy is a custom he cannot observe.
“I probably took it real serious for about a day. ... I mean, I tried, but it just – I was miserable," he admitted.
Flair shared this astounding anecdote on the ESPN special about his drinking habits:
“(He asked) ‘How much do you drink a day?’ I said, ‘I’ll drink at least 10 beers, and probably five mixed drinks.’ He said, ‘Well, how many days a week do you do that?’ I said, ‘Every day.’ He said, ‘Well, how do you mean every day?’ I said, ‘I work every day. I drink a beer in the car, I get to the hotel and I drink vodka.’ He came out of his chair and (he said), ‘You drink every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you’ve been doing that for how long?’ I said, ‘Well, let me see. It’s 1989, I started in ’72, you do the math. Almost 20 years.’ He said, ‘That’s not possible.’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, it is.’ By the time I got through with that son of a b----, he was laying on the couch and I
Hulk Hogan are kings of their respective world. Although they rubbed shoulder in WCW for a few years, the wrestling icons mostly stayed on separate paths during their multiple decade conquests of professional wrestling.
Despite being a much different wrestler than Flair, Hogan has nothing but love for the Nature Boy.
“Ric Flair has had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of one-hour matches. I’ve never had one. He’s 10 times better than I am. I mean ... it’s a no-brainer. I’ve got a certain thing that works, and I’ve got different varieties of it. I used to joke, ‘I’ve got Plan A, B, C and D. Which match do you wanna do?’ And, you know,
Flair's youngest child, Reid Flair, died in 2013 of an apparent heroin overdose. To Ric, the passing of his son marks his deepest regret. Reid spent several stints in rehab but to no avail. Flair admits to not taking the problem as seriously as he should have
“I say it every day: ‘God, I wish you were here. I had so much fun with you. And I regret the fact that I sometimes was your best friend instead of your dad,'" said Flair.
Flair has a sobering take on his time on Earth. His meek view on his personal life reveals a tortured soul, yet, Flair seems to take solace in the fact that he did indeed become the greatest professional wrestler to ever live.
“It’s easy to say you want to be thought of as the best father that ever lived, but I wasn’t. And I certainly wasn’t the best husband. So I guess I’ll just have to settle for wanting to be thought of as the greatest wrestler and the most entertaining wrestler that ever lived," said Flair.