November is going to be a big month for wrestling legend Ric Flair. Next week, his long anticipated ESPN 30 for 30 documentary will premiere on Tuesday night.
It's going to put an exclamation point on what has been an eventful last three months for the 16-time world champion, and unfortunately not all of it has been so joyful.
Flair spent several weeks in the hospital during the late summer due to an intestinal issue that nearly took his life. At one point given only a 20 percent chance of survival, Flair was able to pull through. He also underwent an operation for a pacemaker to stabilize problems with his heart, an ailment brought on by years of alcohol abuse.
While staying in the hospital, Flair received a couple of visits from someone who may surprise you: Hulk Hogan.
Flair discusses Hogan's visits during an interview this week on the Cheap Heat wrestling podcast.
"He (Hogan) came up twice to see me. He would have came up to the premiere but his back is so bad, I feel bad for him. I didn't know it but he gave Wendy a book that we read a passage from everyday for about 3 to 4 weeks. Wendy has been busy, and I have too, but it's something I will cherish all of my life."
Flair went on to discuss all of the attention Hulk received while visiting him at the hospital.
"You can imagine how everybody was bugging Hulk, and even though he came in through a security area where I was, but the Nurses and everybody wanted a picture with him; he's Hulk Hogan, and he was gracious to do it," Flair said. "But one of the Doctor's said to me, 'Geez. Hulk Hogan can barely walk.' It's true; he can barely walk. His back is so bad. I feel terrible for him."
Hogan is also featured in the upcoming 30 for 30 documentary, and Flair commented on Hulk's comments about him in the film. It might surprise some that the two are so close these days as they were bitter rivals, on and off screen at times, during Hogan's time in WCW. This was due to the fact that Hogan was close with Eric Bischoff at the time, one of Flair's biggest enemies behind the scenes in WCW.
Even so, Flair says that it didn't affect his relationship with Hogan.
"We clearly had our differences, but the differences came down to the company. Hulk had a say so and he had the push, and I understood that, but ultimately if Bischoff wanted to stick up for me he could have. If he wanted to pay me, but he was paying the other guys. He wanted me on the side as much as anybody else did. You know, out of sight, out of mind, but that didn't work for him that way with me because I've been there [WCW] too long, and every time they got in a jam, they brought me back, but Hogan always said that to me. [In the documentary] he was referencing that match we had in Orlando, Florida where WrestleMania would have been, but ten years later, but he always told me that, and always told me that I am the greatest to my face."
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the interview transcription.]