Now before we even start, you’ve got to declare up front: If you believe in pro ‘rasslin’, read on brother, but you think professional wrestling is the biggest sham every perpetuated against the people of the United States, stop reading right now because nothing I may write is going to change your mind.
Word comes to us that a new tell-all documentary on Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair has just been released and therein Ric tells the cameras he has been married four times in his 68 years and has slept with (drum roll) over 10,000 women. Ric also shared that his average daily alcohol intake was as much as 10 beers and five cocktails every single day for more than two decades and that one doctor looked him dead in the eye and told him that was humanly impossible.
I can heartily agree with the doctor; if I drank 10 beers in a day or five cocktails I would require hospitalization but if I did both, call the undertaker and tell him there is no hurry.
But Ric scoffed at the doctor’s doubt and said on camera, “By the time I got through with that son of a (expletive) he was laying on the couch and I was the one in the chair talking to him.”
Flair claims he told the psychiatrist in 1998 that he drank beer while driving and once he got to the hotel that he’d switch to vodka. Just this September he had to be placed in a medically-induced coma because the intestinal blockage caused his quite-taxed kidneys to shut down. But when he came out of the fog in a Georgia hospital, he yelped his famous “Wooo!” and shouted, “If you want to be the man, you gotta’ beat the man!”
I remember back in 1991 perhaps the best basketball player who ever lived, Wilt Chamberlain, famously claimed 20,000 lovers, saying he wasn’t bragging. “I was just laying it out there for people who were curious."
Wilt was emphatic that he never went to bed with a married woman. "I was just doing what was natural -- chasing good-looking ladies, whoever they were and wherever they were."
But could Wilt really sleep with 20,000 different women? Some stately mathematicians calculated that would be 1.5 lovers every day for 37 years – no sick days, vacations, overseas travel, and no nothing getting in the way, much less an NBA game.
There is no doubt that Flair, a consummate showman, is the greatest pro ‘rassler of all time. His “figure four leglock” was one of the best finishing moves in the ring and the “knife-edged chop” would make everyone in the frenzied crowd go “Woooo! Woooo!” in loving tribute to “The Natural Boy.” He was wrestling in the Carolinas once and pulled his “Turnbuckle flip evasion, landing on the apron, with theatrics” and two women fainted, just fell out.
Ric had all sorts of nicknames down through the year. The first was – you guessed it – “The Alimony Pony” and then came “The Dirtiest Player in the Game,” and “Ktouran no Kikoushi “(Japanese for Nobleman of Fury” and my personal favorite: “Limousine Ridin.’ Jet Flyin’, Kiss Stealin’, Wheelin’ Dealin’ son of a gun!”
Flair invented more moves – heavy on theatrics – than he won World Champion belts: Do you remember the diving knee drop, the body guillotine, low blow, gut-wrench, pile-driver, or just out-and-out poking his opponent in the eyes? Listen, his loyalists memorized them all.
This year’s early fall surgery about did him in and he’s been a teetotaler ever since. “Going forward, I want people to take my advice as opposed to wanting to be or act like me. There’s a lot of 20-year-old kids that want to be Ric Flair.” (Are you kidding me – ten beers, five cocktails and a woman on each arm every single day!) What kind of vitamins does that take?
“Lemme tell you something,” said the king of the Running Jumping Knee Drop, “that’s cool if it’s in good context. But if it’s drinking to relieve stress or cope with life, that’s not the answer.”
During his life, Flair has been called “The Original Party Animal,” “The Sixty Minute man” and the one he personally loves the most, “The Real World Champion”
The documentary, “Nature Boy” will be aired on ESPN 30-30 and most recently Ric – whose given name was Richard Morgan Fliehr when he was born in in Memphis – recently told People magazine that he should have kept the number of lovers to himself. "What I said was the truth, but I feel bad now that I said some of it," he said to People.
"Ten thousand women. I wish I hadn't said that because of my grandkids."
Now, what do you believe, pilgrim? Answer that simple question and I can tell you true if you think “the greatest professional wrestler of all time” is real or if he’s a fake. Either way, one thing we can all agree on: the man only comes in technicolor in this black and white world.