The ESPN 30 for 30 on the ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair was extremely well done. As a big fan of Flair, there was a lot of stuff that I learned about him and his life. I thought that I would highlight some of the more interesting things from the documentary.
1) There Is Truly No Separation From Ric Flair And Richard Fliehr
One of the most interesting moments of the documentary came from Shawn Michaels. Shawn spoke about how Ric has never learned to separate the wrestling persona from the guy behind the scenes.
As fans, we have often heard that Ric is the same guy inside and outside of the ring. To hear Shawn Michaels talk about it was fascinating, as he was so honest about Ric the issues he has had in his life.
Here is what Shawn said:
“Ric doesn’t love Richard Fliehr. I don’t know that he’s ever taken the time to get to know him or to find out who in the world he is. He only knows who he is through the image and gimmick of Ric Flair. Because when everything is said and done, The Nature Boy Ric Flair is just a myth. Richard Fliehr is a real guy.”
Some pretty real comments here. For his entire life there was zero separation from the man behind the scenes and the man in front of the camera. This led to many of Ric’s issues as were evident in the film.
2) Ric Had Issues With His Parents
Ric was adopted by a set of parents who had lost their daughter and weren’t able to have another child. In the documentary, Ric opens up about the issues that he had with them throughout his life.
His Dad was a medical doctor and his parents loved the community theater. Ric spoke about the lack of common interests between him and his parents. They simply didn’t understand the wrestling business and why he would want to get into it.
Ric also says that he feels like he disappointed them every day. This included getting caught trying to buy booze with a fake ID when he was in his teens. They sent him away to boarding school. Ric says that they never really rekindled their relationship. Flair bought a $2 Million dollar home after he started making a lot of money and his dad didn’t understand why someone would need such a big house.
The wildest revelation about Flair’s parents is that they only saw him wrestle 3 times in their lives. Shows you the kind of relationship that they had.
3) Ric Wanted To Be A Dentist Before Wrestling
Another thing that was interesting was that Ric wanted to be a dentist before ever thinking about the wrestling business.
Here is what Ric said during an interview in 1985:
“No, my father’s a physician in Minneapolis, and at one time I wanted to be a dentist. I got into school and I was so wrapped up in the fast lane and the fraternity life and all the good things that college represents, except for the academic part of it. I didn’t achieve, academically, as well as I should have.”
Imagine Ric never put on a pair of wrestling boots and instead fixed people’s teeth?
4) Ric Tried To Quit Wrestling Before He Started
Ric started his wrestling training alongside Ricky Steamboat and Greg Gagne. They were trained by the legendary promoter and Greg’s father: Verne Gagne. During the documentary, Ricky and Greg shared stories about how brutal the wrestling training was. This included doing things like taking 1000 bumps a day and having to fireman carry a partner up and down flights of stairs.
Ric quit the camp and decided that he couldn’t take it anymore. Verne got in his car and found Ric. After slapping him in the face, Verne put Flair back in the car and told him that he wasn’t quitting. Flair came back to the camp and the rest is history.
Imagine Verne didn’t go back? The Nature Boy wouldn’t have existed. Greg says that his father saw the talent in Ric since the first day and wasn’t going to let him quit.
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