On Tuesday evening, the world will get to see ESPN 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” for the primary time. The story of Ric Flair’s legend goes effectively past the ring, however it all started together with his prowess within the squared circle.
All eyes had been on Ric Flair, and his robes, each time he stepped into the ring. Here are the tales of a few of his most memorable robes and the matches through which he wore them.
To rejoice the premiere of “Nature Boy”, Tim Fiorvanti and ESPN Stats & Info’s Sean Coyle labored collectively to acknowledge 16 ‘Flair details’ — one for every acknowledged world title reign in his profession.
These details cowl nearly each period of Flair’s illustrious profession, however they’re simply an appetizer for “Nature Boy”, which airs at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.
We are simply 16 days out from the world premiere of “Nature Boy”, ESPN 30 for 30’s have a look at the unbelievable life and adventures of the one-of-a-kind Ric Flair. In the lead-up to this occasion, we’ll be sharing 16 details — one for every of his record-setting 16 wrestling world title runs — per day. Fact #1: Flair’s first championship within the WWE was gained on Jan. 19, 1992, within the 1992 Royal Rumble match — the primary time the title was on the road within the annual 30-man battle royal. That title reign, the primary of two world title runs for Flair within the WWE, lasted 77 days; he misplaced the title to Randy Savage on April 5, 1992, at WrestleMania VIII.
Sixteen days of Ric Flair details — one for every of his 16 world titles — continues with Fact #2: Flair is the one two-time WWE Hall of Famer within the firm’s historical past. He was first inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a solo performer in 2008 — the day earlier than Flair’s retirement match at WrestleMania 24. Flair was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for the second time in 2012, as a part of the Four Horsemen, and he is additionally a member of the NWA Hall of Fame. (Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info)
Sixteen days of Ric Flair details — one for every of his 16 world titles — continues with Fact #three: Flair was skilled by WWE Hall of Famer Verne Gagne. Flair skilled alongside The Iron Shiek, Jim Brunzell, Ken Patera and Greg Gagne in a barn on Verne’s property in 1971, and made his skilled wrestling debut for Gagne’s American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) promotion in December 1972.
Sixteen days of Ric Flair details, main as much as the world premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy”, continues with Fact #Four: Despite a decidedly shorter profession to this point, Charlotte Flair is already closing in on a couple of of her dad’s quantity’s within the WWE file books. She’s already a four-time girls’s champion — already 25 p.c of the best way to her dad’s file 16 world title reigns — and together with her win at Hell in a Cell, Charlotte already has 20 WWE pay-per-view wins. That’s as many as Ric had in his complete WWE run. (Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info)
16 days of Flair details, Day 5: The subsequent pay-per-view on the WWE schedule is Survivor Series, and that is the occasion the place, on Nov. 27, 1991, the place Ric Flair made his WWE PPV debut. He teamed with “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, The Mountie & The Warlord to tackle Bret Hart, Roddy Piper, the British Bulldog & Virgil. In the Four-on-Four elimination match, Flair was the ‘sole survivor’ because the final man standing after a number of members from every staff had been disqualified. (Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info)
16 days of Flair details main as much as 30 for 30’s Nature Boy on Nov. 7. Fact 6: Ric Flair’s solely official WrestleMania victory got here at WrestleMania 20, when he teamed with Randy Orton and Batista to defeat The Rock and Mick Foley. In 4 different WrestleMania matches, Flair misplaced to Randy Savage (WM VIII), The Undertaker (WM X8), didn’t win the Money within the Bank briefcase (WM 22) and misplaced his last WWE match towards Shawn Michaels (WM 24). Flair did choose up a victory in a tag staff match on the eve of WrestleMania 23, partnering with Carlito to defeat Gregory Helms and Chavo Guerrero in a darkish match.
16 days of Flair details, main as much as the printed premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy”, continues with truth #7: The final belt that Ric Flair held in wrestling was the WWE world tag staff championship, which he gained with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on Nov. 5, 2006 on the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view; they defeated Kenny and Mikey of the Spirit Squad. Flair and Piper misplaced these titles eight days in a while Monday Night Raw to Rated RKO (Edge and Randy Orton).
Sixteen days of Flair details main as much as the debut of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy”, day eight: Ric Flair is acknowledged by WWE as a 16-time world champion, however he is additionally held all kinds of different titles throughout his profession. In WWE, he was an Intercontinental and tag staff champion; in NWA/WCW, Flair held the Mid-Atlantic championship, the NWA TV title, the NWA/WCW U.S. championship and a number of other totally different tag staff titles.
16 days of Flair details main as much as 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” continues with truth #9: Ric Flair’s last official match got here at WrestleMania 24 in April 2008, when he misplaced a retirement match towards Shawn Michaels. On the evening after he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Flair ended his in-ring profession with the corporate within the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, in entrance of one of many largest WWE crowds within the firm’s historical past.
16 days of Flair details main as much as the premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” continues with truth #10: Despite his official retirement at WrestleMania 24, Flair was bodily energetic as a part of a car parking zone brawl towards Randy Orton in January 2009 that spilled out to ringside. After they exchanged strikes for greater than 10 minutes, Orton’s compatriots Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr., The Legacy, helped Orton ship a punt kick to Flair’s head.
We’re getting nearer and nearer to the conclusion of 16 days of Flair details, with ESPN 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” simply 5 days away. Fact #11 appears to be like deeper into Ric Flair’s historical past with Shawn Michaels. While Flair’s final WWE match, with Michaels at WrestleMania 24, is one which followers will all the time bear in mind, it wasn’t the one time they met within the ring on pay-per-view. Flair defeated Michaels at ‘Bad Blood’ in June 2003 — albeit with an help from Randy Orton and a metal chair. Flair and Michaels additionally had two different televised one-on-one matches. Flair additionally picked up a win over Michaels all the best way again in December 1991, throughout his first run with WWE, on Prime Time Wrestling. Michaels’ lone win over Flair earlier than WrestleMania 24 got here in February 2005 on Monday Night Raw, which was filmed within the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
16 days of Flair details, main as much as Tuesday’s premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy”, continues with truth #12: Ric Flair gathered quite a few totally different nicknames all through his profession. The first, and most well-known one, being “The Nature Boy”. There’s additionally “Naitch”, “The Dirtiest Player in the Game”, a number of allusions to “Space Mountain” and, relationship again to a few of his most well-known promos, the “Limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling dealing, son of a gun.”
16 days of Flair details, main as much as the premiere of ESPN 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” on Tuesday, hits truth #13: Despite a number of totally different interpretations of Ric Flair’s world title reigns within the NWA, WCW and WWF, the WWE at present acknowledges 16 world title reigns for Flair over the course of his profession. In these formally acknowledged reigns, Flair solely defeated two males for world titles a number of occasions — Dusty Rhodes (twice) and “Macho Man” Randy Savage (thrice). Though the circumstances of his title losses are up for extra debate, the one wrestler to defeat Flair a number of occasions for a world title was Savage, who did it as soon as within the WWF and as soon as in WCW.
16 days of Flair details main as much as the premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” hits truth #14: Though a few of Ric Flair’s title reigns usually are not acknowledged or are up for some debate, there is no query as to the longest world title reign of his profession. On May 24, 1984, Flair defeated Kerry Von Erich in Yokosuka, Japan to start his third acknowledged run as NWA world heavyweight champion. Flair would maintain the title for greater than two years — 793 days, to be actual — earlier than he’d lose the title to Dusty Rhodes on July 26, 1986. Rhodes held the title for simply two weeks, earlier than Flair gained the title again in Missouri and began one other title reign of 412 days.
16 days of Flair details main as much as the premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” hits truth #15: Ric Flair is the one two-time WWE Hall of Famer, however by the point all is alleged and executed he may additionally turn out to be the first-ever three-time WWE HOFer. In addition to being a founding member of the legendary Four Horseman (and the one one to be in each iteration of the group), Flair additionally helped kind Evolution within the WWE alongside Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton — every individually badured a HOF spot in their very own proper with a mixed 33 world title reigns. At WWE’s Armageddon pay-per-view on Dec. 14, 2003, the group achieved the uncommon feat of holding each main title on the identical time; Flair and Batista had been tag staff champions, Orton was Intercontinental champion and Triple H was World Heavyweight champion.
16 days of Flair details main as much as the premiere of 30 for 30’s “Nature Boy” hits its finish with truth #16: In the minds of most wrestling followers, Ric Flair shares the mantle of most iconic WCW celebrity with Sting — and it is all too applicable that Flair and Sting’s careers had been constantly intertwined. They confronted off on the first-ever version of WCW Monday Nitro on Sept. Four,1995, and had the final match ever aired on Monday Nitro on March 26, 2001.