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Frequently Asked Questions About Ric Flair

COPYRIGHT 1997-99 BY BECKY TAYLOR
Reprinted with the permission of the author

Introduction Crap:

If you use this FAQ, please attribute it to me, Becky Taylor (a.k.a. T-Bo, Komet, Cager, etc.). I am not in relation to WCW, WWF, ECW, or anybody else for that matter. This is not supposed to be offensive, but I'll remove anything that is. I also hereby proclaim, I am NOT Ric Flair. I'm just a 17-year-old female from Nashville, Georgia. I've never met him. I'm just a fan. If you use the complete FAQ, leave this message on there. And if you use parts of this,

please don't copy it word for word!

(It's plagiarism, and according to the copyright on the above copyright it's illegal.)

Folks, I KNOW if you plagiarize this! One little tidbit lets me know.

Lastly, a quick warning: I've included a few personal comments in here, most of it being mere speculation. I know I'm not right 100% of the time.


Introduction, Non-Crap:

In January 1997, I created this thing. It took me two days to come up with this FAQ; one to think of the material and the other to create it. It's existed ever since. Several modifications have been made and it's led to me eventually denouncing a variation of it that exists elsewhere because of controversiality. I think this one is free of that.

I created this thing as a way for you and me to learn more about the "Nature Boy." Flair has served as my favorite wrestler since my introduction to said sport in 1993. I took my idea from the RSP-W FAQ (of course).

Most recently updated area to find this stuff: http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/2399/faq.html

Scott Keith's RSP-W FAQ

Corrections? Comments? Want to bother me? Email me at: dtaylor@surfsouth.com


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Outline:

1. General Information
...A. What Is Flair's Real Name?
...B. How Old Is Flair?
...C. Where Is He Originally From?

2. Background Information
...A. What Is Some General Background Information?
...B. Was He An Amateur Wrestler?
...C. Did He Play Any Other Sports?
...D. Is He Married?

3. Title Reigns
...A. World Title Reigns
...B. World Tag Team Title Reigns:
...C. United States Title Reigns:
...D. Missouri Heavyweight Title Reigns:
...E. Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title Reigns:
...F. Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title Reigns:
...G. Mid-Atlantic Television Title Reigns

4. American Wrestling Association
...A. Who Trained Flair?
...B. When Did Flair Debut?
...C. Who Was It Against And What Was The Result?
...D. What Role Did Flair Play In The AWA?

5. Early Mid-Atlantic
...A. When Did He Come To The Mid-Atlantic Region?
...B. What Is The Origin Of The Ric Flair "Wooo?"
...C. When Did He Pick Up The 'Nature Boy' Gimmick?
...D. What Were Some Early Angles?

6. Plane Crash
...A. What Are The Details Of The Crash?
...B. When Did He Return?

7. Late '70s
...A. Was Flair Ever A Tag Team Champ?
...B. Has There Ever Been A Match Between Him And The "Original" Nature Boy?

8. 1980-1991
...A. How Many World Titles Has Ric Flair Won?
...B. When Did He Win His First World Title?
...C. So Many Wrestlers In The '80s Were On Steroids-- Was Flair?
...D. What Was So Great About Starrcade '83?
...E. What Is The So-Called Power Struggle Between Dusty And Flair?
...F. What About The 1988 Great American Bash Match With Luger?
...G. What Are Some Details About The Forming Of The Four Horsemen?
...H. Who All Has Been In The Group?
...I. What About Wrestle War '89, When Funk Piledrove Him On The Table?
...J. What About The Black Scorpion?

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9. WWF
...A. Why Did Flair Leave WCW?
...B. How Did He Arrive In The WWF?
...C. Why Was He Allowed To Have The NWA/WCW World Title?
...D. How Did His Tenure In The WWF Go?
...E. What Was His 1992 Ear Injury?
...F. Why Did He Leave The WWF?
...G. What Was His Last WWF Match?

10. 1993-
...A. What About The Sid Vicious-Arn Anderson Stabbing?
...B. How Did This Affect Flair?
...C. What About Flair's "Retirement" In 1994?
...D. What About The 1995 North Korea Match With Inoki?
...E. Was The Blood At Starrcade 1995 Real Or Fake?
...F. Was This In Retailliation Against The WWF?
...G. What Are The Details Of Flair's Arrest In 1996?
...H. What Is The "Shoot" Interview?
...I. What About Flair's Shoulder Injury?
...J. Was That Him Being Attacked By The NWO?
...K. The Lawsuit'
...L. Was The Heart Attack Real Or Fake?

11. Miscellaneous
...A. Does Flair Really Hate Hogan And Savage?
...B. Can Ric Flair Fly?
...C. Why Does He Tape His Fingers?
...D. What Are The Similarities Between Him And Buddy Rogers?
...E. Has Flair Ever Been A Booker?
...F. How Long Does His Contract Last?
...G. How Much Does Flair Make?
...H. Has He Made Any Appearances On TV Or In The Movies?
...I. Why Is He Allowed To Keep His Name In Both Federations, While Hall And Nash Can't?
...J. Why Does Shane Douglas Hate Ric Flair?
...L.11A. Has Flair Ever Hit A Move From The Top Rope?

12. Where To Get Other Information
...A. Are There Any Other Web Pages About Flair?
...B. Is There A Ric Flair Fan Club?
...C. Are There Any Books Dedicated To Him?
...D. Are There Any Videos, Not Including PPVs, Dedicated To Him?
...E. Where Can I Send Him Fan Mail?

13. Credits

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1. General Information

1A. What is Ric Flair's real name?

Richard Morgan Fliehr

1B. How old is Flair?

His date of birth is February 25, 1949. That makes him 50.

1C. Where is he originally from?

Edina, Minnesota. (The first 10 years of his life he lived a couple of blocks from the Edina Country Club. The next 15 or so years, he lived on the other side of Edina.)

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2. Background Information

I know more than what is listed here, but won't delve into it here or in email.

2A. What Is Some General Background Information?

Flair came from an upper-class family. His father was a doctor, while his mother worked at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.

Before becoming a wrestler, Flair attempted a job as a life-insurance salesman in 1970. He found he didn't like the job and quit.

2B. Was He An Amateur Wrestler?

Yep. He won the Wisconsin state high school championship as a student at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam (a boarding school). Some sources say he won it once, some say he won it twice.

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2C. Did He Play Any Other Sports?

Sources also vary on other sports he played in high school. Football and wrestling are definite, as he was a two-time All-State selection as a lineman and the wrestling bit was covered above. As for other sports, both basketball and track have been suggested through these sources (basketball by someone who attended Wayland Academy and track by the biography on Verne Gagne's AWA site).

At college, he played offensive guard/defensive tackle on the University of Minnesota's freshman team and roomed with Mike Goldberg (Bill's older brother) and Ken Patera. Academic reasons prevented him from ever playing at the varsity level. Flair himself has stated he also wrestled.

Flair also was a powerlifter (like Patera), but I do not know if he participated while enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

2D. Is He Married?

Yes, to Elizabeth Fliehr. He also has four children from three different marriages.

3. Title Reigns

3A. World Title Reigns:

PWI ("Apter" or "mark" magazines) recognizes about 12 & WCW recognizes 14.

The Basics:

Opponent///////////////////////////Date
Lost To

NWA/WCW: 1981 - 1991

Dusty Rhodes/////////////////////09.17.81
Harley Race///////////////////////06.10.83
Harley Race///////////////////////11.24.83
Harley Race///////////////////////03.21.84
Harley Race///////////////////////03.23.84
Kerry Von Erich/////////////////05.06.84
Kerry Von Erich/////////////////05.24.84
Dusty Rhodes/////////////////////07.26.86
Dusty Rhodes/////////////////////08.09.86
Ron Garvin/////////////////////////09.25.87
Ron Garvin/////////////////////////11.26.87
Ricky Steamboat/////////////////02.20.89
Ricky Steamboat/////////////////05.07.89
Sting///////////////////////////////////07.07.90
Sting///////////////////////////////////01.11.91
stripped///////////////////////////////*

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WWF: 1991-1993

Royal Rumble**///////////////////01.19.92
Randy Savage//////////////////////04.05.92
Randy Savage//////////////////////09.01.92
Bret Hart/////////////////////////////10.12.92

WCW: 1993-

Barry Windham*** //////////////07.18.93
Rick Rude////////////////////////////09.17.93
Vader//////////////////////////////////12.27.93
Hulk Hogan//////////////////////////07.17.94
Randy Savage//////////////////////12.27.95
Randy Savage//////////////////////01.22.96
Randy Savage//////////////////////02.11.96
Giant////////////////////////////////////04.22.96
Hulk Hogan//////////////////////////03.14.99
Diamond Dallas Page****/////04.11.99

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Reigns Overlooked (reigns not recognized or whatever you wish to call it):

1. Flair was automatically given the WCW World Title in March of 1991 when the title was first created. The title is not the same as the NWA World Title.

2. On June 23, 1994, in Charleston, South Carolina, at Clash of the Champions #27(?), Flair defeated Sting for the "International" championship (actually, the resurrected NWA title, which he had held in 1993 by defeating Barry Windham) for the belts to become unified.

Other Reigns as World Champion

None of these reigns are recognized by either the NWA or WCW and probably won't ever be recognized. The only one that's been changed over the years is the Race switches down in New Zealand and Singapore in 1984, which have been recognized since about 1991. In any case, these title wins mean absolutely nothing until WCW decides to recognize them.

Jack Veneno:
During the early part of 1983 (most likely January), Flair worked a couple of shows down in the Dominican Republic against Jack Veneno. Reportedly (by a fan in the venue), Flair lost the title and quickly regained it. In later years, Flair admitted the switches to Dave Meltzer.

Victor Jovica:
These switches are almost identical to the ones with Veneno, except the date was February of 1983 and the events took place in Trinidad.

Midnight Rider:
In February of 1983, as part of an angle the Midnight Rider (Dusty Rhodes) defeated Flair for the belt, but was forced to relinquish it due to the fact that he would not unmask to NWA officials.

Tatsumi "Dragon" Fujinami:
Flair actually lost the belt to Tatsumi Fujinami at Tokyo Starrcade in March 1991. WCW continued recognizing him as champ despite this. There was a rematch at SuperBrawl I in May (Flair won) and the additional reign is not recognized by WCW.

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat:
Flair faced Steamboat at Spring Stampede 1994. The ending of the match concluded with a double-pin situation and the decision was for Flair to keep the belt. The angle was for Flair to declare the belt held-up himself (I believe Nick Bockwinkel, the figurehead commissioner did declare the belt held-up) and for there to be a rematch with Steamboat on Saturday Night.

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3B. World Tag Team Title Reigns:

All NWA
With------>Opponents------>Date----->Lost To----->Date

Greg Valentine----->Gene & Ole Anderson----->12.25.76----->Gene & Ole Anderson----->05.08.77
Greg Valentine----->Gene & Ole Anderson----->10.30.77----->stripped----->04.78
Blackjack Mulligan----->Baron Von Raschke & Paul Jones----->08.08.79----->Baron Von Raschke & Paul Jones----->08.22.79

3C. United States Title Reigns:

NWA

Opponent----->Date----->Lost To----->Date

Bobo Brazil----->07.29.77----->Ricky Steamboat----->10.77
Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods)----->04.09.78----->Ricky Steamboat----->12.17.78
Ricky Steamboat----->04.01.79 ----->relinquished after winning World TagTitle----->08.79
Jimmy Snuka----->04.20.80----->Greg Valentine----->07.26.80
Greg Valentine----->11.24.80----->Roddy Piper----->01.27.81

WCW

Konnan----->07.07.96 ----->relinquished due to injury ----->10.96

3D. Missouri Heavyweight Title Reigns:

Opponent ----->Date ----->Lost To ----->Date
David Von Erich* ----->07.15.83 ----->David Von Erich ----->09.16.83

*Tournament final

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3E. Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title Reigns:

Opponent ----->Date ----->Lost To ----->Date

Wahoo McDaniel ----->09.20.75 ----->??? ----->???
Wahoo McDaniel ----->05.24.76 ----->Wahoo McDaniel ----->09.11.76
Wahoo McDaniel ----->10.16.76 ----->Wahoo McDaniel ----->11.30.76

3F. Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title Reigns:

With----->Opponents----->Date----->Lost To----->Date

Rip Hawk ----->Bob Bruggers & Paul Jones ----->07.04.74 ----->Paul Jones & Tiger Conway Jr. ----->before 11.74
Greg Valentine ----->Dino Bravo & Tiger Conway Jr. ----->mid-1977 ----->Paul Jones & Ricky Steamboat ----->08.22.77
John Studd ----->Ricky Steamboat & Paul Jones ----->10.30.78 ----->Ricky Steamboat & Paul Jones ----->11.05.78

3G. Mid-Atlantic Television Title Reigns

Opponent ----->Date ----->Lost To ----->Date

Paul Jones ----->06.03.75 ----->Paul Jones ----->06.10.75
Rufus R. Jones ----->05.77 ----->Ricky Steamboat ----->06.77

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4. American Wrestling Association

4A. Who Trained Flair?

Verne Gagne (and Billy Robinson is believed to be involved), at Verne's wrestling school. This was Flair's third attempt at 'passing'.

4B. When Did Flair Debut?

December 10, 1972 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

4C. Who Was It Against And What Was The Result?

George "Scrap Iron" Gadaski holds this distinction. The result was a 10-minute, time-limit draw.

4D. What role Did Flair Play In The AWA?

Flair was a jobber with very few wins. He never won any kind of title in the AWA, despite what a few people think.

5. Early Mid Atlantic

5A. When Did He Come To The Mid-Atlantic Region?

Region? May to June 1974. The first match I've seen listed has the date of June 1, 1974 - he defeated Les Thatcher in Spartanburg, SC and the last AWA match result I've seen is from April of '74.

5B. What Is The Origin Of The Ric Flair "Wooo?"

In about '74, Flair would use it at the end of interviews, as sort of an exclamation. The current trend of Flair constantly using it in interviews and in the ring came about a while later, as fans started 'Whoo-ing' at him and he responded in kind.

Flair says he thinks he picked up the sound/word from Jerry Lee Lewis. In my personal study of 1960s music, I think he picked it up from either Del Shannon or the Beach Boys.

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5C. When Did He Pick Up The 'Nature Boy' Gimmick?

He picked up the gimmick in 1976; contrary to the belief he used the gimmick in 1973 or 1974. Before 1976, he bore little resemblance to Rogers, apart from the blond hair.

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5D. What Were Some Early Angles?

DIRECTLY QUOTED FROM AN EMAIL: "The first one was when Ric Flair came to the Mid-Atlantic area as tag team partner to Rip Hawk. Swede Hanson had suffered a real life heart attack and Rip brought Ric in to replace him. I'm not sure if Flair was coming anyway or not but this was how he was introduced to the public. Ric's first finishing hold in the Mid-Atlantic area was an elbow drop used mostly from a run off the ropes - very much like Dusty Rhodes used. His second finisher was the vertical suplex. The figure four came later."

To add a little more to it, I recently read an article that stated that Flair was introduced as a "nephew" of Rip Hawk. So, technically, Flair probably bleached his hair blond to look like Hawk instead of Buddy Rogers.

After being Hawk's cousin, Flair later was introduced as a cousin of the Anderson brothers, due to the fact that he, like Ole Anderson, was from Minnesota.

6. Plane Crash

6A. What Are The Details Of The Crash?

Nothing has been too clear on this. It happened October 4, 1975, coming into the airport in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Flair's quote (from Ric Flair: 2 Decades of Excellence): "I crashed in a private plane in 1975, and broke my back in three places. I was flying to a match. I was flying to Wilmington, North Carolina, to wrestle that night... Legion Stadium, it was sold out. The pilot was killed, and one of the greats in our sport- Johnny Valentine was left paralyzed... from the waist down, and another guy by the name of Bob Bruggers is not paralyzed, but, you know, unable to do anything physical. I was out six months, I was supposed to stay out a year, and I healed, you know, like every young athlete I wanted to get back in, you know, and the doctors said 'I can't tell you-... I can't tell you, you'll have to find out. I can tell you that the bones, and all are put back together, but whether or not it's going to work you'll have to find out.'"
Note: Flair was noticibly VERY uncomfortable talking about this. In other words, that would not be a question to ask if you ever talk to him.

Directly ripped from off of Dory Funk Jr.'s page: "The light twin aircraft had descended to 1,000 feet above ground level on approach to New Hanover Airport, Wilmington, North Carolina.The pilot leveled the aircraft and increased power to maintain altitude. The aircraft was cleared for a visual approach. With the increased demand for fuel, and a near empty tank on the left side, the left engine began to sputter, surge, and then fell quiet as the fuel supply was exhausted.

John Valentine turned to the passengers in the rear of the aircraft, smiled and said, "Guess what, we are out of fuel." He laughed as he knew the aircraft could fly on the right engine which was still running. The pilot reached for the fuel tank selection lever. He turned it to the reverse fuel tank, not realizing that it was empty, too. As the fuel line changed to the exhausted tank, the right engine began to sputter and now all was silent, no power, only the noise of the wind rushing by and the propellers turning in the wind. The engines were silent.

The aircraft dipped, nose first, and began a rapid descent, only three miles short of the runway at New Hanover Airport. Forty seconds later, they were at tree top level, the aircraft tore through tree branches and crashed into the ground. The wings were still intact, and the aircraft was sliding forward on it's belly at 70 miles per hour, then there was a crash and crunching of steel as the aircraft slammed into an embankment supporting a railroad track.

The pilot flew forward through the windshield. John Valentine braced with his powerful arms against the dash of the aircraft. The rear seats broke loose. The wrestlers in the back, the seats, and baggage crashed forward into John Valentine, breaking his back in three places. The aircraft was now still.

Pilot: In a coma six weeks before passing away.
John Valentine: Broken back in three places. Permanent disability.
Ric Flair: Broken back in one place, multiple lacerations.
Bob Bruggers: Permanently disabling ankle injury.
Tim Woods: Bruises and scratches.
David Crockett: Bruises and scratches."

This article was about John Valentine more than anyone else. Credit goes to
Dory Funk Jr.

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Another view to this is from a Mike Mooneyham article from the Charleston Post & Courier. Johnny Valentine tells this story.

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/2399/articles/valentine2.txt

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6B. When Did He Return?

On February 1, 1976, with a count-out victory over Wahoo McDaniel. (That's almost four months out of action.) Most sources will say either 6 or 6 ' months.

7. Late '70s

7A. Was Flair Ever A Tag Team Champ?

No, Tony Schiavone was not lying. His first ever title was as the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champ. He and Rip Hawk defeated Bob Bruggers and Paul Jones [7/4/74]. He was world tag team champ three times; twice with Greg Valentine and once with Blackjack Mulligan. He did hold the Mid-Atlantic tag titles with Greg Valentine and another with John Studd. See the 'Title Reigns' section.He was world tag team champ three times. Twice with Greg Valentine and once with Blackjack Mulligan.

6B. Has There Ever Been A Match Between Him And The "Original" Nature Boy?

An angle arose in 1978 in which there was a contest to guess a mystery wrestler, who was a former world champ. Rogers was the answer and immediately took "offense" angle-wise to Flair using the gimmick. So, there were several in 1978, he and Rogers squared off to find out who was the "true" Nature Boy. Flair won most of the matches using the figure-four.

Non angle-wise, Rogers admitted that Flair had taken the 'Nature Boy' image farther than he (Rogers) had.

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8. 1980-1991

7A. How Many World Titles Has Ric Flair Won?

Several reigns have been overlooked, but according to my calculations, 16 NWA/WCW and 2 WWF, for a total of 18.

7B. When Did He Win His First World Title?

September 17, 1981. He defeated Dusty Rhodes in Kansas City, Missouri, with Lou Thesz as a special referee. Rhodes had been a transitional champion, defeating heel Harley Race two months earlier.

7C. So Many Wrestlers In The '80s Were On Steroids-- Was Flair?

Yes. I don't think he was a serious abuser, though. Notice the size difference, even between 1989 and 1993.

7D. What Was So Great About Starrcade '83?

This event was shown by closed circuit through several regions including the Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Caribbean. Flair beat Harley Race for his second world title. This took place on November 24, 1983, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

David Von Erich was going get the title from Race on that night in Dallas, but because a match (Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs. Don Kernodle & Sgt. Slaughter) had done well on closed circuit earlier, Crockett got enough votes with the NWA bookers for Flair to regain the belt that night and Fritz Von Erich's payoff was for David to get the belt the next year in Dallas. The payoff was never really received as David died in Japan in February of 1984. I guess, to make it up to Fritz, Kerry Von Erich received the world title in May of 1984.

7E. What Is The So-Called Power Struggle Between Dusty And Flair?

About 1988, Flair and Rhodes, REALLY didn't get along, especially since Rhodes blamed Flair for not being able to draw. Dusty, though, had ruined the title with screwjob finishes. During that year ('88), Flair reportedly vetoed a title change to Lex Luger, who was over with the fans, but couldn't actually wrestle (IMO and just about everyone else's). By Starrcade '88, Dusty wanted Flair to job the title in five minutes to Rick Steiner. Flair threatened to jump to the WWF at some point. What saved Flair was the fact that Turner's group, which were the new owners, decided upon a Flair-Luger showdown for Starrcade '88. They also ended Rhodes' reign as booker and gave Flair creative control over the title.

7F. What About The 1988 Great American Bash Match With Luger?

This is a typical Rhodes screwjob finish. Flair retained the title against Luger, when "Maryland State Athletics Commission" rules said a match had to be stopped at the first sign of blood. What made this so unrealistic was Luger's blade job, as his blood never flowed much. Amusingly enough, at the next year's Bash in the same locale, Flair and Terry Funk participated in a wild, double-juice fest, with no restraints.

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7G. What Are Some Details About The Forming Of The Four Horsemen?

The Four Horsemen were formed in 1986, with Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and Ole Anderson as charter members, managed by J.J. Dillon.

For much more detailed information, visit: <"http://users.aol.com/Solie/horse.html">Solie's Illustrated History of the Four Horsemen

The name itself has been mentioned in various sources:

Source A: The Bible. In the final chapter, Revelation, the Horsemen are prominently mentioned. I'm not a Biblical expert, although I should be.

Source B: The Notre Dame backfield of the 1920s. Notre Dame was a football powerhouse then, as they were for the most part of the first half of the 20th century.

Source C: Metallica. The first two sources, I've heard mentioned. This source, I came up on my own accord and very seriously doubt as the source. Metallica's first major release was Kill 'Em All in 1983. The second song on the album was titled 'The Four Horsemen', which talked of the Horsemen of Source A.

In any case, Arn Anderson takes credit for coming up with the name of the Horsemen.

7H. Who All Has Been In The Group?

1986: Flair, Tully Blanchard, & Arn & Ole Anderson
1987: Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, & Lex Luger 1988: Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, &
Barry Windham
Arn and Tully leave for the WWF in '88; the Horsemen go on hiatus, but briefly, another group appeared (see below).
1990: Flair, Arn & Ole Anderson, & Sid Vicious
Flair leaves for the WWF in '91; the Horsemen go on hiatus.
1993: Flair, Arn Anderson, Sid Vicious, & Paul Roma
The group splits; Arn gets stabbed; more hiatus.
1995: Flair, Arn Anderson, Brian Pillman, & Chris Benoit
1996: Flair, Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit, & Steve McMichael
1997: Flair, Arn Anderson (briefly), Chris Benoit, Jeff Jarrett, & Steve McMichael
1997: Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael, & Curt Hennig
Hennig betrays the Horsemen; Flair disbands the Horsemen
1998: Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael, & Dean Malenko
McMichael disappears; Horsemen dead?

Managers/Valets:

J.J. Dillon ' 1986-88
Baby Doll ' 1986-87?
Woman ' 1990; 1996-97
Debra McMichael ' 1996-97
Ms. Elizabeth ' 1996
Arn Anderson ' 1997-99

Appearing briefly after Arn and Tully left were the Yamataki Corporation. The group included Flair, Barry & Kendall Windham, & Butch Reed. Hiro Matsuda supposedly bought the contracts of Ric and Barry. The idea was very short-lived.

7I. What About Wrestle War '89, When Funk Piledrove Him On The Table?

Flair wanted some time off, so they created an angle during the Flair-Steamboat match. Funk served as a ringside judge in this match, in which Flair regained the World Title. After a two-month period, Flair returned to have a major feud with Funk, which culminated in an 'I Quit' match for Clash of Champions IX, in which Flair beat Funk with a figure-four.

The above match with Steamboat is considered one of the best (if not the best) matches of all time.

7J. What About The Black Scorpion?

In 1990, after Sting won the world title, bookerman Ole Anderson created an angle, in which he originally wanted the Ultimate Warrior or Dark Angel (whatever his name is) to use. Warrior ended up staying with the WWF, and Anderson was going to use Barry Windham. The angle flopped because it was stupid to begin with (magic tricks and Ole providing Scorp's voice) and because they had no one for the role. Sting himself flopped as a champion, so Flair got the belt back in the Meadowlands of New Jersey in January in exchange for wearing the mask one night and bailing the company out.

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8. World Wrestling Federation

8A. Why Did Flair Leave WCW?

Jim Herd (then executive vice-president, the post Bischoff has held) used rank high in the Pizza Hut Corporation. I don't know why he got a job in professional wrestling.

Herd and Flair didn't get along. There are two main reasons for this; I'll go into a bit of detail on each one. For this question, this background stuff is important.

Back to the original question, Herd wanted to pass the world title on to Luger (or just have a younger champion) at the Great American Bash 1991, but Flair refused to job. A decision was then made to drop the belt to Barry Windham at a TV taping in Macon, GA, two weeks before the show. Before the taping, Flair quit or was fired by Jim Herd. The title ended up going to Luger, who pinned Windham at the Great American Bash on July 14 (which has been regarded as being both 'The Ric Flair Protest Show' and the worst pay-per-view of all time).

Another reason is because Flair and WCW couldn't agree to terms on a contract. Flair wanted an increase in salary while WCW wanted him to take a pay cut.

Vince McMahon wasted no time in signing Flair with the WWF.

8B. How Did He Arrive In the WWF?

In 1991, Bobby Heenan announced at the end of one of the WWF's TV shows (Prime Time?) that Flair was coming and held up the NWA/WCW world title. Flair himself later appeared with the NWA/WCW world title, and began calling himself "The Real World's Champion." He and Roddy Piper got into a fight at the announcer's table, with Roddy accidentally hitting Vince McMahon with a chair. In the weeks to come, he interfered with Hogan's match with the Undertaker at Survivor Series, allowing Undertaker to win the WWF championship.

As a side note to the "real world's champion" thing, I suspect that "Nature Boy" is copyrighted by the NWA or WCW (or even by Jim Crockett). I also noticed that at one pay-per-view, Flair's robe said 'Ric Flair' on the back, instead of 'Nature Boy'. Crockett did originate the Flair version of the gimmick.

8C. Why Was He Allowed To Have The NWA/WCW World Title?

He owned the belt (to a degree). Crockett had the belt made and the NWA started using it in 1986. Crockett was in debt about the same time and gave Flair ownership of the belt instead of giving him his guaranteed money. WCW sued and in court in 1992, they purchased the belt from Flair for a reported $75,000.

8D. How Did His Tenure In The WWF Go?

Flair won the Royal Rumble, setting a new in-ring time record (which Bob Backlund broke the next year). Later he dropped the title to Randy Savage in their famed "Flair Knew Elizabeth First" feud.

Later Ric regained the belt from Savage while Razor Ramon interfered. (They were going to work the match and at about 12:00, Bobby Heenan was sent out to get the referee, Earl Hebner, to stop the match on account of how bad it was. It was announced to the fans that the match was so out-of-control they had to stop it. They came back out later in the show and worked a 25:00 title change.)

He then dropped the title to Bret Hart in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

He and Mr. Perfect had been allies this entire time and by the Survivor Series, Perfect had joined forces with Randy Savage, taking the Ultimate Warrior's place. Flair ended his tenure in the WWF with a "Loser Leaves the WWF" match, even though Flair wrestled on house cards after that, particularly in Europe.

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8E. What Was His 1992 Ear Injury?

On October 9, 1992, Flair faced the Ultimate Warrior in Phoenix, AZ, and ended up with broken nerve endings in his ear. Three days after the match with Warrior, Flair lost the title to Hart and continued to wrestle a few times after that. Ric ultimately missed from the middle of October until the middle of November.

8F. Why Did He Leave The WWF?

In 1993, Flair left because

8G. What Was His Last WWF Match?

Versus Bret Hart in Dortmund, Germany, on February 10, 1993. He then didn't wrestle in WCW for several months (no-compete clause?), but did make interview appearances.


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9. 1993-

9A. What About The Sid Vicious-Arn Anderson Stabbing?

In October of 1993, WCW was touring England. Vicious and Anderson had been arguing during the trip and Vicious attacked Anderson in his hotel room. Anderson received twenty stab wounds, while Sid suffered a punctured lung.

9B. How Did This Affect Flair?

Other than being a good friend of Arn, at the time Vicious was scheduled to face Vader in the main event of Starrcade '93 and win the title. Vicious was canned for the incident with Anderson, and WCW had no credible opponent for Vader, until they called upon Flair to win the world title from Vader.

Flair and Vader ended up being a spectacular show from Charlotte, NC, particularly for its dramatic fashion and match stiffness (Flair lost a couple of teeth, courtesy of a Vader forearm shot).

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9C. What About Flair's "Retirement" In 1994?

To get a huge buyrate for a PPV, they ask Flair to do the job in a "retirement" match. Flair agrees to do this if he gets a contract extension and they have the match. The idea afterwards was to bring Flair back in a way that the fans wouldn't feel cheated. He was brought back in '95 after two meetings to vote on his "reinstatement" using "foreign executives" (Kensuke Ishikawa was Sonny Ono and other WCW employees were used in the roles).

9D. What About The 1995 North Korea Match With Inoki?

Inoki originally wanted Hogan as an opponent, but Hogan wanted a nice sum of money and didn't want to job. Because of this, Flair was slipped in as Inoki's opponent. Flair lost in 14 minutes in front of the largest crowd in pro-wrestling history (190,000).

9E. Was The Blood At Starrcade 1995 Real Or Fake?

Real. Savage bladed Flair, which was obvious because of a bad camera angle, even though some think Flair juiced hardway.

9F. Was This In Retailliation Against The WWF?

Maybe, because at this time both leagues still outlaw blading. This question is difficult to answer because the WWF still claims the blood in the match between Davey Boy Smith and Bret Hart was hardway. They claim that Hart was cut by a piece of glass from an earlier match. Some still say that Hart bladed.

9G. What Are The Details Of Flair's Arrest In 1996?

(This was actually a recurring question back when I started this thing in 1997')

On March 8, 1996, Flair and a twenty-year-old female (a friend of Flair's wife), were pulled over. The female was driving and was arrested for DWI. Flair was also arrested with the charge of abetting a DWI. They had come from the SouthEnd Brewery (of which Flair is half-owner). Flair claims he needed someone to drive him home and he didn't realize that the twenty-year-old had been drinking as well.

As for the trial, I don't know the results. Obviously, Flair did not get into much trouble.

Article from the Charlotte Observer

9H. What Is The "Shoot" Interview?

An interview that aired August 10, 1996, is believed to be a shoot. Flair talked about Hogan's precence in WCW and how Hogan has carried around federations for years. Transcript: http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/2399/int_8_96.html

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9I. What About Flair's Shoulder Injury?

The original injury took place on August 14, 1995, against Hiroyoshi Tenzan (Yamamoto). The injury progressively got worse until'

On September 21, 1996, Flair faced Kensuke Sasaki in Japan in a tournament. Flair injured his shoulder after an ipponzeoi (a form of an armdrag) and did not take the move right and completely tore his rotator cuff. He had surgery in October of '96 and returned to in-ring action on May 18, 1997, with Kevin Greene & Roddy Piper vs. Scott Hall, Syxx, & Kevin Nash and was victorious.

9J. Was That Him Being Attacked By The NWO?

No. Although bearing a minor resemblance, considering the camera angle, it is not. Also, note what was being yelled by Flair. This seems to be taken from a mid-80s match. He screams "my back" at one point and an obscenity (as he used to yell before Turner came along) during the brunt of the beating. WCW didn't notice the obscenity, for the entire sequence aired on Saturday Night, obscenity and all.

9K. The Lawsuit'

Flair's contract expired in January or February of 1998. About that same time, Flair signed a letter of intent (not a contract) to stay in WCW for three more years. A contract had not been agreed on because certain conditions Flair had wanted in a contract (mostly regarding his experience) did not appear in the contracts that were sent to him.

During this time period, Flair is scarcely being used in angles. He is rarely appearing on television, even though he is attending every taping, because this letter of intent supposedly said he has to.

Suddenly, in April, it is announced on Nitro that Flair will appear on Thunder with a major announcement regarding his career. The next day, Bob Ryder reported in his 'Notes From Bob' emails that this may not happen as Flair had asked for the day off to see his son participate in an amateur wrestling tourney. On Thunder, the angle was pushed. During the last few minutes of the show, which was supposed to be his interview time, it is announced that due to "bad weather" Flair wouldn't be arriving. Eric Bischoff comes out and buries Flair. Arn Anderson then made a rare TV appearance and said Flair wasn't appearing "for all the wrong reasons."

Things got worse. Nitro appeared the next Monday in Minneapolis. Flair was supposed to be at Clemson promoting the event with other wrestlers (he may have been instead scheduled on Nitro). He wasn't there. Bischoff buried him backstage after Nitro.

A suit was filed in Fulton County, GA (Atlanta), against Flair over the missed appearances, saying that the letter of intent was binding. Remember the letter of intent supposedly said he couldn't miss a taping? That's basically what it's about.

A couple of months later, Flair filed counter suit, citing he never signed a contract.

Of course we know that Ric made his return September 15, 1998, on Nitro for a huge Horsemen reunion.

Has it been resolved? In all probability, yes.

For an article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with perhaps a better introspection


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9L. Was The Heart Attack Real Or Fake?

Summary of events for the uninformed:

On the December 14, 1998, edition of Nitro, Eric Bischoff came out to do an interview. Flair comes out a minute later and chases him around the ring and eventually Bischoff gets away. Flair returns to the ring for a chat with Gene Okerlund. Flair delivers a very spirited interview, complete with him doing a few elbow drops, a knee drop, and a flip over the turnbuckles. At the end of the interview after Flair talks about ripping out Bischoff's heart, he clutches his left arm and falls back into a corner. Security goes over to him and Arn Anderson sprints down to the ring. A few executives come out, including Dusty Rhodes and David Crockett. Flair gets carted out on a stretcher and to an ambulance. As the show progresses, Schiavone is trying to get updates on his condition, and says that trainer Danny Young says that Flair was having shortness of breath and chest pains. Bischoff, later in the show, delivers a remorseful interview in which he says Ric had a mild heart attack.

The heart attack didn't happen. The real question that has been presented is whether or not the [falling to the ground] spot was real or not. Flair claimed two days in the Charlotte Observer later that his left arm went numb. Then, Bret Hart, in his Calgary Sun column, gave a more detailed reason, claiming that Flair had the numbness as a result of nerve damage due to his back injury that sometimes caused spasms in his arm and chest. Hart claimed that the symptoms closely resembled a heart attack. Others have said that Flair re-injured his left shoulder.

In a recent interview with Mark Madden, Flair said it was an angle. I'll leave it at that.

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10. Miscellaneous

10A. Does Flair Really Hate Hogan And Savage?

He and Hogan mostly disagree with booking. Flair says that's their only difference. As for Savage, they get along and are believed to be friends.

10B. Can Ric Flair Fly?

Fifteen years ago, he could dropkick. The majority of his 'high-flying' moves have either been the attempted jump from the top rope via the Flair flip over the turnbuckle, and a cross-body block. The cross-body block has been his most successful. He won his second world title by defeating Harley Race using this.

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10C. Why Does He Tape His Fingers?

There are a few reasons for this. He uses this for style and also this is how he hides the blade. Over the years, though, he has changed the positioning of the tape, and also he used to tape only the fingers on his right hand. Now, he tapes the fingers on both hands.

10D. What Are The Similarities Between Him And Buddy Rogers?

Besides the 'Nature Boy' gimmick there are a few other similarities. Of course, there's the blond hair. Rogers is the originator of the figure-four and also strutted. Like Rogers, he has won both the NWA and WWF world titles. Rogers admitted though, that Flair had taken the Nature Boy gimmick farther than he had.

11E. Has Flair Ever Been A Booker?

In 1994, Flair took over the position as the head booker. Hogan came to WCW in the middle of the year and started creating his own storylines. By the end of his tenure as head booker, Hogan controlled most of the main-events and Flair controlled the undercard wrestlers. This is why Alex Wright got a push. Later, when Kevin Sullivan took over, Wright's push abruptly ended.

11F. How Long Does His Contract Last?

The Observer posted it as being throught November of 1997. Others have posted it as ending in November of 1998.

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10G. How Much Does Flair Make?

In the '80s, he made around $300,000 a year. By the mid-80s, he was making around $750,000 a year. In 1991, Flair was asking for his salary to be increased to over a million per year. (WCW decided to cut Flair's pay, and restrict his role in the company, so he left.) Now, he makes about $450,000 a year.

11H. Has He Made Any Appearances On TV Or In The Movies?

In 1973, he made an appearance in Verne Gagne's movie "The Wrestler." The film was totally AWA. Flair's one appearance in it, is in a scene near the end, where several up-and-comers are sitting at a dining table. He was also in the 1986 movie "Body Slam." As for TV, he has made an appearance on Baywatch, as well as done some political commercials for George Bush in 1990. He also did a Slim Jim commercial with Randy Savage that aired in October of '96.

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11I. Why Is He Allowed To Keep His Name In Both Federations, While Hall And Nash Can't?

The concept is that Flair like Vader and Piper created the gimmick on their own account. The Hall and Nash characters of "Razor" and "Diesel" were created and are copyrighted by the WWF.

11J. Why Does Shane Douglas Hate Ric Flair?

Douglas claims that Flair held the younger talent down while he (Flair) was booker in 1989. Douglas also seems enraged because Flair fired him for going to another company official that was over Flair to complain about a decision.
Shane's quote from a Prodigy Interview. As you can see, he's making excuses:
BootyCall KS (Prodigy Member):
Shane...could you explain exactly what you have against Ric Flair, and if you still hold the contempt you used to have for the "Nature Boy"?

Shane Douglas (Speaker):
Ric was very reluctant to help any young talents in the business. He would use his position as a booker or as the top talent in the territory to use and or hold down younger talent at a time when he could have been helping groom the next generation of great wrestlers. He chose instead to desperately hold on and he hurt the business by doing it. In the late 80's and early 90's there was a great lull in new young talent. It was largely his fault.

10L. Has Flair Ever Hit A Move From The Top Rope?

He won his second world title by defeating Harley Race using a crossbody block from the top rope at Starrcade '83. Occasionally, he'll hit a double-axe handle'

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12. Where To Get Other Information

12A. Are There Any Other Web Pages About Flair?

Yes. John Kramer has a page that lists all the titles Flair has won and has sixty pictures in his photo gallery.
The address is
http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gt5097a/flair.htm
Earl Oliver of Solie's Vintage Wrestling has a picture history of the Four Horsemen.
That address is http://users.aol.com/Solie/horse.html

12B. Is There A Ric Flair Fan Club?

Shogun runs and unofficial one. The address is:
http://users.vnet.net/shogun/flair.html

12C. Are There Any Books Dedicated To Him?

Steve Helwagen's book, "Whoo! The Ric Flair Record Book" is still available. Address:
Steve Helwagen
188 South Fork Circle
Pataskala, Ohio 43062

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12D. Are There Any Videos, Not Including PPVs, Dedicated To Him?

WCW released a video in 1995-96 entitled "Ric Flair: 2 Decades of Excellence". There may be more than one version of the video. For video of several Flair matches there are several tape traders online. Shado is one who it seems like every other day posts his 'Ric Flair Legend' tape on RSPW.

12E. Where Can I Send Him Fan Mail?

If you wish to send fan mail send it to WCW's offices in Atlanta.

13. Credits

Several people on the internet, mainly those on RSPW who don't realize it, but they have contributed information. I don't have a list of everybody, but here are a few:
Thomas V. Delrosario
Dory Funk Jr.
Dan Edward Ginnetty
Steve Helwagen (BIG HELP)
Otto 'Hack-Man' Heuer
John Kramer
Herb Kunze
J. Levin
The writer of the RSPW FAQ, Mr. Macika
Conn Mackintosh
Bill Milano at
DDT Digest
Earl Oliver at Solie's Vintage Wrestling
Doug Palmer
Sam Siegel
Shado
Shogun
Chris Tabar
To contribute to the Ric Flair FAQ, or to ask a question: email me at
dtaylor@surfsouth.com
Back to T-Bo's Page
Back to the Ric Flair Dedication
This IS the end of the document, ya'll.

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