One of the most influential wrestlers of all time.
I can remember sitting in front of the television on Saturdays with my grandfather and enjoying an hour of the most exciting show I've ever watched at my young age, professional wrestling. People will say Hulk Hogan is the reason why they fell in love with wrestling. I'm here to tell you, if you were from the south that name changes to a true icon...The Nature Boy Ric Flair!"The Nature Boy" has done it all in his storied career. 16 time world heavyweight champion, Wrestling God (sorry JBL) and one of the most influential wrestlers of all time. I'm personally here to tell you without Ric Flair, I would never had fallen in love with professional wrestling. From NWA, WCW, TNA, and the almighty WWE, Ric has been everywhere and wrestled everybody. His track record speaks for itself. Have I forgotten that he started one the most influential groups in history, "The Four Horsemen". Not to mention Ric Flair is a WWE inductee in 2008 and 2012, once for himself and then with The Horsemen. Told you they were an awesome group!
Richard Morgan Fliehr isn't what you'd expect from a professional wrestler. He was a medical student at Minnesota University (his father was a doctor, his mother an actress), Flair dropped out college to train for the mat wars under legendary former AWA World champ Verne Gagne(pictured below).
He made his professional wrestling debut on December 10, 1972, wrestling "Scrap Iron" George Gadaski (pictured below) to a ten minute draw in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
After spending the first few months of his career with Gagne's Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club (which used the brand name "American Wrestling Association"), Flair moved on to Charlotte, North Carolina where he became a regular for Jim Crockett Promotions (a member of the worldwide sanctioning body known as the National Wrestling Alliance) under the direction of matchmaker (wrestling terminology for writer) George Scott.
In 1981, he captured his first NWA World title (he would hold that belt officially nine other times). Later on, he would work for both World Championship Wrestling (a company formed by Ted Turner after buying the wrestling assets of JCP) and Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment. He has been officially recognized as a World champion (an honor which generally signifies that a wrestler is the top attraction in any given company) 21 times.
Garnering recognition from the NWA, WWE, and WCW (as well as the WCW spin-off group WCWI, or World Championship Wrestling International). He is the only man in wrestling history to hold all four versions of the title.
Not too many Professional Wrestlers, oops they like to be referred to as "Sports Entertainers" (g.t.f.o.h.), can boast a career spanning over 40 years! Since 1972 Ric Flair has been giving us his all and I personally would love to shake Ric's hand and tell him thank you. Everybody who has the balls to call themselves a true wrestling fan should feel the exact same.
So the next time you hear his theme song play(below) know that you are about to see magic in the making!!
Flair has won more PWI(Pro Wrestling Illustrated) Awards then any other wrestler in history. He won Rookie of the Year in 1975. He won Wrestler of the Year in 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1992. He was involved in the Match of the Year in 1983 (vs. Harley Race), 1984 (vs. Kerry Von Erich, 1986 (vs. Dusty Rhodes and 1989 (vs. Ricky Steamboat. He was involved in the Feud of the Year in 1987 (Four Horsemen vs. Super Powers & Road Warriors), 1988 (vs. Lex Luger), 1989 (vs. Terry Funk) and 1990 (vs. Lex Luger).
He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame (inducted in 1996) and the Wrestling Informer Hall of Fame (inducted in 2002).