Ric Flair has the uncanny ability to bring an entire room of grown men (and a smattering of grown women) to a complete halt and melt into messes, with just one long and loud WOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
The Nature Boy blew into the Thuzio Executive Club last night and the styling, profiling, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling and dealing son of a gun held an entire room at rapt attention as he shared stories from his glorious career for nearly an hour.
It’s insane to see Flair work a room. The energy changed IMMEDIATELY when he walked into the club and he was swarmed by giddy fans, clamoring for pictures and begging him to cut promos into their iPhones.
It was unreal. Flair, never at a loss for words, wooed his way through nearly two hours and effortlessly recorded message after message for eager fans hoping to immortalize the moment on their phones.
If you think I was above it all, you’re dead wrong, as evidenced by the 800 pictures I took of him.
But the highlight of the night was a formatted Q and A that saw Flair answer questions for nearly an hour. It’s far too much to go into completely, but here are the highlights:
- Flair has had some very near brushes with death. In 1975, Flair and three other wrestlers and a promoter boarded a twin-engine Cessna 310 from Charlotte to Wilmington, N.C. Due to pilot error (he didn’t evenly distribute the weight in the plane) the small aircraft crashed about 100 yards short of the runway. All of the passengers lived, but the pilot died several days later.
- Flair has also been struck by lightning. He mentioned holding an umbrella and getting off a flight in the 80s, only to be struck by a bolt of lightning as he walked away from the plane. A gentleman behind him was also struck and killed.
- Good lord Ric Flair enjoyed drinking and partying during his career (and still enjoyed drinking, it seems, as he had several cocktails during the course of the event). He talked about renting a limousine and a chauffeur in the 80s and partying for two straight days. The chauffeur apparently couldn’t keep up, as he died of a heart attack at the end of the second day. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
- He 100% confirmed the drinking legend of Andre the Giant, claiming he once saw the famous 7-foot wrestler drink 154 beers in a sitting and 3-gallons of red wine at another. He also said Andre would grab people and make them play cribbage and drink with him “for hours on end, whether they wanted to or not. He didn’t really give them a choice. He would point at me sometimes and say ‘come here’ and I knew I was in for it.”
- Flair’s top drinking and partying buddies throughout his career? Arn Anderson (of Four Horsemen fame), Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Terry Funk. He gave an honorable mention to Ted “Million Dollar Man” DiBiase before he found god. He also said Piper was a “real chemistry test.”
- Whenever he came to Philadelphia in the 80s and early 90s he would always go out for a night on the town with Charles Barkley. He said Barkley could “absolutely go” when they went out.
- Oddly enough, Flair said John Cena was a huge partyer at the start of his career, but when the WWE realized his potential they quickly “put a muzzle on him.” Same with Roman Reigns.
- Flair’s Mount Rushmore of promo men? Himself, Dusty Rhodes, Piper and the Rock.
- It’s obvious that he misses the guys he came up in the business with terribly. He lamented the losses of Rhodes and Piper several times during the night, and wondered why he was so lucky to still have his health when so many of his friends have passed away.
- The most proud he’s ever felt during his career? Escorting his daughter Charlotte out for her match against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks at Wrestlemania 32.
- He LOVES Lebron James. He probably mentioned how Lebron is the “best of all time” 10-times during the night and how Steph Curry couldn’t do “nearly the things” Lebron does on the court. Very adamant about this point, and how Lebron could be an elite tight-end in the NFL if he ever wanted to be.
It was an unbelievable night with an absolute legend. The only regret I have is not letting him slap me into the Figure Four or knife-edge chop me through a glass window.