A recent episode of “Wooooo! Nation” with Ric Flair featured the return of “Ask Naitch.” Ric invited fans throughout social media to submit their questions, and today he’s responding to some of his favorites.
“Who do you think you’ve bled the most with?”
Ric says it was either Wahoo McDaniel or Dusty Rhodes, but assumes it was probably Dusty. Conrad Thompson—the moderator and Naitch’s executive producer—asks if bleeding is a “lost art.” Ric says it isn’t so much a lost art, because it still happens on rare occasions, and when it’s necessary. He says it’s more of a health precaution nowadays, and agrees with promoters who’ve decided to limit the amount of color seen throughout their shows.
“Who was your stiffest opponent in the ring, not counting Bruiser Brody or Stan Hansen?”
Ric says that Brody and Hansen were never especially rough with him, which he attributes to being a matter of respect. In terms of his stiffest opponent, Ric names Jumbo Tsuruta—a former Japanese Olympic wrestler. Ric calls Truruta a “smaller version of Brock Lesnar.”
“What is one item that every man should have in his wardrobe?”
“A custom made shirt and some really good cologne.” Conrad follows up by asking Ric what kind of cologne he wears. The Nature Boy wears Dolce and Gabana. He says that he used to have ten different bottles, until his son—presumably Reid—gifted him a bottle of D&G. He promised that he’d never switch to something else, and hasn’t ever since.
“What was the atmosphere & response in WWE when you returned in 2001?”
Flair said that it was great, and it felt like he never left. His initial deal was that he would appear as a personality, initially as the co-owner of WWE, and was never intended to wrestle. Within three months, Ric was entered in the Royal Rumble Match, and by WrestleMania X8 was wrestling the Undertaker.
“What is your view on music used during run-ins? Does it ruin the effectiveness?”
Flair says he doesn’t remember hearing music being played during a run-in, noting that it happens all the time when people are interrupted one another’s promos. Conrad Thompson assures Ric that the WWE plays music whenever anybody enters the arena, for whatever reason. Conrad uses Seth Rollins’ cash-in at WrestleMania as an example—which seems like a bad example—and Ric says that he feels music is okay in that situation.
“Who was your favorite wrestler to travel with?”
Ric says, of course, that his favorite travel companions were the Four Horsemen. He names Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and JJ Dillon as his particular favorites.
“What did wrestlers eat for breakfast and lunch before catering became commonplace?”
Ric says that the wrestlers were always responsible for feeding themselves, noting that WWE really revolutionized the craft service aspect of professional wrestling. He says that egg whites were then—and still are—a very common meal for wrestlers. He says that he spent a lot of time with Ricky Steamboat, who was noteworthy for the diligence of his diet. Ric ate a lot of protein, and adds: “You have to remember—I drank my carbs at night.”
“What did you do to prepare for your WrestleMania VIII match against Randy Savage?”
Ric says Savage insisted that they practice for five days leading up to the match—for three hours at a time—inside the Florida Sportatorium. Ric says that, while he enjoyed the match, it was clouded by the personal controversy brewing between Randy and his ex-wife Elizabeth.
“Who picked the “2001 Space Odyssey” theme?”
Ric says that Dusty Rhodes picked the “Nature Boy” theme song. His initial thinking was that it would present Ric as larger than life, “like Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra.” Flair says he didn’t like the music at first because it was too calm, but he’s grown to love it as it’s become part of his character.
“If Ted DiBiase signed with Crockett instead of WWE, would he have become a Horsemen?
“I’m sure,” Flair says without a moment’s hesitation, “He was a Horseman on his own.”
“Who was the overall best big man of all time—Andre the Giant or the Undertaker?”
Once again, Flair answers quickly: “Undertaker. And as an in-ring worker, BIG SHOW is better than Andre.”
“What is the Nature Boy’s drink of choice?”
Ric says that he loves his vodka, but has been trying to stick with red wine. Conrad interrupts and says that Ric drinks his red wine in a unique way—he likes it over ice. “Well, I have a formula,” Ric begins, “Two bottles of red wine, one bottle of Crown Reserve.”
“What was your worst injury suffered in the ring?”
Ric says he was wrestling Sting in Dallas; following a botched leapfrog, Flair fell to the canvas, and felt as though he broke his leg. He laughs and says three days later it was fine. He notes that most injuries suffered in the ring won’t begin to resonate for a few days, so it’s hard to pinpoint where things first went wrong.
“In honor of Black History Month, who are some of your favorite African American workers?”
Ric begins to rattle off a number of names including Ron Simmons, Ernie Ladd, Butch Reed, Bobo Brazil, among others. Ric says that Ron Simmons was an incredible talent who was also fortunate to be around during Bill Watts’ WCW administration. Flair says that Watts was notable for pushing the Junkyard Dog a generation prior, and saw great potential in Ron Simmons as WCW champion.
“Do you have any memories of the first Monday Night Raw?”
Conrad notes that this was the first time professional wrestling aired on a weekday night on cable in a long time. Ric says he believed in the idea, and remembers wrestling Tito Santana on the first episode of Raw in the Manhattan Center. He laughs, and says he was on the losing end of his match the following week, in a “Loser Leaves Town” match.
“What are your overall thoughts on CM Punk?”
Ric says that he never had any problems with Punk, but he also never worked with him. He notes his reputation, but says he was always respectful in passing. He says, “He was a good performer—I don’t know if I’d say great—but he’s good.” Ric says he isn’t clear on what happened with Punk’s departure, adding that he only knows it affected AJ Lee’s decision to retire. Conrad says that Triple H has a reputation for burying talent, to which Ric Flair immediately calls “bullshit.” Ric agrees that Hunter was certainly more aggressive when he was an active competitor, but he has no reason to do that now that he’s in a position of power. He cites NXT, the Diva’s Revolution, and the influx of indie and international talent as prime examples that Triple H is trying to help as many professional wrestlers as possible.
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