WWE Hall of Famer, Ric Flair, is facing a serious health battle, and his manager has asked for prayers and positive energy. Longtime WWE superstar, Dolph Ziggler, is taking care of the “positive energy” part with this first-person story on what the Nature Boy has meant to him and the wrestling business throughout Flair’s illustrious career.
I was lucky to be in the ring with Ric for the first time 12 years ago and I was just as lucky to be in a room with him a few weeks ago. I know what he’s done for the wrestling world, I know what he’s done for the fans and I know what he’s done for me, personally.
Getting the approval of Ric Flair is the wrestling worlds version of Johnny Carson calling you over to the desk after you just crushed a standup set on The Tonight Show. He is royalty and if he likes your work. he lets you know. If you let him down, even once in 100 matches, he’ll let you know that, too, That’s Ric, I thank him for it every time and always will. He has been instrumental in making me the performer I am today.
The 16-time World Champion has done it all and trust me, that doesn’t just pertain to the ring! Ric lives as only Ric can live, looking only as Ric can look. Every time I see him at a wrestling show, a Cavs game, a hotel, an autograph signing, you name it; he is holding court, everyone is gathered around, hoping to get some advice from The Man, or hear some of the greatest road stories of all time. We will lock eyes, he’ll let out a “Wooo!,” and call me out by name and some other hilariously awesome things I wouldn’t dare repeat here, always making me feel like the king of the world and graciously treating me as his peer.
Ric is everything that embodies sports entertainment, and was so even before that phrase existed. He looks the part, he struts in a room, he steals the show and has gone toe-to-toe with the greatest of all time, and more often than not, some of the worst of all time (but watching him while growing up, I’d never have known that). A lot of people are successful in this business because of a catchphrase, or athletic ability or charisma or wrestling, Ric Flair is the personification of all of those things, much like his daughter Charlotte, as she is already a multiple-time champion after only a few years in the WWE.