"Nature Boy" Ric Flair

"To be the man, you gotta beat the man!" This catchphrase is instantly identified with one man. The man considered by most experts to be the greatest wrestler of all-time. That, of course, being "The NatureBoy" himself, Ric Flair.

 To go through Flair's historic career would take many pages and probably still not scratch the surface. Needless to say "Slick Ric's" 36-year career will never be surpassed or equaled. Debuting in 1972 Flair would begin his rise to stardom 3 years later when he won the Mid-Atlantic TV Title from Paul Jones. The same year Flair would be involved in the famous plane crash that he was told would end his career. This the where the world saw that Ric was special as he returned only 8 months later in early 1976. Flair would then go on to the level the following year winning the NWA U.S. Title from Bobo Brazil. Soon after Ric would assume "The Nature Boy" moniker to draw out the original "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and cemented his status by winning their match. Flair would win his first NWA World Title in 1981 defeating Dusty Rhodes. For more information about Flair's rise to the top of the NWA visit our Starrcade '83 page.

 

Flair would dominate the title picture through the 80s (even becoming so synonymous with the title the famous "Big Gold Belt" was made specifically for him in 1986) and into 1991 when he parted ways with WCW  (which had actually split from the NWA) In 1992 Flair would cement his legacy when he finally arrived in the WWF  and won two world titles their. Flair would return to WCW  in 1993 win additional titles and remain there until the end of the company in 2001. Returning to the WWF (soon to be WWE) later that year, Flair would end his career there in 2008 losing to Shawn Michaels in a "career threating match" at WrestleMania XXIV.  In a fitting end, this match was voted Pro Wrestling Illustrated's  Match of the Year.

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by Mike Parker