The Steve Austin Show – ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair Returns
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Running time: 1:28:00
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
We are back at 317 Gimmick Street in the mean streets of Los Anglesese. Normally, Steve records his Tuesday podcast on Monday, however, his Monday is swamped so he’s recording on a Sunday.
Coming up on the podcast is The Man (not Becky Lynch) but Ric Flair talking about wrestling and life in general.
‘The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
- Steve welcomes Ric to the podcast.
- Ric was in LA to watch Charlotte vs. Ronda at Survivor Series then went to see the Rams vs.The Chiefs. He also did some promotional work for Starrcade.
Ric’s Medical Issues
- Ric had a medical scare last year but says he’s feeling great. Ric says everyone blames it on drinking. He started when he was 15 and when he was in wrestling, he drank everyday.
- Prior to his health scare, he had been working on a business deal. He collapsed and his fiance Wendy took him to the hospital and says he doesn’t remember anything for 2 months. He had kidney failure, respiratory heart failure, he was septic and had pneumonia all at one time.
- He was in so much pain, they induced a coma and it took them 12 hours to get him prepped for surgery. He was in a coma for 12 days and 31 days in the ICU. Then he had to go to rehab to re-learn how to work and he has no memory of anything until the first of November. He doesn’t remember anyone coming to see him.
- They let him go home and his first appearance in public was the debut of the Flair 30 for 30.
- Ric says it’s a miracle he survived and people were writing him off.
- Ric never thought of giving up but couldn’t come to grips with it for a long time.
- When he was at home recovering, he would sit in a chair alone and worry about dying after learning how sick he had been. He would also try to figure out why he was still there and while some people weren’t.
- In the initial first few days, Flair was detoxing, which compounded the issues. They had to strap Ric down (although he doesn’t remember that) because he was really shaking.
- Ric brought flowers to the nurses at the medical facilities and they were in shock. They didn’t know if he was going to make it because he was so far gone.
- Wendy was there 31 days and didn’t leave Ric’s side.
- He feels great now and is thankful, however, he finds he is now super sensitive to illness and sickness.
Drinking and Ric’s Physicality
- Ric has had a few drinks (at his daughter’s wedding and his wedding). Alcohol isn’t the issue but the doctors were afraid that Ric would drink too much.
- One of the best times Ric had was with Steve and Wendy at a bar, drinking and talking.
- Physically, Ric doesn’t feel beat up which people are in shock about. He doesn’t feel anything from wrestling. The only thing he feels is that he’s relatively weak but as far as his back, knees, elbows and shoulders, he has no issues despite the bumps he took over his 40 year career.
- Ric is back to doing 500 free squats and has been cleared to work out. He’s even cleared to be knocked down in the ring.
Thoughts On Travelling
- Ric enjoys travelling when he’s going to see Charlotte or if he’s with Wendy but it’s a long day.
- Ric is planning to do a tour of military bases overseas in 2019.
Wrestling In Japan
- Ric enjoyed wrestling in Japan but says everyone stretched him and beat the crap out of him. He also loved going out after the matches.
- He also confirms that Harley Race went with him one year to be his bodyguard so Jumbo Tsuruta wouldn’t try to double cross him.
Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat
- Ric met Harley in 1972 and was travelling with him, Ray Stevens, Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes in the AWA. Flair calls Stevens the greatest he’s ever seen.
- Race was ultra competitive and always wanted to prove he was the best whether it was driving or punching someone
- Ric is very close to Steamboat even though they didn’t socialize a lot. Plus, kayfabe was more prevalent in the day which is another reason they didn’t socialize, Working with Ricky was like having a night off. Rick says he’s the greatest babyface of all time.
- Ric and Dusty socialized a lot but they did it behind closed doors. There would be no Starrcade, Great American Bash or Clash of Champions without Dusty. His biggest issue with Dusty was ego (Dusty’s).
- If Crockett had stayed east of the Mississippi, Ric thinks they would have still been in business. It’s when they tried to expand to the west coast they got killed. That’s what bankrupted the company.
- Ric says Barry Windham was genetically gifted and didn’t have to go to the gym. He was also a phenomenal athlete.
Quick Thoughts on Today’s Creative
- Ric thinks the business isn’t harder but the days are longer and there is more scrutiny, Plus wrestlers like Steve knew what he was doing and didn’t have 40 writers around him.
- Ric says when you have that groove and capability to entertain the crowd, they have to let you run with that however, he thinks they don’t have the confidence in the kids these days due to lack of experience.
- Wrestlers today have it harder because of social media and the number of people trying to give them direction.
- People watching TV are judging both the performance and the writing when in the past people would just watch.
- Ric says women’s wrestling in the past was tough because they were underpaid and treated horribly.
- The role of a woman wrestler back then wasn’t to be attractive but to be tough and many of them didn’t push themselves to be attractive.
- Ric says Sherri Martel brought a lot to the business. She was a great person and a great manager and represented the heart and soul of what the business was all about
- Ric is overwhelmed when he watches Charlotte work. He always thought if given the opportunity, she would do well. She is to the point where she can’t stand not being the best, almost to the point where she questions herself.
- Even though Charlotte is a second generation wrestler, she is not under Ric’s shadow. Ric says she is making her own name and has built her own brand. She’s made herself unique and she is more of an athlete than Ric ever was.
- Ric loved both matches Charlotte had (with Ronda and Becky) but he really loved the match with Ronda. People could feel that Charlotte wasn’t afraid of Ronda. Steve loved both matches especially their intensity
- Wendy makes an appearance to plug her new online store (www.Wonderouswendy.com) which sells lifestyle products.
- Steve thanks Ric for being on the podcast and they sign off.
Rating – 7/10
I am a huge Ric Flair fan but wasn’t a huge fan of this podcast. It was OK and whenever Steve and Ric get together you can tell they genuinely like each other, but compared to some of Ric’s appearances on Austin’s show, this was not his best. There are other podcasts from this week I’d recommend before this one.
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to www.pwpodcasts.com. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post-show podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, he just likes wrestling. Check him out on Twitter and Instagram @ja113.