Ric Flair is without doubt one of the most successful and recognizable professional wrestlers of all time. He is the only ever two-time Hall of Famer and holds the record for World Championship reigns at 16.
Many would consider him to have had a fantastic run with a career that has spanned more than 20 years in WWE alone. Before WWE, Flair found success in the NWA in the late 1970s, before heading over to WCW in 1986.
Flair’s career has engulfed the WWE over the past two decades and he became a present character on WWE TV. Whether as part of a group like The Four Horsemen or Evolution, or as the plain old Nature Boy, Flair managed to bring style to every city he visited. Flair’s personal life has been the topic of much debate between wrestling fans, given that Flair has been married and divorced four times, and he himself has admitted that he would have retired from wrestling long before he did if he hadn’t wasted his earnings on a lavish lifestyle.
Nonetheless, it seems Flair has failed to outstay his welcome within WWE, but officially his in-ring WWE career did come to an explosive end at WrestleMania 24 when he faced his good friend Shawn Michaels in a retirement match and a well-timed emotionally charged superkick sealed his fate.
Flair officially retired in 2008, so here are the 10 biggest things that have happened to him over the past eight years:
10. WWE Hall of Fame
Ric Flair is one of the most successful WWE superstars of all time and he has had one of the lengthiest runs in WWE of any wrestler in the history of the company. So he rightly was given a place in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
Technically, this was the day before his retirement and he was the first ever active wrestler to join wrestling’s elite when he was inducted into his class by his good friend, Triple H. Ric gave an emotional speech that showed that he was a deserving inductee who, even after years in the business, still carried such passion for his craft.
9. Reid Flair
This tragedy was briefly (and tastelessly) mentioned as part of Charlotte and Paige’s bitter rivalry, but it was a real-life tragedy for the Flair family back in March 2013 when Flair’s youngest son Reid died after an accidental overdose of heroin and Xanax.
The family were obviously hit hard by this event; Reid was a trainee wrestler and was signed by WWE in 2007, but didn’t manage to make it to the heights that his sister and father had accomplished. Flair stated in a podcast that he broke down in tears when he saw the segment.
8. His Acting Debut
When you’re a 16-time World Champion, there is not a lot in this world that you can’t actually accomplish. Ric Flair continues to prove that as he has branched out into an acting career. He has already made many guest appearances on wrestling related TV shows, but in 2015 he was a part of a project non-wrestling related.
Flair was a part of Magic Mike XXL along with friend and fellow WWE Superstar Kevin Nash. While he didn’t play a huge part in the movie itself, it was Flair’s feature film debut and could hopefully be the sign that he is making the switch over to the big screen.
7. Daughter Signs With WWE
WWE signed Flair’s daughter Ashley to her first WWE contract in 2012, and she instantly became a sensation on NXT when she proved she had what it took to excel in the squared circle.
Ashley adopted the ring name Charlotte after her father’s place of residence and became a huge hitter in the NXT Women’s Division before she made the leap to the main roster and won her first Divas Championship at Night of Champions in 2015 when she defeated the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time, Nikki Bella. Her father has since remained by her side as she continues to reign her division.
Flair’s private life has been the object of many discussions within the WWE Universe after the superstar has now been married and divorced four times. But back in 2009, he married his fourth wife Jacqueline Beems at a civil service in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As with his three previous marriages, this one once again failed to work out and the couple filed for divorce in 2012, and whilst the divorce is still pending, Flair has already lined up wife number five as he continues to date Wendy Barlow (who played a part in his famous WCW segment “A Flair for the Gold”).
5. Farewell Address
The day after Ric Flair’s official WWE retirement at WrestleMania 24, Flair was allowed the time by WWE to give a farewell address to the WWE Universe. It was one of the most emotional speeches in WWE history and Triple H managed to bring back many of Ric Flair’s old friends to bid farewell to the legend.
The man who ended his career was also present as Shawn Michaels made his way out to say goodbye to his mentor and so did The Four Horsemen, The Undertaker and many other famous faces from WWE throughout the years. It was an emotional tribute to a man who had been an ever present feature in WWE for many years.
4. WWE Return
In the world of WWE, retirement doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in many other companies, Ric Flair has made many WWE returns over the past eight years and even managed to partake in a number of matches.
His latest stint sees him accompanying his daughter Charlotte to the ring for many of her matches, but before that he was The Miz’s mentor and he even returned to help save Batista from an attack from Legacy. Flair was left out of Evolution’s 2014 reunion, but he was given a brief appearance as part of the same story line much later.
3. Hall of Fame x2
As already noted, Ric Flair is the only WWE Superstar in WWE history to have ever been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice; once as himself for his individual career in 2008 and again as part of The Four Horsemen in 2012.
Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Billy Windham all took their place among the elite of professional wrestling when they were inducted by the late, great “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. The four superstars reached their wrestling peak in 1988 when all four members controlled all three of the major NWA Championships: the Tag Team, World and United States Championships.
2. Signing With ROH
After numerous part time appearances with WWE from 2008-2009, the company allowed Flair’s contract to expire and he made the switch to ROH.
He was signed to the company as an ambassador and served as the on-screen authority figure where he was allowed to make many decisions for the company. Whilst he was a part of this role, he didn’t stay with the company for long after he was a part of The Hulkamania “Let the Battle Begin” tour, which took place all over the world. Flair would manage to lose many times to Hulk Hogan. He then left ROH to join TNA
1. Signing With TNA
Flair made his TNA debut in 2010 and it was reported that he had signed a one-year deal with the company. He stated that he was loyal to WWE and wanted to end his career with The McMahons, but he hadn’t heard from them since 2009 and after awaiting the call for six months, he decided to sign for their rivals.
Flair had a briefly successful career with TNA and even partnered up with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff when they became “Immortal.” After being inactive in TNA for almost a year, Flair announced that he would never wrestle again in 2012 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame whilst still under contract with TNA.