When news of Ric Flair’s recent legal woes hit the Internet, I found myself genuinely upset for the “Nature Boy.” Not only is he a legend who transcends the industry, but he was also pretty cool to me on a personal level, which makes his recent issues even more troubling to me.
My most recent dealings with Flair came not that long ago while I was researching the WWE Championship book. He was no longer with WWE, but he still spent plenty of time helping me with the project. Here are some of his quotes that didn’t make the book, which, coincidentally, you can buy here.
Was your original transition from WCW to WWE a difficult one for you?
Actually, the opportunity came at the perfect time of my career because WCW at the time didn’t see me as part of the championship picture. I had become a utility player. So the opportunity to come to WWE and become champion, which was never a provision, was exciting.
I had been with the NWA since 1974, when I first came to Charlotte. When you’re an NWA guy and NWA Champion, you become very loyal to that brand. So the hardest thing at the time was to leave the NWA. But everybody at WWE was just excited to have me on the roster and that’s what made the difference to me.
You brought the classic “big gold” title with you. How did that come about?
That was the WCW Title. It was the belt that Crockett gave me… the one that he bought to replace the old belt. Myself, Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Kiniski, both Funks, Dusty Rhodes… there were only about six of us that ever wore that belt. Then they retired it and Crockett bought that phenomenal belt, which Hogan now has in his house as a result of walking out of a pay-per-view ad arguing with Russo.