Wrestling / Ric Flair

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"To be the Man, you've
got to beat the Man."

"If wrestling can be considered an art form, then he is using oils, and the many others merely water colors."
Jim Ross, Starrcade 1998

The Man. Slick Ric. Dirtiest Player in the Game. Naitch. The sixteen-time World Heavyweight Champion... AND A LIMOUSINE-RIDIN', JET-FLYIN', WHEELIN', DEALIN', KISS-STEALIN' WOOOOO!SON-OF-A-GUN!

In the world of pro wrestling, there are superstars, there are legends... and then there's Ric Flair. With a career spanning four decades, 22 World Heavyweight Title reigns across three companies, legendary matches and feuds with some of the biggest names in the business, and a retirement sendoff that will never be duplicated in scope or emotional impact on the fans, Flair (real name Richard Morgan Fliehr, born 1949) is one of the most famous wrestlers who has ever lived, and the NWA equivalent of The Rock or Hulk Hogan.

He was the leader of The Four Horsemen, and the voice of Evolution. He put Dusty Rhodes and his family through "hard times, daddy!" He worked in the AWA, NWA, and WCW, then joined WWE following a Should-Have-Been-Career-Ending plane crash (which he miraculously survived). He is the only man to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame not once, but twice! He is the last surviving star of the old school era, and has stayed relevant in the modern era. He's the reason behind the "Wooo!" chants every time a wrestler chops someone. He has truly done it all.

"Whether you like them or whether you don't, learn to love 'em, because they're the best tropes going today. Woo!":

  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • The retirement match with Shawn Michaels. While he obeyed the letter of the law by declining another match in America, he wrestled Hogan during the latter's 2009 tour of Australia. (He claims he was bored, but it more likely has to do with his outstanding debts.) Then he signed with TNA. While this naturally put a damper on his sendoff at WrestleMania 24, he showed everyone that he's still got what it takes to work the crowd, if not the match.
    • He's retired for real as of 2012, citing Jerry Lawler's heart attack as a warning against even a physically-fit man of his age subjecting himself to the rigors of the ring. These days, Flair is settling into the role of statesman—and manager for his daughter. (He hasn't been on TV in forever, though, even though he got a decent reaction from the fans.)
  • '80s Hair: The sight of Flair with his huge mullet, held in place by a headband. Compare it to the modest hairstyle he had for the rest of his career.
  • The Ace: Widely considered the best pro wrestler ever. Not just by fans, but by plenty of wrestlers and publications. There's very little room for debate outside of Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels (the latter two openly say Flair was the best). Hogan and Austin may have had bigger popularity and drawing power at their peaks, Hart and Michaels might have been better technically, but Flair was the complete package, a true Master of All.
    • Look no further than "The Broomstick Rule", a term coined by wrestling reviewers. The rule is that Ric Flair, at the top of his game, made matches a minimum of 3 stars note  simply by being in the match. It is called "The Broomstick Rule" because Ric could carry a broomstick to a 3 star match.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Ric dancing to Charlotte's music was consistently the highlight of Raw. Even when Charlotte is injured, and Ric is walking with her to the back, he's trying to dance to her theme.
  • Answers to the Name of God: In TNA, he literally thinks that he is a wrestling form of God. Not a god. God.
  • Artifact Title: Buddy Rogers was nicknamed "Nature Boy" by a colorful promoter named Jack Pfefer. It didn't really "mean" anything: Pfefer liked the idea of combining theater with pro wrestling to make it more entertaining; hence Jack's habit of giving his performers weird gimmicks and names. Rogers bore a resemblance to Johnny Weissmuller who played Tarzan in the films at that time. Long story short, Pfefer heard the song "Nature Boy" on the radio in the late 1940's, liked the name and gave it to Buddy Rogers. Tarzan being a "Nature Boy", Rogers adopted the name and it took off from there.
    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: I'm assuming it's because they either like nature, or they like boys.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Figure Four. It usually got broken and often reversed. Of course, the reality is that it was a fantastic move for building tension, and the old-school "psychology" of damaging a limb and then returning to it later.
  • Badass Grandpa: Ric Flair will be wrestling the Pharaohs of whatever civilization comes after ours. As AJ Styles intimated, Ric Flair may be older than him but acts younger: He's near 70 with admitted alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and still getting tossed out of bars, going to bed later than AJ, getting up earlier, doing the same stuff he was doing 30-40 years ago, and still finding time for the gym...while on the road. After he broke his back at age 26, he started working a much safer style; one would imagine it helped keep him much lower on the concussion count than many of his peers. It's hard to remember (what with his leaps from the top rope always failing), but one of Ric Flair's quirks when he was NWA Champion was to flip over the top rope to the apron after being Irish Whipped. In some ways he displayed more agility when he was older, namely by adding a roll to his jumping knee drop after connecting.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He really loved his suits. They cost more than most people make in a year, you know. This was also Evolution's gimmick in a nutshell: They gang up on people and they wear suits.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike some of his most famous opponents, he didn't possess super-strength (Luger, Sting, Hogan) or fly off the top much (Steamboat, Sting.) He instead was just the greatest wrestler of his era.
  • Bash Brothers: Greg Valentine, Blackjack Mulligan, Arn Anderson, Sting. Sting agreed to one last dance for the final broadcast of Nitro.
  • Berserk Button:
    • I just want to ask you one question... WHO ARE YOU! TO EVER TELL ME! HOW TO WRESTLE!?!
    • Don't you dare take wrestling lightly, as Carlito found out. Imitating him without his permission (Vince McMahon, Jay Lethal) or being a garbage wrestler (Mick Foley) also does the trick. (Somewhat hypocritical from the guy who wore a fat suit and Stetson hat to impersonate Dusty.)
    • Name somebody other than him as "the greatest of all time." Just don't be surprised when his music hits, followed by a hand chopping you in the throat. He has a sharp ear.
  • Bittersweet Ending
    • Ric Flair vs. Sting closing out the final episode of Nitro.
    • Flair's WrestleMania 24 match. "I'm sorry. I love you."
  • Blood Is the New Black: Whole hospital refrigerators could be filled with the bags of blood Ric Flair has bled over the course of his career. One of the most common images of him is with his hair dyed solid red and his face a red mask. WWF had a "no-blading" policy by the time he joined up. He and Savage were both fined $500 (admittedly a drop in the bucket) for their brutal display at 'Mania VIII.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Flair would often telegraph his figure-four leglock by exclaiming, "Now, we go to school!" Some of his best opponents, such as Bret Hart, were savvy enough to reverse it when he did that, though.
  • Captain Ersatz: On the handheld console additions of Fire Pro Wrestling.
  • The Casanova:
    • His entourage. He's famous for his ability to draw women for years and years. In his younger days, Flair's trash talk would invariably end in promises to "take your momma for a ride on Space Mountain, fat boy! WOOOOOOOOO!"
    • At Halloween Havoc '99, Kimberly Page mentioned that she invited David Flair to a hotel room, and Ric showed up to get touchy with DDP's wife. Later that evening, as Ric is beating the crap out of Eddie Guerrero with the crowbar, Torrie Wilson tries to stop Flair and gets forcibly kissed for her efforts. But she smiles afterward so it's okay!
  • Catch-Phrase: A ton. Being in the business for four decades tends to allow you that luxury.
    • "To be the man, you gotta beat the man!
    • "Time to go to school!" (usually just prior to whooping somebody's ass)
    • "What's CAUSin' all o' this?"
    • "YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH FAT BOY."
    • He's a Rolex/diamond-ring wearin', limousine-ridin', jet-flyin', stylin', profilin', whiskey-drinkin', wheelin'-dealin', kiss-stealin', son of a gun! (And he has a hard time keeping his alligators down!)
    • "WE ARE LOOKIN' GOOD!"
    • "I CAN KISS ANY GIRL HERE, EVEN THAT FAT ONE, AND MAKE EM CRY."
    • "YOU WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT 60 MINUTES IS PAL."
    • "GIMMIE DA GREEN LIGHT!"
    • "You gotta....WALK THAT AISLE"
    • "MEEEEEAN — WOO! BAHGAWD! — GENE!"
    • "TIME TO RIDE SPACE MOUNTAIN!" (For years, Ric has famously for years called his penis "Space Mountain".)
      • "Space Mountain runs all night long....and even longer."
      • "OLDEST RIDE...LONGEST LINE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
      • "JUMPING ON'S A LOT EASIER THAN JUMPING OFF WOOOOOOOO"
        Urban Dictionary: Space Mountain is good because it is in the dark, has head choppers as well as cool effects.
    • "I am GOD!"
  • Character Tics:
    • Besides his chops, there was the rolling knee drop. In WCW, these got increasingly bizarre, such as failing a top turnbuckle move or begging for a timeout.
    • Flair's inability to hit a top rope maneuver without getting caught by his opponent. Subverted on the few times it actually works.
    • Also, there's his famous strut.
  • The Chew Toy:
    • Being the Champ so much, and primarily a heel who went out of his way to make people hate him, inevitably led to having a LOT of guys lining up to beat up Flair. In Inside Wrestling's "100 Greatest Wrestlers of the Century" special issue from Summer 2000, the photos for Jerry Lawler, Lex Luger, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Sting are all of them battling Flair. Sting and Luger are also included in the "Best of the 1990s" special color section, and the photos for them are also of them beating on Flair. The photo for Flair is of him about to chop Rick Steiner, who, as per his usual, doesn't look too interested in selling it.
    • There is nothing Ric Flair will not do to put over his opponents. Unscrupulous bookers at WCW/TNA would often take advantage of this:
      1. Wearing a polka dot dress and rouge to ambush Hogan,
      2. Dancing the Fargo Strut in a mental hospital...while Also Sprach Zarathustra spews from a broken radio
      3. Kissing Dusty's ass (read: mule)
  • Chick Magnet:
    • His entourage. He's famous for his ability to draw women for years and years.
    • In his younger days, Flair's trash talk would invariably end in promises to "take your momma for a ride on Space Mountain, fat boy! WOOOOOOOOO!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Flair turned on Sting more times than almost humanly possible. He turned on Vader, Mr. Perfect, Randy Orton, Batista, and even turned on fellow Horsemen Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, in a way, with his David-centric behavior. Perhaps the most triumphant example of this trope, though, was during the 1992 Royal Rumble, when he gave The Barbarian a high-five, circled around in front of him and immediately gave him a knife-edge chop. Raised to funny by commentator Bobby Heenan, who had previously managed Barbarian, pleading with Ric not to turn on Barbarian.
      '''Scott Steiner: Mean, WOO, Gene! I'm a limo riding, jet flying, backstabbing son of a bitch!
    • Fourtune. He formed them specifically to be his future expy of the Horsemen motivated by taking back prominence in the company they helped build, but then as soon as that purpose turned them against Hulk Hogan's blatant new-generation nWo ripoff, he would show that for him it's all about the power.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Flair's ring attire is legendary; elaborate robe, usually with feathers, fur, and/or jewels, trunks, and boots typically the same color as his robe with "RF" monogrammed on them in a custom font, and kneepads. The hand-made robes were top of the line, costing several thousand dollars minimum.
    • Out of the ring, Flair was committed to the gimmick of being the Nature Boy. He wore tailored suits, handmade shoes, custom sunglasses, rings and Rolex watches.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Anybody who calls himself God in dead seriousness is probably an example. But really, no-one, including the McMahons, thinks that Ric Flair will stay on topic. That's part of his charm.
    Wrestle Wrestle!: You think a second of the Nature Boy was fucking scripted? Hell no. Nowadays? Still no! I think if they handed Ric Flair a script, he would tear it in half and elbow drop it.
    • One of Nitro's more eccentric performers, a guy named Mongo, used to carry his little dog Pepe to matches. When Pepe started yapping at Flair, what he did he do? SNARLED RIGHT BACK.
    • Under Vince Russo's booking, Flair's character turned into this. He did a few vignettes about his stay in a mental institution and would soon by booked to look like a senile old man; stripping off his clothes and humiliating himself until Roddy Piper came out to walk him backstage. it didn't last long and was very hard to watch.
  • The Coats Are Off: When Ric Flair whips his jacket off, that's when shit gets real. (Elbow drop optional.) If he rips off his pants like he did on the December 28, 1998 Nitro in a promo where he demanded a rematch against Bischoff after Bischoff beat him the night before at Starrcade, RUN!
  • Compliment Backfire: Calling Austin Aries a fair hand who might become another Shawn Michaels or Nature Boy while Flair was trying to put over Ring of Honor and HD Net. Aries believed he was already that good and that notable.
  • Conspicuous Consumption:
    • "I have spent MORE MONEY! On BAR TABS! Than ALL THREE of you! WILL EVER! MAKE!" Just read through his biography, To Be The Man. Every other page has an example of real life indulgences beyond the dreams of avarice. (Rappers love him.)
      From the WWE: Ultimate Superstar Guide: "The Nature Boy's majestic robes cost more than the average car."
    • The Nature Boy was custom made from head-to-toe. With rappers, most of the stuff they wear is rented for the videos. Over half of Flair's career was spent in the days of kayfabe being unbroken. At the very height of his career in the late 80s, he spent over $60,000 a year of his own money on limousines alone for himself and the Four Horsemen. He probably has spent more money on spilt liquor in bars from one side of this world to the other, than most people make in a year. He's also run into financial problems at times due to still living the Nature Boy lifestyle without the Nature Boy paycheck. According to his stepson on Celebrity Wife Swap, you would need a six-figure salary to pay for the nightly cost of Ric's restaurant bills. That's right, a pre-teen with a legal pad is a better accountant than Mr. Flair. (Between leaving WWE for the second time and joining TNA, he started a financial advice company. This is not a joke. It actually existed: Ric Flair Finance. It went bust, unsurprisingly.)
  • Consummate Liar: One of the most infamous running gags in all of wrestling is how Flair's natural charisma would start to win over Sting's trust before Flair would, of course, screw Sting over in some dastardly way. Rinse & repeat for infinity.
  • Defiant to the End: Ric's final WrestleMania match. Facing a mandate that he would be fired the next time he lost, Ric specifically chose to face Shawn Michaels, Mr. WrestleMania, because if he didn't face the best then it didn't mean anything. At the end of the match, Flair (legitimately, if tales are to be believed) had trouble even standing and holding his fists up, telling Shawn to "Come on! Pull the trigger!" He knew it was his last match, and it would end in nothing short of an epic climax.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Due to playing the "ladykiller" gimmick well into his sixties he comes across as this. According to insider information, he's this in Real Life too, apparently flashing women is a backstage trademark of his. On the infamous Plane Ride from Hell, Ric Flair drunkenly stumbled around in nothing but his robe, WOO-ing at stewardesses. Sexual harassment is kind of his default. In a shoot interview with Missy Hyatt, she said Flair has the manners of a subway flasher, but has the ability to get "uptight women dancing on tables with their skirts above their heads."
    • Slick Ric "stealin' a kiss" at the Royal Rumble (2016). Becky Lynch dodges a move and knocks Charlotte down. As she closes in, Ric goes to spin her around. And then.... suddenly, he "woos" her right in the mouth. Immediate jump cut. Very noticeable if you saw it live. What a lecherous old man.
  • Drunk with Power: Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan inside a barbed-wire steel cage. Not only was the WCW title up for grabs, but so was "ownership" of WCW, which Flair had won for 90 days by beating Eric earlier that year. (It was okay because Flair was a good guy.) In the weeks that followed, Flair did the thing where he stripped to his underoos in the middle of the ring. He had gone mad with power. He would later become just as bad as Eric, and Dean Malenko had to play the voice of reason.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: He debuted in 1972 as "Ramblin' Ricky Rhodes", a 300lb brawler billed as Dusty Rhodes' cousin. Even after he began bleaching his hair, he was noticeably bulkier than his leaner appearance as US and World champ.
  • Easily Distracted Referee: Flair utilized this trope to its fullest advantage.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Ask Scott McGhee and Stan Lane, whom Flair had a hand in training. McGhee got training from both Ric Flair and Buddy Rogers, since we're on the topic.
  • Enemy Mine
    • Flair and Dusty teamed up in the 1980s against Dick Slater and a heel-turned Chief Wahoo McDaniel.
    • Flair and Hulk Hogan's characters being friends for the Immortal scam.
  • Evil Old Folks: Just like every other veteran who turned up on Impact — but Ric was the oldest by five years. As an authority figure, he was a thorn in the sides of Mr. McMahon, Dixie Carter and Eric Bischoff. He stepped on many young wrestlers to get a foothold back in power.
  • The Face: Though closely identified with WWE, Ric Flair's memorable matches all took place in the AWA and WCW. Flair was their Cena; a significant amount of WCW viewers, particularly the Carolinas and surrounding region, mostly watched for Flair. He remained with them until the company shuttered its doors in 2001.
  • Face Fault:
    • The "Flair Flop", in which Flair would get hit a few times, stagger forward, then fall flat on his face while his legs went back and up in the air a bit. The joke being, one minute he's the toughest son of a bitch in the room, and the next he's flopping around like a fish. As time went on his opponents would often back off to watch the inevitable flop. Some would even visibly geek out over the spectacle! Whenever you play as Ric Flair in the WWE games, one of your "taunts" is the flop which puts you at a disadvantage. He's even Flair Flopped onto a board covered in barbed wire.
    • Ah, the Circle of Life. Triple H actually beat her to it, though he took it Up to Eleven.
  • Fiction 500: He was rich enough to buy a controlling share of the WWF. That VERY NEXT DAY after Vince kills the In Vasion angle (which effectively shut the book on WCW), Ric Flair debuts as co-owner and puts an arm around him, and Vince looks horrified. Very funny and also bittersweet.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: The original Narcissist of wrestling might have been "Natural Guy" Buddy Rogers, which, at the time was not so much its own gimmick as it was a subversion of the original Gorgeous George, real name George Wagner. Buddy looked and acted similarly, but instead of any suggestions toward homosexuality, he outraged audiences with his obliviously inflated ego, such as his insistence his bleached head was naturally that way. 30 years later, Rogers was succeeded by a rubber-faced blond who dressed like Elton John, but added on claims of having a ludicrous fortune and lady-killing record, paying tribute to both Gorgeous George and the more recent narcissist gimmick.
  • Finishing Move: Well, he was a heel and it was the 70's and 80's. Every match would end in bullshit heel antics, DQ's, countouts, literally just holding someone down after a double leg takedown for a pin was common. It was a different time where you didn't really need to use the same move to finish every match. That said, the Figure Four Leglock was the signature Flair spot he often won with. He beat Chris Jericho with the figure four at Summerslam '02 and Vince McMahon at the '02 Royal Rumble. That may have been the most effective year in the history of the figure four. Jericho actually says in his book that he had to convince Flair to allow him to tap out to the move. (To be fair, The Miz rarely beat anyone with it either. So, the legacy lives on.)
  • Flanderization:
    • It's hard to deny that Flair's later promos are really bizarre. They are awesome, but also what the heck is he doing and how can a human body contain that much cocaine.
    • The Figure Four. He did beat lots of people with it back in the day, especially jobbers during the buildup to a feud with some babyface. They had to establish that the Figure Four was a death sentence, so that it was a big deal when the champ finally reversed it. (When he beat a name opponent with the Figure Four it was usually by pinfall, after they'd been KO'd by chicanery.) As time goes on, though, any wrestling move starts to get taken for granted, and stops being impressive on its own. Especially after enough babyfaces counter it for the big win. So after a while, the Figure 4 went from "OMG he just broke that guy's leg" to basically a rest hold which started being countered all the time. Ric says the same on just about every podcast, uncertain why anyone would use the move, since he can't remember winning a single match with the Figure Four himself.
    • 1998 was the year he was being booked by Hogan and Nash: a dementia-ridden grandpa who just says whatever he wants, and it's funny at first, but at the same time you kinda wanna help him. This is also where Flair showed his jacket who's boss and dropped an elbow on it. And that other time Ric started stripping in the ring. (He dropped an elbow on each article of clothing he took off.) And even in the loony bin, Naitch is still pulling hot nurses!
    • TNA Flair blurred the line between "legend" and "dangerous old man", believing himself to be God — as in Jehovah, Yahweh, etc. We also discovered Flair doesn't draw the line at thoroughbreds when selecting his dates.
  • Flung Clothing Some of his promos towards the end of WCW would see him rip off his suit until he was down to his underwear... and to add salt to the would, he would drop elbows on his suit jacket. According to pretty much everyone, Flair was fond of doing this while partying too.
    Triple H: "Ric, I know I've told you this a thousand times but for God's sake, man, put your pants on!"
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Best known for cheating and gurning and flopping around, Flair was a really good technical wrestler...when he felt like showing it.
  • Genre Blindness/Horrible Judge of Character crossed with an inversion and literalization of Heel–Face Door-Slam: Spent much of July and August 1997 trying to recruit Curt Hennig for the Four Horsemen, with Hennig finally agreeing after Arn Anderson's "I'll give you my spot" promo on the August 25 Nitro. At WCW Fall Brawl 97 on September 14, the nWo (Kevin Nash/Syxx/Buff Bagwell/Konnan) defeated the Horsemen (Flair/Hennig/Chris Benoit/Steve "Mongo" McMichael) in War Games when Mongo submitted after Hennig had turned heel, handcuffed Benoit and Mongo to the cage and finished the job by literally slamming the cage door on Flair's head. What makes this utterly blind judgment is that Hennig had already proven two months earlier that he couldn't be trusted when he turned on Diamond Dallas Page in their match against nWo members Scott Hall and Randy Savage at Bash at the Beach. On top of that, earlier at Fall Brawl, the nWo had attacked Hennig, and he had shown up for the match with a cast on his arm. This was a recycling of the angle from the October 21, 1996 Raw, where Triple H (one of Hall and Nash's Kliq partners!) had "injured" Mr. Perfect prior to what was supposed to be Perfect's return to the ring after a three-year absence, leading to Perfect essentially suckering in WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion "Wildman" Marc Mero into defending his title, since Helmsley had said that he wouldn't wrestle Mero unless the title was on the line. Helmsley won the match and the title after Perfect turned on Mero and hit him with a chair.
  • Gorgeous George: A grown man, dressed in a sequined bathrobe and not much else, putting a figure four leglock on some jabroni.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!!: Due to being on TBS in prime time on November 27, 1986, the worst threat Flair could throw at Nikita Koloff during their Starrcade match was, "Now I'm gonna kick your butt, you son of a gun!" And later on Nitro, "I'm gonna take your girlfriend home and make her say 'Mickey Mouse'!"
  • Groin Attack: Pretty much every heel during Flair's heyday used the Low Blow. Flair turned it into an art form. What else do you expect from someone known as "The Dirtiest Player In The Game"?
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Flair is probably the ultimate "chameleon wrestler," able to smoothly transition from "face" to "heel" depending on who he's facing. Flair and Hogan did have a match at WCW's Clash of Champions five days after Hogan won the title at Hog Wild. It was a very cool dynamic seeing a babyface Ric Flair and Hollywood Hogan go at it.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: The "Wooo"-off with Kurt Angle and Jay Lethal, which pisses him off to the point of violence.
    "YOU CAN'T BE ME! YOU CAN'T DO ME! I'M CUTTING YOU OFF RIGHT NOW!
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Flair was shoehorned into the infamous Black Scorpion angle in 1990. Flair volunteered to be unmasked as the Black Scorpion, believing it wouldn't hurt him, whereas if Barry Windham (who had recently portrayed a Stingbot in the Halloween Havoc fiasco) went in his place, it would drive a stake in Windham's wrestling career.
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: The collective weight of his newfound fortune caused his personal chartered jet to crash, breaking his back in three places. But this accident uncovered his hidden talent, one that would allow Flair to stay in the wrestling business long past his time; he could bleed continuously with little ill effects.
  • I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Space Mountain. It may be the oldest ride in the park, but it still has the longest line.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Jimmy Garvin (NWA) losing a match to Ric Flair, which meant that his wife "Precious" had to go on a dream date with Flair.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Flair was pretty jacked in the eighties.
  • Identical Stranger: Charles Robinson, a referee currently signed with WWE. A lifelong fan of the Nature Boy, Robinson's career is closely intertwined with the family, making him something of an honorary Flair. He was first introduced as the Horsemen's "crooked referee", and even wrestled under a gimmick where he WAS a Mini-Me of Ric Flair. That's because he makes a far more convincing Heir to Flair than any of Ric's sons. This was very evident back in '98, when Robinson was calling David Flair's matches. Later, when Flair was carried out on a stretcher following the incident with the crowbar (DDP reversed it on him), David pretended to cry, but Robinson was WEEPING. Because he is great. (It's also funny for a different reason: the older Flair gets, the more noticeable it is that Robinson doesn't age. Dude's a robot.) He dropped the Heel Ref angle once he joined up with WWE. He could also be seen officiating Charlotte's title match in NXT, and appropriately enough was the referee for Flair's last WWE match at Wrestlemania.
  • Inadequate Inheritor:
    • Flair as the eccentric mentor/soccer mom is great, as long as they don't have them pull an AJ Styles and try to make his pupil look/behave like Flair. (His robe came with a hood, you see.)
    • There's the "Real" Nature Boy Buddy Landel. His claim to fame is being drafted by Shane Douglas to be his training dummy. (Ric Flair once said he would lend him a robe but that Buddy would get lost in the arms.) It was even parodied by the late "Playboy" Buddy Rose, whose big Buddha belly and silk robes were part of his gimmick. (In fact, when Flair would boast of some "blonde waiting for him" in a limousine, Hogan and Nash would chirp, "Buddy Rose?") And who can forget Paul Lee, an indie wrestler who paid a cash-strapped Flair to endorse him, and then claimed they went back years together?
    • Since his earliest days in the NWA, Lex Luger was seen as the heir to Flair’s throne. He was actually an honorary member of the Horsemen for a year. Flair thought differently; he believed that Sting most deserved to be champion. (Note that Sting didn't even win their title match, it was a draw.)
    • In the 90s, the Flair kids made a one-shot appearance on Nitro. It moved the needle, so the company decided to hire David on full-time. But WCW being WCW, they never bothered to send him to the Power Plant (their training facility) in Georgia, they just threw a shag robe on him and blared Also Sprach Zarathustra. At the Georgia Dome in July 1999, they literally handed the U.S. Title to David Flair, still so untrained that he couldn't even run the ropes yet. (It's like when they add a new child to a family sitcom to spice things up. Beginning of the end.) His incompetence became a joke, with even Ric expressing "disappointment" in him in kayfabe. David in the WCW Hardcore division was alright: his team-up with Crowbar (Kayfabe sucky guys taking beatings for our amusement) and Daffney was a highlight of the crumbling WCW. David was awful, but he was honestly presented as awful.
    • The random passing of the Figure Four from Flair... to The Miz. Made worse after it was rumored that the original plan, which Flair had been lobbying towards for awhile, was for Flair to be managing Dolph Ziggler. Don't forget that Ric also pitched himself as Cesaro's manager.
    • With Landel and Rose now gone, it seems Ric Flair is... the last surviving Nature Boy? Seems fitting. And oddly surprising. That is unless Charles Robinson is training for his debut as the Nature Kid. (They are pushing his daughter to the moon, though, and Charlotte inherited all of his gimmicks but the name.)
  • Incoming Ham: meeeeeeeeeEEEAAAAAAN......WOOO!.....bah GAWD!....WOOO.....Gene! He did this so much that Mean Gene Okerlund would be taken aback on those rare occasions where Ric dispensed with his usual over-the-top salutation.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the former of which wrestled Flair in his WWE "retirement" match and the latter inducted him into the Hall of Fame. He briefly had this with Carlito, until... well, it's Carlito.
  • Jobber Entrance: Not even Ric Flair was above these in WCW.
  • Just You and Me and My GUARDS!: Usually when you wrestled Flair he’d drag things out and the Horsemen would get involved, or Nancy Benoit would throw coffee in your face or Miss Elizabeth would take off her shoe and use it like a machete. It became more and more complex and difficult the longer it goes, and if you didn’t have magical Hulk Hogan powers you can’t win. Even Hogan lost to it sometimes.
  • Large Ham:
    • Rick Flair and Shawn Michaels: GOATs at overselling.
    • Flair is a relic of a time when superstars would dive into a mountain of coke before promos:
    Cewsh: We open the show greeted with the lovely calm visage of one Richard Flair...Wait, did I say calm visage? What I meant to say is that Ric Flair bursts through a random door like a crazy person, turning so red that you could use him to direct ships at sea, and screaming at the top of his lungs about how he’s going to murderize Eric Bischoff and about how he and AJ have been screwed. Then he totters off somewhere to upset small children and get an ice cream cone.
  • Legacy Character:
    • In 1978, he earned his nickname by beating the Golden Age "Nature Boy", Buddy Rogers, in the ring. In real life, Rogers handed the mantle over to Flair, along with his finishing move. The strut was taken from Memphis great "The Fabulous One" Jackie Fargo.note 
    • After watching his daughter capture the NXT Women's championship, he declared that she will be the best Flair ever. Here's the hug after Charlotte won her first big match on Raw.
  • Like a Son to Me: In TNA he has AJ Styles and Kazarian, who even got into a fight for Ric's love until he decided to make them a part of Fourtune, where he was a Team Dad of sorts for about eight months.
  • Manly Tears: Ric could solve a drought by crying. At Night of the Champions, Ric opened the show by noting that a backstage worker told him not to weep on account of it being the final TNT show.
  • Memetic Hand Gesture: The four-finger salute of the Horsemen. Also, pointing at his Rolex.
  • Money to Throw Away: Firing a Gucci shoe at the audience. (Ric was angry and started elbow-dropping his own clothes. What more context do you need?)
  • Motive Decay: Betraying Fortune for Immortal caused this big time for his role in TNA, both in-universe and out. In-universe he betrayed his own plans to both finally defeat Hogan once and for all and to remake the Horsemen with TNA homegrown talent and proved it was all about the power for him. Out-of-universe he seemed to float around with no purpose, as there wasn't exactly much potential to elevate amongst the Immortal ranks, what with the one young rising star in Gunner being lost in the shuffle up until 2012. He was such an ineffectual member with Immortal that people were speculating he was being a Reverse Mole to help either Fortune or Sting with taking out Hogan, but this never materialized.
  • Napoleon Delusion: "President Flair" was this overall. At one point, he yelled at Piper that he was the President of the United States. (He meant he was President of WCW.) He also began decorating his office with a Presidential Seal and War Room phone.
    Flair: I'M THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!
    Mean Gene: Of WCW...
    Flair: OF WCW!!
  • No Indoor Voice/The Unintelligible: IS THIZ ST. LOOZ MAZURAH?! I BEENHER BEFOREBUD I ALWEZ HEVA GREYTIME SO I THANKYA. WOO TRIPLE H MEMBER WHEN YOU WAZ EATIN RIBEYE?! BATIZDA, DAMMID RANDEH, SHIT MY SON BUT I LIKE WREZLERS AND ...I CHOOZE SHEILZD WOO
  • Nonchalant Dodge: He avoided Mike Von Erich this way, while doing his usual strut. At Clash of the Champions XXVII, Flair managed to combine it with Nonchalant Grab: When Sting went for a splash towards ringside, Flair simply grabbed Sherri Martel and shoved her in his path. (It's perfect because he could have easily just moved out the way.)
  • Out-Gambitted: The Perfect Plan was one thing, but Randy Savage had the last laugh; he convinced Mr. Perfect to split from him and Flair chose Razor Ramon to be his partner at Survivor Series 1992. That decision would lead up to a Loser Leaves Town match on Raw between Flair and Mr. Perfect. Perfect won. Years later, Naitch exacted revenge in the best way he knew how: he bought Raw. This put him on equal footing with Vince for a while.
  • Out of Focus: Both he and Sting would be consigned to jobber hell for the nWo years. Eric Bischoff spent a lot of money bringing in high-priced, aging stars like Hogan and Savage and building the entire place around the nWo. In contrast, Flair was beaten up, marginalized and left to rot in the midcard. There was a point in time where it seemed like every new signing's first action was to beat Flair on their first PPV. Flair asked for his release several times but Bischoff wouldn't grant it, either out of spite or because he was afraid Vince McMahon would get some value out of him. (Case in point, Vince got quite a lot out of him in his last WWE run 2001-2008 and Ric was 52 when that started!) Ric has often compared the final Nitro to the rain scene in The Shawshank Redemption, because he felt like he was finally out of prison.
  • Paid Harem: Baby Doll (Nickla Ann Roberts), Sherri, Fifi (Wendy Barlow), Asya (Christi Wolf), Woman (Nancy Benoit), and Miss Elizabeth to name a few. The latter added new tricks to Flair's arsenal: The coffee cup of doom and the shoe shuriken.
  • Pixellation: When Flair brought his NWA/WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt to the WWF, it ended up being shown as a mess of pixels due to legal reasons, and it was explained that Flair's NWA Title was not sanctioned by the WWF...The full story here is that Flair, like every NWA champion, had put down a $25,000 deposit on the belt. Since he kept winning, his deposit was never returned. When he was fired/resigned from WCW (without having been made to drop the title), the deposit was never returned, so Ric kept the belt and took it with him to WWF. WCW filed a lawsuit which led to the censoring of the NWA/WCW belt and Ric wearing what looked like a WWF tag title at house shows. In the end, WWF simply put their own world title on him. WCW later reacquired the belt from Flair for a hefty $38,000.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: Let's just say it was the Perfect Plan. In the weeks leading up to the WWF/E World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior SummerSlam 1992 match, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect teased being in one of their corners. During the match, the two liberally attacked Savage and the Warrior, leaving more doubt into their (and the fans') heads. Warrior won the match by count out, but not the title. A few weeks later, Flair beat a weakened Macho Man for his second WWF Championship.
  • Plot Armor: You can tell the difference between Face! and Heel!Flair because the former's leg lock actually works.
  • Popularity Power: WCW audiences proved how much this trope works via their sabotaging The Great American Bash 1991 in protest of Flair being fired from WCW. The crowd sat on its hands effectively no-selling the entire undercard, resulting in just about everyone half-assing their matches, before launching into the deafening "We want Flair!" chants practically non-stop during the Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham main event; the chants were loud enough to be heard despite WCW cutting the crowd microphones; they were even picked up on the ring and announcer mics. And all this when Flair had been the most hated heel in the company going into the pay-per-view! To wit: The Horsemen were arguably the most famous and popular stable in wrestling history up until the rise of the nWo, and at the height of Evolution's success, all four members simultaneously held every men's title exclusive to Raw.
  • Power Stable: There is definitely money in a Flair-managed stable, each wearing expensive clothes, partying, and kicking people's asses. (Flair shows up drunk half the time he appears on TV, already.)
    • The Four Horsemen in the NWA/WCW.
    • Evolution in WWE.
    • Following the Madness of Ric Flair segments, Ric finally turned up in the arena — still wearing his underwear — along with his 'stable': some mental patients and a 'roided up nurse (Asya).
    • Millionaire's Club, with Brian Adams, Bryan Clarke, Diamond Dallas Page, Horace Hogan, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, Miss Elizabeth, Scott Steiner and Terry Funk.
    • During Nitro's final lap in 2001, Flair put together another, less notable heel stable, The Magnificent Seven (formerly known as The Elite), comprised of Buff Bagwell, Jeff Jarrett, Lex Luger, the Steiners, and Road Warrior Animal. In addition to Bischoff, the Seven also feuded with the Rhodes family, which ended up being Flair's final run-in with the Dream.
    • In TNA, he started Fourtune, basically a new-generation Four Horsemen of TNA Originals who for a while were the top heels in the company, delivering Horsemen-style beatdowns to everyone on the roster.
  • Pretender Diss: While endlessly on the hunt for the "next" Nature Boy, he has no time for losers who ape his style without his blessing. He more or less said 'Prepare to die' at Abyss after he was given a WWE Hall Of Fame Ring.
    [to Shane Douglas] "When the World Champion walks down the aisle, referee always lifts the rope, boy. (You wouldn't know anything about that.)
  • Put on a Bus: Flair continued to bounce between the independent circuit and various promotions, often times in the ring (reforming his old posse with Evolution and Fortune), but mostly as an authority figure. Despite many accomplishments in WWE and his stated intention to close out his career there, Flair's contract finally expired in 2009 (apparently he was a little too animated for today's scripted WWE) and he migrated to TNA; but within a year he'd had a bellyful and returned to WWE, fulfilling his wish.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He wore a brand-new, sparkly, befeathered, occasionally-pink ring robe to each big event (we're talking pink, here; he should've driven to the ring in a Barbie Dream Car). Each robe was custom-made and cost more than the previous one, eventually totaling at $5000 a pop—And yet he still manages to look masculine. Here is the famous photo of Sherri trying one on of his robes. It's funny since they were both such flamboyant dressers.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Also Sprach Zarathustra", also known as the 2001 theme.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Flair dismantled Carlito in one of the greatest examples in professional wrestling history.
    • The big return of the Horseman in the 9.14.98 Nitro episode capped with what is easily Ric's most famous shoot, the "FIRE ME!" rant, as Bischoff stood on the ramp and glowered. And yes, he actually told Eric that he "sucks."
  • Red Baron:
    • The Nature Boy
      • Or "Naitch".
    • Slick Rick
    • The Man
    • The Dirtiest Player in the Game
  • Ring Oldies: Ric Flair is a historically significant figure in wrestling. He was a 16-Time World Champion and had an in-ring career spanning nearly 50 years. Some of the companies he headlined in don't even exist anymore.
    • AWA: Trained by Verne Gagne, Flair debuted in the AWA in December of 1971.
    • NWA: The NWA isn't a promotion. It was (and is) a loose alliance of promoters who agreed to a set of bylaws and shared a common world heavyweight "championship". By the late 80's it was pretty centralized around Jim Crockett, though, which is what led to Jim Crockett Promotions becoming WCW. (Fun fact: ECW and TNA didn't come from nowhere; they used to be a part of the NWA as well.) Flair left for the NWA in 1974. He won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship 9 times in that span, an unbeatable record. He later won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship before he left for WWF in '93.
    • WWE: During his two years in the WWF, Flair beat Sid Justice to win the vacant World Championship title. In the remaining years at WCW, Ric was the WCW Champion 8 times (bringing the grand total to 9 WCW reigns) before the company was bought by WWE. Flair returned to wrestling in November of 2001 in WWE and continued to work there up until his first retirement in 2008 in a grandiose career match vs. Shawn Michaels. He would win another WWE Championship in that run.
    • TNA: After his first retirement, Ric Flair eventually went to work to TNA for two years. In that run, he helped AJ Styles retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He continued to wrestle part-time for TNA and other indie promotions until officially announcing his retirement at 63, almost exactly forty years after his debut. With Ric Flair in her corner, Charlotte first won the Divas Championship, them the NXT Women's Championship, and finally the World Women's Championship at WrestleMania 32.
    • Of course all of this wouldn't be counting Japan or any other territories. It's funny because Flair probably does have over 100 reigns. When Flair wasn't in a big money feud, he'd go to crappy little territory shows, drop the belt to a local hero on Friday, and win it back on Sunday. The NWA didn't count any of them, so who knows how many times Flair actually won the title. Can we get Scott Steiner in here to check the math?
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Of a sports variety. His classic rivalry with Dusty Rhodes was designed to mirror the Lakers-Celtics rivalry that was huge at the time, pitting the flashy, stylish and flamboyant (Flair/Lakers) against the no-nonsense, workmanlike, determined style (Rhodes/Celtics). As history can tell, it achieved massive success for both the NWA and the NBA.
  • The Rival:
    • Quite a few, but his most memorable opponents were Dusty Rhodes (the common man to his "Golden Spoon"), Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Sting, Lex Luger, Mick Foley, and, of course, Hulk Hogan. Flair sparked the little "war" between himself and Foley by taking a potshot at garbage wrestlers; Mick let him have it in his bestselling book, The Hardcore Diaries. This went back and forth for a while, and they are now friends.
    • Flair loved him some authority feuds. He gave Vince McMahon a legitimate black eye, and defeated Bischoff and shaved his head on-camera to win the job of WCW President (after being sent to an asylum). The pair reunited on Impact as the heads of Immortal and Fortune, and time had not healed all wounds.
    • ECW's mainstay champion was Shane Douglas, a man who, for no discernible reason, publicly blasted Flair every chance he got. (Shane claims that one time he asked Ric what he thought of his match, and Ric said "keep doing what you're doing", and it turned out Ric hadn't actually watched the match).
  • Rule of Cool: Okay, those chops really do hurt but why bother when you can just punch a guy instead? Because the chop makes a louder noise, WOOO! To that matter, why keep using the figure four leglock when it has an obvious counter and only won you one of your sixteen titles?note  Because it looks cool, WOOO!
  • Signature Move: He wasn't given the nickname "The Dirtiest Player in the Game" for nothing. Thumbs to the eye and kicks to the groin were among his favorite illegal tactics. Flair would also use chop blocks, kicks, ANYTHING that would weaken an opponent's legs and/or knees to soften them up for the Figure Four. He so thoroughly owns the knife-edge chop that if anyone uses it today, the crowd will shout "Wooo!" in honor of Ric.
  • Self-Deprecation: You have to remember that there's Ric Flair and there's Richard Fliehr. Richard has a reputation for leaving promoters high and dry with money, be it ROH, Highspots, or countless other autograph/collectibles companies across the country. He was stupidly irresponsible with money, and now finds himself in a pile of debt which will likely just be transferred over to his estate when he dies. (Not to mention having to pay alimony to alllllllll his ex-wives...) To his credit, he's owned up to it and even incorporated it into his schtick.
    "Will Woo For Food".
  • Spell My Catchphrase Without an "H": His catchphrase is often misspelled as "Whooooo!"
  • Slobs Vs Snobs: Ric and Dusty had a great feud which defined their characters, right down to their purported favorite Basketball teams. Ric (dropping the "K" from his name, a chic and stylish spelling) represents the high life many wish they could live. Ric is a fan of the LA Lakers. The Lakers were (and still are) the team of the beautiful people, with players named "Magic" and A-List celebrities attending each game. On to Dusty Rhodes, the son of a plumber and the American Dream. Dusty is the common working man who knows "hard times". Even his name conjures images of the dust bowl from The Grapes of Wraith. And whose jacket did he wear? The Boston Celtics, the Lakers' perennial championship archrivals of the time whose star was nicknamed the "Hick from French Lick." Flair would even cite this in a promo as a reason why he hated Rhodes. And since the majority of their feud was in the 80's, it provided a great mirror of Wall Street vs. Main Street with the rise of yuppie culture.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: His signature top-rope spot (where he climbs up only to get tossed off). He did it in virtually every match yet you could probably count the times anything except getting thrown off happened on one hand.
  • Tag Team: "Team Package" with Lex Luger in WCW.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: When Ric "Alimony" Flair wants nothing to do with your company something has gone horribly wrong.
  • Talk Show with Fists: "A Flair for the Gold," WCW 1993. By far his most famous guest was the Shockmaster. Ric, on the verge of corpsing, fled the set.
  • Theatrics of Pain: If he wanted you to believe he was in pain, he would make you believe it. Flair could probably out-sell Redd Foxx's heart attacks.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Late-phase WCW Flair wore tuxedos to the ring. This happened around 1998 when the Horseman reunited. This didn't oblige Ric to keep his jacket on, of course.
  • True Companions: Him and Arn Anderson. Both men demonstrated this trope 2002 season of RAW when The Undertaker intentionally assaulted Double A to make Ric Flair "change his mind" about facing him in that year's Wrestlemania. Then, Ric Flair attacks The Undertaker with a large pipe while making it clear he's still not accepting the eventual Wrestlemania and warning him if he ever goes after one of his friends, especially Double A, he'll show him why he's the " the dirtiest player in the game". As for Double A, he told Ric Flair don't accept the match because of him while also stating he didn't want his career/or legacy to come crashing down because of "The Deadman".
  • Underwear of Power: For all that talk about his money and expensive clothing, this is all he wrestles in.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Flair's ring attire is legendary; elaborate robe, usually with feathers, fur, and/or jewels, trunks, and boots typically the same color as his robe with "RF" monogrammed on them in a custom font, and kneepads. The hand-made robes were top of the line, costing several thousand dollars minimum. Out of the ring, Flair was committed to the gimmick of being the Nature Boy. He wore tailored suits, handmade shoes, custom sunglasses, rings and stupidly-expensive watches (Like the matching Rolexes he and Shawn Michaels bought to commemorate his last WWE match.) And apparently, some damn expensive shoes.
  • Unrelated Brothers: He originally introduced in the NWA as the "nephew" of veteran wrestler Rip Hawk, and later as a distant cousin of the Anderson wrestling family, which also consisted entirely of unrelated relatives. The cousin aspect was eventually dropped as Flair became closely associated with Ole and Arn Anderson. He also spent time in 1972 as Ramblin' Ricky Rhodes, a cousin of Dusty Rhodes. When that didn't work, he became Ric Flair, the wealthier cousin of Arn Anderson and leader of The Four Horsemen.
  • Vocal Evolution: He has always had a lisp, but it has worsened over the last few years.
  • We Can Rule Together: Exploited, as Flair would famously lure Sting (aka "the dumbest man in wrestling") into the Four Horsemen and then turn on him, kicking him out of the group. And he did it twice.
  • Wrestling Family:
    • His eldest son, David, is known for his time in WCW from 1999 until the end. David would have been fine if they had actually, well, trained him. To make matters worse, he had the charisma of a grape. Nevertheless, they made David Flair the WCW U.S. Champ, and WWE even gave him screen time with The Undertaker. They put him in developmental to try and salvage him, but realized they would just be polishing a turd.
    • Flair's younger son, Reid, competed primarily in the North Carolina area and All Japan Pro Wrestling before dying on March 29, 2013, of what has since been determined to have been an accidental overdose of heroin and other drugs. Flair was also near obsessed with the kid. He would never stop talking about his achievements and how'd be a big star. He felt bad for not being there for his other kids, but Reid was the one he was going to get right. And then to find him dead in his hotel room. WWE thought it would be a good idea to make light of Reid's death, to get everyone talking about the Paige/Charlotte feud—without asking him, of course. (It's easier to ask forgiveness than ask for permission.)
    • Flair's daughter Ashley (now billed as Charlotte Flair) is a former NXT Women's Champion and WWE Divas Champion, as well as a four-time WWE Raw Women's Champion. (Note that the Raw Women's Championship is actually the WWE Women's Championship: the 2016 brand split took place during her first reign. During her second reign, the title was rechristened the Raw Women's Championship after the SmackDown Women's Championship was created.) She turned out to be the second-generation Flair who made it in this business.
    • Scott McGhee is his brother-in-law and Bram, perhaps best known to USA viewers for his time in TNA, was his son-in-law, having been previously married to Charlotte.
  • Younger Than They Look: Ric Flair looks great for 106. His appearance has always confused people: when you go and watch his pre-2000 work, it's surprising by how young he looks. A life of touring, partying and getting dropped on the head for a living took its toll.

*stagger* *faceplant*

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/RicFlair?from=Main.RicFlair