Facts About Ric Flair And His Rough Around The Edges Family

Wrestling | 5/26/21

The Flair family is wrestling royalty. Not only is Ric Flair a 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, but his daughter, Charlotte, has also made a name for herself as a force to be reckoned with. Throughout all the years of winning, the Flair family has also seen its fair share of conflict. This is everything you need to know about the Flair family, from the bone-crunching victories to the behind-the-scenes tap-outs!

Flair Loved A Good Drink… Or 30

ric flair looking to the left slightly
David Banks/Getty Images
David Banks/Getty Images

In 2017, ESPN released Nature Boy, a documentary about Ric Flair that was a part of the network’s 30 for 30 series. When asked about his hard-partying past, the wrestling icon recalled a conversation he had with his therapist about just how much he consumed.

Without getting into too many details, Flair revealed that he would have anywhere between 30 and 40 drinks a day for 20 years. He also shared that his therapist was shocked he was still alive.

Charlotte Flair Got Into Trouble With The Law In 2008

charlotte flair posing with her WWE championship belt
Che Rosales/Getty Images
Che Rosales/Getty Images

The same year that Nature Boy debuted, Charlotte Flair released a joint biography with her father called Second Nature. One of the more interesting aspects of the book came when she detailed her arrest in 2008.

That year, her then-husband and Ric got into a fight that became violent. Charlotte initially tried to calm down the pair, but when officers showed up, she started fighting with them and was arrested. An initial 45-day prison sentence was suspended to a $200 fine and supervised probation.

Charlotte First Appeared With WCW, Not WWE

rich flair with daughter charlotte flair
Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images
Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images

In the early 2000s, Charlotte Flair was still known by her birth name, Ashley, and made multiple appearances with her dad while he worked with World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Most memorably, she tried to intervene during a fight between Ric and the Russo Brothers in 2000.

In 2012, Charlotte signed her first contract with WWE that saw her train with Lodi. During this time, she worked her way up from NXT, one of the WWE’s developmental brands, all the way to WWE Raw, where she debuted in 2015.

He Tried To Pay Off Multiple Debts With The Same Belt

ric flair looking confused
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

During his days with the NWA, Ric Flair held the World Heavyweight Championship Belt, a trophy that should have been priceless to him. Unfortunately, Flair was also terrible with money and tried to use the belt to pay off two separate debts.

First, Combraco, Inc. put a lien on the belt, then Flair promised the belt to Highspots, Inc. when he owed them $35,000. A warrant was put out for Flair’s arrest, but then a mystery person stepped in and paid off his debt.

Ric May Have Won More Than 16 World Championships

ric flair at a basketball game
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

You would think the WWE would have record keepers to keep track of how many titles have been won by which entertainers. When it comes to Ric Flair’s legacy, those record keepers may have gotten it wrong.

The most decorated World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, it is often reported that Flair won the belt 16 times (like we previously mentioned). The truth is a little murkier, with Flair himself claiming he won 21 titles, and his die-hard fans claiming the number to be 25!

He Feuded With Becky Lynch And Threatened Legal Action Against The WWE

becky lynch blowing a kiss
Denise Truscello/ACMA2018/Getty Images for ACM
Denise Truscello/ACMA2018/Getty Images for ACM

Ric Flair might be a WWE icon, but that doesn’t mean that he and company have always been on the same page. Things came to blows in 2019 when Becky Lynch started calling herself “The Man” after a match with Charlotte Flair.

Ric used “The Man” for years alongside Nature Boy, and decided to file a trademark for the name. After the dispute, he said, “I don’t care what the WWE thinks of me personally. I know they love me, but obviously, they’ve lost respect for me.”

Charlotte’s Career Was Motivated By Tragedy

charlotte flair half smiling
Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Growing up, Ashely Flair wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in professional wrestling, her brother Reid did. Tragically, Reid passed away at the start of his journey when he was just 25-years-old.

Ashley decided to then chase her brother’s dream of following in their famous father’s footsteps. In 2016, the WWE used Reid’s death in a match between Charlotte and Paige without Flair’s permission. The two Divas were already feuding at the time, and the company thought it would bring extra intrigue to their storyline.

The Flair Family Has Several Half Siblings

ric flair and his family
James Devaney/GC Images
James Devaney/GC Images

Ric Flair had several encounters with women throughout his life and has been married five times as a result. During those five marriages, he has had four children, Ashley (Charlotte), David, Megan, and Reid.

Megan and David were born during Flair’s first marriage, while Charlotte and Reid were born during his second marriage, making them half-siblings. Flair married three more times but did not have any more children with his last three wives.

Ric Left WCW Because Of Creative Differences

a photo of ric flair early in his career
B Bennett/Getty Images
B Bennett/Getty Images

When he was 39-years-old, Ric left the WCW. The company wanted the aging star to take a step back from main events and take on a new persona as a Roman gladiator. As you can guess, the request didn’t make Flair happy.

Flair began to further clash with WCW Vice President Jim Herd, eventually forcing the company to fire him. WWE (then WWF) came calling and Flair found a new home where he could continue his legendary career.

He Started His Career At 300 Pounds

ric flair in the ring for hulk hogan
Paul Kane/Getty Images
Paul Kane/Getty Images

Before the plane crash that changed the trajectory of his career, Ric Flair weighed 300 pounds. He was pursuing wrestling still but had no idea what his future held. In the plane crash, he miraculously survived, breaking his back in three spots.

During his recovery, Flair trimmed down and was back in the ring in eight months. Because of his drastically changed physical appearance, Flair needed to change his entire persona.

Ric’s “Little Black Book” Isn’t So Little

Ric flair with multiple women
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

In his heyday, Ric Flair loved to love, another point he emphasized while being interviewed for Nature Boy. Like many famous men from his era, the wild man claims to have a long list of past encounters. But just how long?

When asked about it, Flair guesses he has been with over 10,000 women. Of course, we have no way to confirm this, and we’re not sure we would even want to if we could.

WWE Didn’t Think Charlotte Would Live Up To The Flair Name

charlotte flair at a cubs game
David Banks/Getty Images
David Banks/Getty Images

When Charlotte Flair was coming up with the WWE, the company wasn’t sure she could live up to the family name. In the beginning, they refused to let her use Flair in her stage name.

Going further, the company warned her not to even act like her dad. As she came into her own, it became clear that she was more than capable and was finally allowed to continue the legacy her father began.

The Iconic “WOOOOOOOOO!” Was Inspired By Jerry Lee Lewis

Lewis Jerry Lee playing the piano while having his photo taken
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

To taunt his opponents in the ring, Ric Flair shouts an iconic “WOOOOOOO!” The line is so beloved that athletes like George Kittle of the 49ers use it after big plays. But where does the shout come from?

Flair was listening to the song “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis and knew he needed to incorporate “Woo!” into his act. Now Flair doesn’t even need to yell himself — the crowd does it for him!

The Original Nature Boy Was Buddy Rogers

a ric flair robe hanging in an nhl locker
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The name Ric Flair may be synonymous with the moniker Nature Boy, but that doesn’t mean he was the first. Buddy Rogers was the original Nature Boy, and when Flair took on the identity, he also adopted Rogers’ flamboyancy.

Flair didn’t originally intend to become the Nature Boy. He changed his wrestling persona, and certain mannerisms after a plane crash affected how he could perform in the early stages of his career.

Ric Was Abandoned By His Parents As A Child

ric flair inducted into the WWE hall of fame
Bob Levey/WireImag
Bob Levey/WireImag

In his book To Be The Man, Ric Flair dove into his troubled past to reveal one dark secret. After he was born, his parents abandoned him in Tennessee and he ended up spending part of his life in an orphanage.

Flair didn’t end up in a normal orphanage, though! He was taken in by the Tennessee Home Children’s Society, an orphanage that was profiled by the Los Angeles Times for stealing children away from poor parents.

He Doesn’t Know His Birth Name

ric flair flexing for the camera
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Known since the start of his career as Ric Flair, the wrestler admits he only has an idea about what his birth name might be. Because he grew up in an orphanage after being abandoned, he never knew what he was supposed to be called.

Flair’s legal name is Richard Flieher, and while that may be his given name, it’s still not his birth name. To try and solve the mystery of who he is, Flair backtracked his records, coming up with the name Fred Phillips, but says that’s just one possibility.

Flair Gave Triple H His First World Heavyweight Championship Belt

triple h in tokyo
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

In the ’90s, Flair formed a strong bond with Triple H. The relationship began with a teacher/student dynamic, but they eventually became close friends. Flair was so invested in Triple H’s career that he even gifted the wrestler the first World Heavyweight Championship Belt he ever won.

In the documentary The Definitive Collection, Flair added that he wished Triple H had been wrestling in the ’80s so that the pair could have properly fought it out for the belt.

His Boots Did NOT Cost More Than Your House

a close up of ric flair's boots
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

In one of Ric Flair’s most memorable promos for NWA, he yelled, “My shoes cost more than your house!” Known for his over-the-top style, we wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that statement was true.

We may never know how much Flair’s boots cost, but we know at the start of his career he bought three pairs for a total of $800. Things got more expensive the more famous he got, with his signature robes reportedly costing up to $30,000.

Two Days Of Intense Training Almost Made Ric Quit

ric flair anniversary
Bob Levey/WireImage
Bob Levey/WireImage

Very early in his career, Ric had the privilege of training pro wrestler Verne Gagne. The excitement quickly faded as he learned about his new workout regimen. On his first day, Flair had to run two miles, do 200 sit-ups, 500 free squats, and 200 push-ups.

After two days of intense training, Flair quit, calling Gagne’s son to break the news. Gagne then showed up at Flair’s house, threw him on the lawn, and refused to let him off the hook that easily.

He Also Survived A Lightning Strike

ric flair smiling
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

In 2016, Ric Flair joined the Dan LeBatard Show on ESPN Radio and told a story about how he survived a lightning strike in the late ’70s:

“I was getting off a plane in Richmond, Virginia… I was world champion then… I was walking, and I didn’t go 10, maybe 15 feet, and all of a sudden, I felt this pressure boom, and man, my umbrella shot 50 feet in the air… Lightning hit the top of my umbrella, bounced off, and hit a guy in the eye five feet behind me.”