The support and love for Ric Flair have poured out. Wrestlers and fan are praying and pulling for the Nature Boy to make a full and speedy recovery. But one wrestler has gone beyond a simple social media post. Dolph Ziggler took to the pages of Sports Illustrated to share his love and appreciation for the iconic wrestling legend. In the excerpt below, Dolph Ziggler describes what Flair’s approval and legacy mean to him and fellow wrestlers.
Getting the approval of Ric Flair is the wrestling worlds version of Johnny Carson calling you over to the desk after you just crushed a standup set on The Tonight Show. He is royalty and if he likes your work. he lets you know. If you let him down, even once in 100 matches, he’ll let you know that, too, That’s Ric, I thank him for it every time and always will. He has been instrumental in making me the performer I am today.
The 16-time World Champion has done it all and trust me, that doesn’t just pertain to the ring! Ric lives as only Ric can live, looking only as Ric can look. Every time I see him at a wrestling show, a Cavs game, a hotel, an autograph signing, you name it; he is holding court, everyone is gathered around, hoping to get some advice from The Man, or hear some of the greatest road stories of all time. We will lock eyes, he’ll let out a “Wooo!,” and call me out by name and some other hilariously awesome things I wouldn’t dare repeat here, always making me feel like the king of the world and graciously treating me as his peer.
Get well soon, Nature Boy. There’s still a lot left for you to do in and out of the ring!
Dolph Ziggler’s Lasting Memory of Flair
I will always remember when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before Ric wrestled Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24. During the ceremony, a fan yelled out, “Please don’t retire, Ric!” Flair instantly barked back: “I WILL NEVER RETIRE!!!” And I believe he never will.
We’ll keep you updated on Ric Flair’s condition. Share your thoughts on the Nature Boy in the comments below.