The Top 6 Moments of Ric Flair’s Career

“To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” That is just one of many of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair’s iconic catchphrases – and Flair is definitely the man.

From his flawless in-ring storytelling to his unforgettable promos, Flair is regarded by many fans and wrestlers alike to be the greatest professional wrestler of all time, and the extent of his impact on the business is impossible to say. Here are just six highlights of his illustrious career, presented in chronological order.

First World Title Win

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS7ZuQHnx1Q]

Ric Flair won his first world title when he defeated Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on Sept. 17, 1981, at a house show in Kansas City, Mo. Of course, Flair would go on to win a record 16 world championships over his extensive career.

Flair vs. Steamboat

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq66ErC2Ngw]

The trilogy of matches wrestled by Ric Flair and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat between February and May of 1989 is widely regarded by fans and wrestlers alike as the greatest wrestling matches of all time. The matches set a new standard for wrestling in North America and have influenced generations of wrestlers, but in an interview with WWE.com Flair admitted that he didn’t even watch the matches himself until 10 years later.

First WWE Championship Win

Flair’s first run with WWE was one of the best runs of his career, and that includes his first WWE Championship reign. Flair last eliminated Sid Justice at the 1992 Royal Rumble to win the vacant WWE Championship, thus becoming only the second person in history to have held both the WWE title and the NWA Championship (the first being Buddy Rogers). His victory also produced one of the greatest promos of all time.

Collision in Korea

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYQ2VTNLDmA]

On April 29, 1995, Ric Flair wrestled Antonio Inoki in the main event of Collision in Korea, a joint two-day pay-per-view held by NJPW and WCW at May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. Officially known as the Pyongyang International Sports and Culture Festival for Peace, the PPV holds the record as the largest professional wrestling event in history, with a claimed attendance of 190,000 on the second day. By comparison, the WrestleMania attendance record is 101,763 at WrestleMania 32 in Arlington, Texas.

Retirement Match

At Wrestlemania XXIV in Orlando, Flair lost to Shawn Michaels in a “Career Threatening” match, and effectively retired from an in-ring career. The emotional match was lauded by fans and named by Pro Wrestling Illustrated as the 2008 Match of the Year.

Two-Time WWE Hall of Fame Inductee

Flair is the only person to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice: once on his own in 2008 and again as a member of the Four Horsemen in 2012. His 2008 speech showcased an emotional side of the Nature Boy that many had never seen before.

Ric Flair has had an absolutely legendary career that will likely never be matched, and when the day comes for him to retire the squared circle in the sky it will be a devastating loss to the business. But he’s still fighting, and his daughter and heir Charlotte Flair will be there to carry on his legacy in style.

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