The sad truth about Ric Flair

Posted in: Powell Editorials
By By Jason Powell
Sep 11, 2008 - 11:25 AM

Will Ric Flair ever get it together? The Nature Boy is widely regarded as the greatest wrestler of all-time and no one can take that away from him, but his antics outside the ring have become sad and pathetic.

It was one thing when Flair was younger and lived his gimmick outside the ring. He's hardly the first wrestler to fall into that trap. He's apologized in public forums repeatedly for the toll his lifestyle choices took on his family over the years, yet he continues to make many of the same mistakes in life.

Trust me when I tell you that this commentary is in response to more than just the recent incident that resulted in his daughter Ashley being tasered and hauled off to jail, and a big shiner for Ric. I'm not going to pretend like I know how the entire incident played out and who is to blame, but let's just say I wasn't surprised to read that alcohol was involved.

How many nights has Ashley or the other kids babysat their father? I know of at least one recent night (and I'd be willing to wager there are many more) when she had to escort her belligerent father from the hotel bar back to his room while he caused all sorts of chaos along the way.

I have nothing but respect for Flair as a performer. However, it's hard to respect many of the decisions he's made outside the ring. He's had countless opportunities to turn his life around, yet he just keeps making the same mistakes and refuses to alter his lifestyle.

It's no secret that Vince McMahon bailed Flair out of tax debt by dipping into his personal bank account to lend him the money. Yet here we are years later and Flair walked out on a WWE job that reportedly paid him $500,000 per year so that he could make more short-term money by making personal appearances and investigate a possible reality television show.

Many of Flair's former colleagues believe the move will pay off for him now, but they worry that it won't provide him with the long-term security that working for WWE would have. The big fear (and I have no way of verifying whether it's justified) is that Flair opted for the short-term money because he was struggling with financial problems again.

Regardless of Flair's current financial status, the decision to leave WWE is par for the course. He's spent his entire life thinking about today when he should have been thinking about the future. His need for instant gratification caused the financial problems and many of his marital problems.

"I'm letting Ric Flair be Ric Flair and that probably doesn't include me," estranged wife Tiffany stated during a recent interview with She added that he still wants to be the jet flying, limousine riding guy he talks about in his promos. Perhaps she should have figured out that Ric hadn't really changed his financial ways (although I'm guessing that's not what she was referring to in this interview) when he spent roughly $100,000 on her engagement ring while he was in the midst of a bitter divorce from his second wife.

"What Ric Flair needs is full time management on an ongoing basis and not just someone to negotiate a fee and book Ric to go somewhere and sign his name," Jim Ross wrote in his blog. "Ric needs some one to help protect Ric from Ric."

With his 60th birthday right around the corner, Flair still wants to be the Nature Boy. Worse yet, his friends feel that he still needs a babysitter. The sad truth is that Ric Flair needs to grow up and act his age. Unfortunately, it sounds like his estranged wife and even some of his close friends have given up hope on that ever happening.

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