Nature Boy, the ESPN documentary covering the tumultuous life and career of wrestling legend Ric Flair, aired on Tuesday night. The reality of the star’s rise to fame was apparently littered with alcohol and sex.
“There was hardly a day that he went without having at least several drinks,” fellow wrestler Nickla “Baby Doll” Roberts said of Flair’s drinking habits during his career, which began in 1972 and ended in 2008. “You can be an alcoholic and be fully functional. I never saw him show up at the show inebriated, but Flair could drink. How he still has a liver, I don’t know.”
According to the “Nature Boy” himself, Flair had about 15 drinks a day for more than 20 years.
In the documentary, the 68-year-old recalled his first visit with a sports psychologist, in the 1980s:
(He asked) “How much do you drink a day?” I said, “I’ll drink at least 10 beers, and probably five mixed drinks.” He said, “Well, how many days a week do you do that?” I said, “Every day.” He said, “Well, how do you mean every day?” I said, “I work every day. I drink a beer in the car, I get to the hotel and I drink vodka.” He came out of his chair and (he said), “You drink every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you’ve been doing that for how long?” I said, “Well, let me see. It’s 1989, I started in ’72, you do the math. Almost 20 years.” He said, “That’s not possible.” I said, “Oh yeah, it is.” By the time I got through with that son of a bitch, he was laying on the couch and I was on the chair talking to him.
The retired wrestler also estimated that he’s slept with 10,000 women, admitting that monogamy made him “miserable.” Last year, he claimed that one of those women is actress Halle Berry.
Eventually, friend and fellow wrestler Triple H forced Flair to get help for his addiction to alcohol, “against his will.”
“It’s easy to say you want to be thought of as the best father that ever lived, but I wasn’t,” Flair said of how he’d like to be remembered. “And I certainly wasn’t the best husband. So I guess I’ll just have to settle for wanting to be thought of as the greatest wrestler and the most entertaining wrestler that ever lived.”