He's the stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun. He's one of the most famous wrestlers of all time and in May courtesy of MDA Promotions, he's touring the UK and meeting his fans. Ahead of his visit to no less than seven cities across the country (tickets here), we caught up with the legend to ask him about his career, his views on the business and its future.
What's your best memory of wrestling in the UK?
Well my favourite would be summer slam, back in 1992. That was just phenomenal but to be honest, I don't have a bad memory of coming to the UK, I love wrestling over there! But I think that's pretty much a universal soft spot for all the guys. We love wrestling in England. London, Birmingham, Manchester whatever big buildings we're in and of course the smaller towns too, they're just great wrestling fans and respectful and they respect the business so it's a lot of fun for us.
You're doing seven nights with MDA Promotions, including London. So what can UK fans expect from your show this time?
You know, I don't know. I'm the most entertaining athlete that's ever lived, so you tell me!
In a recent podcast 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and Triple H suggested Kayfabe (the portrayal of staged events as real) is dead. Do you agree?
I probably have to agree with them. Unfortunately, much to my personal dismay, yes. I don't know that it effects the industry but I just felt back when some of us started in the business it was very protective of that closed door. You either adjust to it or you don't participate in it. It wouldn't be my first choice but it doesn't seem to have affected anything, the crowds still come out. I just think it was more fun for the fans but that's probably old school thinking, to not know what was going on and thinking they do but never knowing for sure. That's the way of the world now though and it's not just our business. You can get everything online these days and it's just something you have to accept. I don't think about it anymore, I would have been offended by that ten years ago but it's the way of the world.
Did you see pictures from Grammys of Kim Kardashian dressed up as you? What did you make of it?
Yeah, I did see that! It proves that everybody wants to be Ric Flair in some way, shape or form! Football players, movie stars, you name it! I met Kim though, she was dating Reggie Bush, the football player and they were at my retirement in 2008 in Orlando. She's very nice and I get along with her great.
You've wrestled Sting many times over the years, was now the right time for him to go to WWE?
I think it's long past due and I wish he'd come a long time ago. It wasn't from lack of effort on my part that he didn't. I'd been wanting him to come for a long time and I think it's a phenomenal way for him to finish up his career. I have so many favourite memories of working with him. One of them is our match when we wrestled for nearly an hour on clash of Champions against Wrestlemania. But one of his first matches was with me and every time I think of Sting, I don't have a bad memory. He was always a great guy, aside from being a phenomenal talent, he's one of the nicest guys I ever met.
Your daughter Charlotte won 'Rookie of the Year' almost 39 years after you - what does the future hold for her, can she match your title wins?
Isn't it amazing! She's a star. I don't know that she'll match my title wins but she'll be one of the greatest champions of all time if not the greatest in the women's division. She's the best athlete in the company and I'll say that to anybody, man or woman. And not just NXT, in the WWE.
What do you think of the NXT product as a whole?
I think that NXT is excellent. It allows the kids some time, they give them more time for the matches. It's the greatest, the truest form that anybody has ever put together of being as close to being on Raw or Smackdown as there is. It's tremendous and the production facilities are phenomenal. Hunter runs it like a business and it's a great opportunity for anybody that wants to get into the wrestling business.
What's your best rib [practical joke] story?
I'm not a ribber so I don't have a rib story, I don't like being ribbed and I don't rib. You can pretty much ask anybody and they'll tell you. If you want to hear a Ric story I've got plenty but you'll have to pay to hear those!
To hear Ric's Stories, you'll need to get yourself along to one of MDA's live shows. According to the man himself fans can "ask any question they want and they'll get a truthful answer". See the poster below for full tour dates and booking details.
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