Richard Morgan Fliehr, better known by his ring name, Ric Flair, is a retired American professional wrestler. Also known as “The Nature Boy,” Flair is among the most well known wrestlers in the world, has been one of wrestling’s biggest stars since the late 1970s and is considered by many as the greatest wrestler of the modern era of professional wrestling. Flair is recognized by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) as a 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, although his actual tally of world championship reigns varies by source. In World Championship Wrestling (WCW), he also had two stints as a booker from 1989-1990 and again in 1994.
On the March 31 edition of WWE Raw, Flair delivered his farewell address. Afterwards, Triple H brought out many current and retired superstars to thank Flair for all he has done, including Shawn Michaels, some of the Four Horsemen and even The Undertaker, followed by Vince McMahon, chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment Board of Directors. This event represented a rare moment in the WWE as both the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ broke character and came out to the ring together.
Flair was often “over” with the crowd due to his in-ring antics, including rulebreaking (earning him the distinction of being “the dirtiest player in the game”), strutting and his shouting of
“Woooooo!” Flair released his autobiography, To Be the Man, in July 2004. The title is taken from one of his catchphrases,
“To be the man, you gotta beat the man!”
On the February 18, 2008 edition of Raw, Shawn Michaels announced Flair as the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2008. The induction ceremony took place on March 29, 2008, with Triple H inducting him. This made him the first and only person to be inducted while still an active competitor as of 2008. On March 24, 2008, Mayor Bob Coble, of Columbia, South Carolina, declared March 24 to be Ric Flair Day in Columbia. Flair also received the key to the city. Seven days later on the March 31 edition of Raw, Flair made his farewell speech, which led to Triple H introducing various people from Ric Flair’s past, such as The Four Horsemen, Ricky Steamboat, and others who came out to give an emotional farewell. Afterwards, the entire WWE roster came out to say thank you to Flair. On June 7, it was announced that Ric Flair will be inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, his second straight Hall of Fame induction in four months.