Living The Gimmick: A Review of ESPN’s ’30 for 30: Nature Boy’

Living The Gimmick: A Review of Ric Flairs 30 for 30

Woman, Ric Flair, Miss Elizabeth and Gene Okerlund circa 1998 during a WCW braodcast.

This past Tuesday night, fans got to see a side of the Nature Boy they have only caught glimpses of in monumental points of the living legends career. ESPN aired the long-awaited 30 for 30 : Ric Flair special and it was everything folks expected while being somewhat surprised at the same time.

In his 2008 book, Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me former pro wrestler and former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura talked about the damage his time in pro wrestling had done to his body and forced him to retire. In citing his injuries and the damage done in the book, he both complimented and wondered how Ric Flair was still an active wrestler at the time the book was published. Specifically, during a conversation, he had with Flair at his WWE Hall of Fame induction when they had a conversation about backdrops. For those unfamiliar with the term, a backdrop is a wrestling term that means “getting thrown into the ropes, flipping up in the air and landing flat on your back”, according to Ventura.

“Ric Flair would take at least three backdrops a night. He wrestles 300 nights a year, so that’s 900 backdrops. And he’s been wrestling for thirty years–so that’s 27,000 backdrops. And that’s a minimal estimate! I find it amazing that Ric Flair is still walking around, but he is.” -Jesse Ventura

During one of the breaks, Director Rory Karpf commented on Flair’s most recent health scare from this past August when production of what seemed like him shooting his own obituary special had closed. Fans of the wrestling legend were following his prognosis in the late summer, hoping for the best. Long-time fans know about Flair’s plane crash that happened early in his career which he survived and were not counting him out.

Alway’s the showman, as soon as he was able Flair let fans know he wasn’t going anywhere:

Related: Ric Flair Reveals How Many Women He’s Slept With