ESPN 30 for 30 will release their new documentary Nature Boy on November 7th. Detailing the career of the legendary Nature Boy Ric Flair, it will detail the life of one of the greatest wrestlers to step into the squared circle by interviewing his friends and family.
I’m excited for the news. (I am aware the news of the release date has been out for a couple weeks.) While professional wrestling is scripted, you cannot deny the athleticism the performers have to be able to pull off what they do on a daily basis. Watching Ric Flair on television in the late 80’s, Ric Flair was front and center in the minds of wrestling fans everywhere. While WCW did have issues attracting an audience, wrestling fans everywhere knew that the Nature Boy was, hands down, the best that ever wrestled.
The one benefit wrestling has over “legitimate” sports is the fact that with the outcomes scripted, the performers in the ring are be able to control the emotions of the crowd, never giving us duds for events that the UFC and boxing on occasion give us. Ric Flair had the ability to make anyone look good. Hell, Ric Flair right now would make me look like the greatest wrestler in history and I’m a balding dumb ass who eats more potato chips than he should.
Whether people like it or not, wrestling has been a part of America’s pop culture experience for over 100 years now. People throughout the years have either looked up to wrestlers or despised them without realizing that the whole point of a wrestling show is for you to have an emotional reaction. Folks from Muhammed Ali, Andy Kaufman, Connor McGregor, and hell, President Donald Trump, have learned from professional wrestling how to control a crowd. Ric Flair is a part of the elite in wrestling history. He’s been a part of pop culture just as much as sports stars like Michael Jordan or Barry Sanders. It’s about time pro wrestlers get some credit for the sacrifices they make night in and night out. I for one, cannot wait until this 30 for 30 special.