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Ric Flair Was Absolutely Unrecognisable Before His Near-Fatal Plane Crash; WWE Legend Shares Rare Photo

Published 05/22/2022, 11:30 AM EDT

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WWE Legend Ric Flair is all set to wrestle in his last match on 31st July 2022. The 16-time world champion has set major milestones in his career that spanned 40 years. 

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Flair was severely ill a couple of years back and he was hospitalized for the same. He spent some time in a coma at the hospital. He fought it through and within a year, he was back on his feet, enjoying his life.


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Over the years, we have seen Ric Flair as a 250 pounds wrestler who has had a great lean physique. However, The Nature Boy was not always a 250 lbs person since the start of his career. He was over 300 pounds person with a bulk body when started wrestling.

A few days back, current AEW wrestler Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust for WWE fans shared a picture of Ric Flair on Twitter. The picture was a throwback photo of Naitch when he initially started wrestling. The caption said, “Can you guess who this legend is?”

Ric Flair was indeed a heavyweight professional wrestler when he started in American Wrestling Association (AWA.) Flair was not known as The Nature Boy back then.

WATCH: Ric Flair Pays Tribute to His Greatest Rivals Including Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Stone Cold

He was a rookie at AWA but had some tag team matches against legendary Andre the Giant before moving to Japan.

Wrestlers and wrestling fans react to the picture of muscular Ric Flair

This fan said, “The nature boy Ric Flair when he first started he was around 300 lbs and want to be a Texas outlaw and a Rhodes”

Charlotte Flair also reacted to the picture


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Hurricane Helms also shares his reaction, “Black Scorpion”

This fan said, “THAT’S RIC FLAIR!?”

This fan shared one more picture of Flair

Former wrestler Les Thatcher says, “Ric Flair, I worked with this version!👍”

Why did Ric Flair turn his body lean?

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Ric Flair wrestled as a 300-pound wrestler in AWA for two years and then moved to Japan in 1973 alongside. When he returned to wrestle in the United States, he joined Jim Crockett Promotions in 1974, where he picked up the monicker of The Nature Boy.


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Flair’s career, which was skyrocketing quickly, was almost stopped when he was a victim of a plane crash in Wilmington, North Carolina. The crash had seriously injured his back at age 26, was told by doctors that he would never wrestle again. Flair conducted a physical therapy schedule and returned to the ring just three months later.


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During the time he was healing, he lost a tremendous amount of weight and also changed his wrestling technique. Flair was now a 240-250 pounds wrestler and did not take too many bumps on his back. He had the will to wrestle and then went on to be a legend in the business for over 40 years.




Tushar Deogharkar

2011 articles

Tushar Deogharkar is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. Tushar has done his Master's in Tourism Management and is an ardent fan of pro wrestling. He follows WWE and AEW very closely and wants to learn how the promotions are run.