Ric Flair interview with Florida Today

12:22 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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Woo! When it comes to pro wrestling, superstar wrestler Ric Flair and his daughter, a relative newcomer to the sport, certainly know how to put the flair in the ring.

Flair, aka the "Nature Boy" who's well-known for his "Woo!," will appear with Ashley Fliehr, now known as NXT Diva Charlotte, Sunday afternoon at the Melbourne Auditorium as part of the WWE NXT tour. Flair's costumes are elaborate, his bleached blond hair slicked back, and his physique top notch even after 40 years of wear and tear from wrestling. We chat with him and find out what it's like to share the ring with Charlotte.

QUESTION:What was your reaction when your daughter, Ashley, aka NXT Diva Charlotte, said she wanted to become a pro wrestler?

Flair: She surprised me. I took her to Wrestlemania in Miami in 2012. All my friends have known her forever. She was playing sports in college, and she was an all-American cheerleader. I think just being around all the guys that weekend just sold her on it. Three months later she was in Tampa training. It's very cool. It runs in the family; her brother is in Tokyo wrestling.

Q:Do you worry about them?

Flair: If you worry about getting hurt, you can't be in this business. They're both pretty tough, mentally and physically. Ashley may be the best athlete I've ever met. All the things she can do, her athletic ability. To be a Division 1 volleyball player, cheerleading and a gymnast. She's 5-feet-11, weighs 150 pounds with 13 percent body fat.

Q:What can you bench?

Flair: Right now? Probably 275 or 300 pounds. I haven't worked out in about 6 or 7 weeks. For my age it's miraculous. In the old days I used to wrestle every day and work out. Literally 365 days a year, twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday.

Q:You've wrestled for many, many years. Which matches stand out?

Flair: My retirement match in 2008 with Shawn Michaels was the highlight of my career. The matches I had with Ricky Steamboat in '89. My match with Dusty Rhodes. That was awesome as well.

Q:The most surprising thing about wrestling?

Flair: The cross-demographic appeal. It's amazing. When I started, it was a blue-collar sport. Now everybody loves it. Doctors, lawyers, actors, entertainers, musicians.

Q:Your signature moves?

Flair: My chop, figure four-leg lock and my ability to get my brains beat out. I'm much better getting my brains beat out than I am offensively (laughing).

Q:Favorite fan moments?

Flair: I've had so many of them, and 99 percent of them are real good. I think what I like hearing the most is, "Thank you for all the years." I hear that all the time. "Thank you for all the years in entertainment."

Q:What are you most looking forward to on Sunday?

Flair: Just spending the weekend with my daughter. I'm so proud of her, I can't stand it.

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By Jennifer Sangalang | FLORIDA TODAY

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