One of the best wrestling documentaries ever is on TV tonight
Whether you grew up watching The Ultimate Warrior, Steve Austin or John Cena, if you are a wrestling fan, you'll still know Ric Flair.
Making his debut all the way back in 1972 and still making occasional appearances in a WWE to this day (albeit understandably no longer in an actual wrestling role), we almost lost him this year to kidney failure. But the Nature Boy survived. The Nature Boy is immortal. The Nature Boy is the greatest sports entertainer of all time. No ifs, no buts.
It’s impossible to overstate how much he has given to wrestling – from his legendary feud with Dusty Rhodes in the 1980s and the formation of the Four Horsemen, through to his iconic 1992 Royal Rumble win, his run as part of Evolution with Triple H and Randy Orton that introduced him to a new generation in the 2000s, and most recently managing his daughter Charlotte to WWE Women’s Championship gold.
It’s an incredible story behind the scenes as well – he was adopted at birth, broke his back in a plane crash, and claims to have drunk ten beers and five vodkas every day throughout the 1980s. And before you say “Someone should make a movie about him,” someone has.
Nature Boy is part of ESPN’s brilliant 30 For 30 series of sports documentaries (which also gave us last year’s Oscar winning OJ: Made In America), and is on BT Sport 2 at 10pm tonight.
Clip via WWE
The doc is based on a long, candid interview with Flair himself, alongside contributions from his family, wrestlers including Triple H and Hulk Hogan, and even Snoop Dogg.
At 80 minutes, it’s impossible to cover everything from the Nature Boy’s storied career, but it gives an excellent primer, illustrating his stories through animation. It focuses most on his 1980s heyday, and there’s some incredible footage in there (seriously, it’s worth watching for the '80s fashion alone), but it also doesn’t shy away from his hard times either, and the section of the death of his son Reid is heart-breaking.
Even if you haven’t watched wrestling since you were a kid, it’s definitely worth Sky Plus-ing.
30 For 30: ‘Nature Boy’ is on BT Sport 2 at 10pm Friday night.