Ric Flair on Surviving Horrific Plane Crash


8 months ago



Ric Flair

1 appearance

Ric Flair is a professional wrestler and entrepreneur whose many business ventures include a chicken wing restaurant chain, comic book, and signature cannabis line, among others. https://ricflairdripglobal.com/


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No, I lived the life I have to admit. It wasn't always cost-effective, but I lived in that gimmick. But yeah, but it's such a fun life, man. What year did you start? What year did you make your first, like, pro wrestling matches? 73. 73. I started training in fall of 72, and I had my first match in January of 73. Those are the old days, man. The killer Kowalski days. Bernghain, yeah. Wow. And what's crazy. Crusher, bruiser. Yeah. But you started wrestling after the plane crash, right? No, plane crash was in 75. Oh, wow. So tell us about the plane crash. We were going from Shara to Wilmington, North Carolina, for outdoor show, $10 at Legion Stadium. Where that's where Michael's from. That's the first time that Michael Jordan. Not at that show, but at the matches in Wilmington. And what happened ultimately is he took five of us on the plane, and we didn't know at the time. He was carrying no fuel because we were 1,400 pounds over growth. So we get there and hit it a little bit of a headwind. We're between 7,000 and 8,000. It's not a pressurized plane, so that's not 310. And he did what's called passable point of no return. He should have landed in Raleigh and refilled. But he's looking and saying it's 100 miles, right? So unbeknownst to us, the guy who was in front of me, Johnny Valentine, who got paralyzed, kept looking at the gas gauge and looking back at me and going, eh, eh. I was going, Johnny, that drives sense of humor. Well, we're flying along. All of a sudden, the red engine goes boop, boop, boop, boop, boop, boop. Maybe like six times over, like you see in the movies, and bingo, pind, right? I went, shit. He reaches down, he pulls up the reserve, natural reaction. There is no reserve gas. Left engine went, bam, boom. And instead of we flew into a tree orchard, right? Normally, it'll cartwheel a small aircraft. We were going so fast, we tore it down and landed a railroad bankment stuck at the ground at 230 miles an hour. So we were probably going well over 300. And we're just literally 200 yards from the runway. Wow. They tried. And you're you. He died. And he never regained consciousness. And two chicks came. Both engaged to him, double knocked out at the door, the hospital door. Oh, boy. I told the guy, he says, he goes, Joey, you and I could talk all day. So they're putting us in the ambulance, right? It's like the old military style. Not like the ones today that are like a hospital room, right? They're putting you in Iraq, right? And he goes, I think we might lose this one. So I go, I told the guy, I said, I think he's talking about me. I said, man, go to my shaving kit. There's a letter to a chick named Sheila. I said, tell Sheila, love her, not to come see me. Last time seeing Sheila. Oh, boy. The guy showed up 10 years later. The man says, you remember me? I'm the guy that got the letter for you. I said, thanks. So how bad did you get injured in the accident? Broke my back three places, T10, 11, and 12. So fractured the actual bones of the bone? Compression fracture, yeah. I used to be a six foot two. So they had to fuse your back? Nope, no surgery at all. I used to think I'd have to wrestle again. And that goes, that was what we were going to do, right? They said you're never going to wrestle again. Yeah. That was in 75, would you say? When was it like that? It was October of 75. And I was back in the ring in March of 76. Yeah. I went from 255 to 180 back to 218. Wow. But I never got myself to land flat on my back again. Everybody knows I landed on my hip or my side. Yeah. Because of your back injury. Yeah, just couldn't get myself to land flat. So the promoter I was wrestling said, if you don't take a backdrop, that's where you flip over a guy's shoulder and go up in here like six or seven feet. When you make your wrestling hour every night until you do. So after two weeks of wrestling, some of the crowds back then are 250, 300 people. You know what I mean? I had Buck's ringside, Fisherville, North Carolina, Fisherville, Virginia, middle of nowhere, right? One hour every night. Finally I said damn it. It's just going to take the backdrop. Throw me in, hit the turban, took it, boom. That was over. But I just couldn't get myself to land flat on my back. When you did, what happened? You were all right? I was fine. Yeah. So it was just psychological? All psychological, yeah. Jesus Christ.