Many of the stories wrestlers and others in the business tell about Ric Flair take place in bars. From 2002’s “Plane Ride From Hell” to an incident at Boston’s Logan Airport last year, tales of Naitch being Naitch have often involved alcohol.
You didn’t need to be an addictions counselor or a medical professional to see the link between drinking and the health scare Flair recently went - and is still going - through. Kidney failure and heart troubles are consistent with alcohol abuse.
Now, The Nature Boy is opening up about his drinking. As he tells People Magazine in a new interview:
"I didn't think I was an alcoholic, but obviously I was."
Admitting that even with a portion of his bowel removed and a new pacemaker he’s “not out of the woods yet”, Flair is opening up about his alcohol use. While he never drank while working, he says his problems with drinking go as far back as 1972. It helped him “bond” with the boys and became his way to deal with physical pain which comes from life in the ring:
“I’ve never taken a pain pill in my life. I’d just take a shower, flip my hair back and go to the best bar in town.”
The Hall of Famer is vowing to never drink again, but as many addicts and alcoholics can tell him, there’s more to it than that. Fortunately, he has some experience with recovery via a stint in rehab from 2013 he told People about. And he’s got WWE’s resources, and access to others who are living with addiction like Kurt Angle, Brian “Road Dogg” James and William Regal.
It’s a one day at a time thing, Naitch, but admitting you have a problem is a big step (the first one, even).
If you can survive being struck by lightning, having your back broken in a plane crash and your recent medically-induced coma, you can get this, too.