ESPN 30 For 30: Nature Boy director Rory Karpf recently talked to 'Good Ol' J.R.' Jim Ross on The Ross Report. Among other things, Karpf discussed the complex personality of 'The Nature Boy', Flair's recent sobriety, and Flair's relationship with his parents.
According to Karpf, he was fascinated seeing the dichotomous nature of Flair as he was extremely confident yet terribly insecure as well.
"Ric's a very charming guy and you could see before he got sick he was incredibly self-destructive, but he's kind of like a crazy uncle. That's how I viewed him. I really like him. It's fun to be with him. It's hard to explain, I guess, unless you know him. And I've talked to other people that know him pretty well about this. It's just something you can't explain why that's endearing about him. He's sweet. He's a sweet man."
Karpf continued, "there's also a real vulnerability there with him that when you get to know him a little bit better, it really comes through and it's, like, surprising that in a way he's the most confident person you meet, but also one of the least confident people. I find that very interesting, that dichotomy."
Karpf, who stayed in touch with Flair through his recent medical scare, indicated that Flair is sober for the first time in his adult life.
"I did go to some bars with Ric. And, actually, we went out for St. Patrick's Day. He goes kind of hard and ends early. That's how he is now. It's like, he's out of control at seven o'clock. It's like, 'I just got here! What are you doing? Why are you dancing on the table? Like, sit down. We're just watching the football game.' And he's hard to keep up with."
Karpf added, "I think now that he [has] had the health scare and I think he mentioned to People Magazine for the first time he said he kind of has a drinking problem. He's not drinking. He's sober for the first time in his life, so I think that's a pretty big accomplishment."
On Flair's relationship with his parents, Karpf noted they only saw him wrestle a few times and 'Naitch' sees no problem with this.
"He said that his parents only saw him wrestle three times! Three times! It's like seeing Michael Jordan play basketball if you're his parents. I mean, he was the best guy! He did it forever too. It's not like he was wrestling every once in a while. I mean, he was wrestling constantly and he was the best dude, so you'd think there would have been many opportunities to go see him and think about how many big matches. And that's what really struck me, and he said, 'well, they didn't get it.' Well, who cares? I mean, he's the best! If my kid could play chess, I may not understand it, but I'll go see him play chess, so I found that pretty striking."
Karpf said, "Ric loves his parents and if you ask him, Ric, he'd say he kind of has two parents that are his parents and say that they are the ones that suffered having him as a son, so that's his side of it. I did find some of the things kind of sad when it came to that."
Click here to listen to the show. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Ross Report