Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin was joined by fellow WWE Hall Of Famer, Ric Flair. Among many other things, Flair talked in depth about his recent health scare, whether he ever thought about giving up on his road to recovery, and whether Flair still consumes alcohol. Also, Flair talked about his current workout regimen and being cleared by doctors to bump.
On the subject of Flair's recent health scare, 'The Nature Boy' shared that he started drinking alcohol at 15 years of age and drank every day while he was in pro wrestling.
"Everybody's blaming it on drinking, but I started drinking, probably, as a kid as young as 15, not obviously on a regular basis." Flair continued, "when I was in high school, I was going to a high school in Wisconsin, and you could drink beer when you're only 18, and, of course, we did and that leads to everything [else]. And then, I got into the [pro wrestling] business and people thought I was ribbing them or was being facetious when I'd tell people in that 30 For 30 that we drank every day. I said, 'I drank every day I worked' and they'd say, 'well, how many days did you work then?' And I'd say, 'I worked every day, twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday.' And I didn't drink twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday, but when Saturday and Sunday were over I drank probably double the amount depending on how long I had to wrestle that day because sometimes I would do two hours a day with guys like [Bob] Orton, or [Ricky] Steamboat, or Harley [Race], or [Jack] Briscoe."
According to Flair, he collapsed while working on some business deal and was brought to a hospital. While 'Naitch' claimed that he has no recollection of anything for 2 months, he learned that he was in a medically induced coma for 12 days to deal with the pain and he was in the ICU for 31 days.
"A friend of mine came into town from Dallas [Texas]. He was putting together a deal to sign autographs for personalized alligator cowboy boots. It was a boot company in Texas. So I made the deal with him. He came on Thursday, and when we were done on Thursday, he, I, and the boot guy went out Thursday. Then, I went home at about 10 o'clock. We got started at 11 in the morning. He went to Buckhead. And then, the next day, he came by and we went back hard at 11 in the morning and he went to the airport at 5 [pm]. And I just doubled over literally where I was standing. I felt great when he took me to the hospital. I don't remember anything after for two months. I was in a coma for 12 days, ICU for 31 days. I had kidney failure, respiratory heart failure, I was septic, and I had pneumonia all at one time, so I guess I was in so much pain they had to induce a coma because Wendy said I was just screaming. They couldn't give me enough medicine. And then, it took 12 hours to get me ready for surgery. And then, 12 days in a coma and 31 days I had to sit in intensive care. And then, I had to go to a rehab facility to learn how to walk and just starting from scratch again." Flair added, "I didn't have any memory of anything until the first of November."
During the conversation, Flair described surviving the ordeal as a "miracle".
"It's a miracle, Steve." Flair stated, "I literally look at it like a miracle. The doctor told me it was a miracle and after I look back at everything and coming to realize what actually took place, it is a miracle. People were writing me off."
Although Flair never thought about giving up, he could not come to terms with his mortality either. Flair admitted that following his release from the rehabilitation facility, he would sit around and worry about dying because he knew how sick he had gotten.
"Oh, no, no, I never thought of giving up, but I really couldn't come to grips with it. Does that make sense? It took me a long time." Flair explained, "not till I got home did I start thinking about it. I would sit in a chair alone and I would worry about dying. I would spend the whole day worrying I was going to die. I mean, after learning how sick I had been. I was trying to figure out why out of all the people in the world I was still there and somebody else wasn't. I'm being very serious. I don't tell that to a lot of people. If you think about it, I'm sure people have had that [idea] if they've had similar misfortune go home and wonder why too. And then it went away. Maybe a couple of days I thought about it. And then, if I was upset or depressed about something, or something caused me any kind of stress, I automatically thought that day I was going to die. Does that make sense? Living on borrowed time."
Apparently, Flair has not given up alcohol outright, as he had booze at his wedding, his daughter's wedding, and Thanksgiving. Flairs understanding of his own health situation is that alcohol in and of itself is not the problem, but rather doctors are concerned that Flair would drink in excess.
"I'm going to be completely honest with you. I have asked the doctor 10 different times. And, of course, I'll ask other doctors too because I refuse to believe… I'm telling them right now, at my wedding, I had three glasses of champagne. At my daughter's wedding, I had the same or maybe one glass of wine instead of champagne. And when I was in Florida with Wendy this past week, we were there for Thanksgiving. I drank about four beers," Flair recalled. "So it's not that the alcohol is going to hurt me. It's just that the doctors are afraid if I have one that'll lead to another and that'll never happen. So I've had a drink. Alcohol is not going to kill me. I haven't had any hard liquor and that won't happen, but I have had probably 10 or 12 beverages with alcohol in them. Do you know what I mean? Beer, wine, or champagne."
Additionally, during the interview, Flair indicated that he does 500 free squats a day and that 'The Man' [sorry Bex] has been cleared to bump by doctors.
"I had difficulty doing anything when I still had that bag on my side that was attached to my intestines because it sat right at my waistline and it was hard, but as soon as I got that off, I was back doing 500 free squats. To me, I just need a goal. Does that make sense? But I finally got the weight back on and then I found myself putting more weight back on than I wanted, so I have to be careful with that, but I've been working out. I can do anything, benchpress. I have to be careful after surgery, the second surgery, for hernia issues. But I literally took it easy. I didn't do anything. And now I'm full speed ahead. The guys have cleared me to do anything. I've actually been cleared to get knocked down in the ring." Flair said, "I didn't know if they were going to use me in some capacity and [Austin] know[s] the clearances you have to have with the health policy, which is so adamant."
Wooo! If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show