During the 17 years that Ric Flair was part of Jim Crockett Promotions, he became the NWA champion and was part of one of the hottest stables in professional wrestling, The Four Horsemen. Even though he made his time there look easy, that wasn't always the case. At Starrcast last weekend, Jim Crockett Jr. recalled a stressful moment he had trying to get Flair geared up to become the NWA champion.
"That was a tough one," Jim stated. "Because if he was the champion, then we'd only have him for seven, 10 or 14 days a month; he's somewhere else. To get him ready, we had to send him to all these different places because we had to establish his credibility before becoming the champion. The other promoters were not exactly wowed with me having somewhat of control over the champion. I was not the most popular guy in the room."
On a comical note, Jim says he enjoyed working with "The Nature Boy" because of how funny he could be when they weren't talking business. He tells a story of when they were on a plane and Flair flashed everyone and didn't get in trouble for it.
"There was one commercial flight we were on, and we were sitting there, having a drink, everyone was calm," Jim began. "All of a sudden, I just knew Ric was up to something. You can tell when he gets that certain type of energy, like a little kid when they're up to something. He had to go to the bathroom. He takes his robe with him. I thought 'Oh, s**t.' He comes out of the bathroom and you can see his calves. He opens his robe and says "Wooo.' And you know what? They didn't kick him off the plane, they didn't tell him he couldn't come back. Everyone knew that's Ric. It's what he does. If I did that, I would've been thrown in jail."
The last thing the Crockett brothers discussed in their interview was the formation of The Four Horsemen and how Jim convinced Tully Blanchard to part of the stable.
"Ric was such a star, you can't have that star everywhere," Jim said. "How do you bleed that over into something that is almost that good? We had the Anderson's, but Gene didn't fit the mold. I went to Kansas City, and Tully was working out there. I think the night I went out there he was in a barbed wire match, which is not one of my favorite matches. We went out drinking and I told him I wanted him to come out because we were going to create this team that Dusty Rhodes wanted to do. He didn't want to come. Probably 25 beers later, I had had it. He was ready to come. Tully came and he and Ric really hit it off. They worked out together outside of the ring all the time. We had Ole Anderson and Dusty introduced us to Lex Luger and that was that."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Crockett Starrcast IV with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription