On a recent episode of the WWE After The Bell podcast, veteran WWE referee Charles Robinson was on to discuss his love for horror movies, as well as his “Little Naitch” storyline in WCW. He noted that he was only into one year into his TV wrestling career but was able to work with so many legends of the business including Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.
“Well, the biggest thing that stands out is when they had me do the “little Nature Boy” storyline with Ric and Arn,” Robinson pointed out. “I got to work with some of the greats. I worked with Roddy Piper. I worked with Randy Savage. I was in the business for one year on TV and they put me into this storyline.
“And it was Kevin Nash that came up to me and says, ‘Hey, what do you think if we have you wrestle a girl and you lose?’ I said, ‘Okay,’ and he goes, ‘And we’ll give you a Ric Flair robe.’ I remember that because I’m working with some of the most legendary guys ever in the business who they all have such a great mind for.”
Robinson then recalled his Nitro match where he teamed up with Flair against Randy Savage and Madusa. He understood that he was going to be the one to take Savage’s elbow drop, but things went wrong and he suffered tragic injuries from the elbow drop.
“Randy Savage, he took the time to work with me in the ring and to work on the match to make sure that what we gave to the fans was fun and entertaining, and it wasn’t meant to be a comedy thing because it wasn’t,” Robinson noted. “I thought the match turned out actually pretty good. He was just fantastic.
“The only problem I had with Savage was about a week later, after my match, which was in a sold-out RCA Dome in St. Louis, they were hanging from the rafters. A week later, Ric Flair and I, we teamed up to take on Madusa and Savage. They called it a mixed tag match. I think they were saying I was part of the other mixed, but of course, Savage and Madusa, they were going over.
“They were going to be the winners and Savage was going to do the elbow on somebody. And Ric Flair looked at me and said, ‘It ain’t gonna be me.’ I was volunteered to take the elbow drop from Savage, and unfortunately, he landed on me and he put me in the hospital for a couple weeks. He collapsed my lung [and] cracked some vertebrae in my back, and my wrestling career was over.”
Robinson acknowledged that his in-ring wrestling career was short. However, he noted that a career as a referee tends to be longer than an in-ring performer, and despite the original plan being him and Flair teaming up throughout the summer, he felt things worked out the way they were supposed to.
“It was very, very short but it all worked out because I find that a referee’s career tends to be a little bit longer than an in-ring performer, as a wrestler,” Robinson pointed out. “I was supposed to tour with Ric all summer long. We were supposed to tag. Well if that would have happened, who knows what it would’ve done to my referee career. I’m of the mindset things worked out the way they were supposed to.”
Robinson talked about being a Flair fan ever since he was a kid, even to the point of having his mom bleaching his hair. He also told a story about buying Flair a Coke.
“I always looked up to him. He was the reason that I had my first dye job,” Robinson revealed. “This is natural now. Seventh grade, my mom, she was a hair stylist – a beautician they called them back then. And she bleached my hair out. And from then on, I wore warm-up jackets that I put rhinestones, and sequins, and feathers, and I wore those around the school so everyone knew my love for the Nature Boy.
“Once, I finally got to meet him. First time I met him, I was in Rocky Mount, NC – Ric Flair against Wahoo McDaniel. I was staying with the cousin of mine. He took me to the show and I went down to see Ric. He was standing over by one of the dugouts and he gave me a dollar. And he says, ‘Go buy me a soda.’ So I went and got this guy a Coca-Cola, went back down, gave him his Coke, and gave him his change. He didn’t give me a tip, Corey!”
Robinson praised Flair for being one of the greatest in the business. He also praised Flair for his ability to tell stories and how every story Flair tells is “the greatest story ever.”
“Just to work with Ric was just phenomenal. I’ve always looked up to him,” Robinson stated. “I think he’s definitely one of the greatest workers in the ring ever. One of the greatest talkers, has so much charisma, so just to be able to hang out with him and to hear his stories– his memory is so great. I’ve forgotten everything. He’ll say, ‘Yeah, this was on the 13th, 1982.’ It’s like, how do you remember that?
“The buildings, I have so much trouble remembering anything like that. I love it because no matter what story he tells, he’ll say this is the greatest story ever. 30 minutes later, oh, this is the greatest story ever. I just love it, but all of his stories are the greatest story ever.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.