WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair has been trending on Twitter since last night’s Dark Side of the Ring season 3B premiere episode, which told the story of WWE’s infamous “Plane Ride from Hell” that took place on May 5, 2002.
The episode included a story on how Flair allegedly exposed himself to a flight attendant. Flair was later sued in 2004 by two flight attendants, Taralyn Cappellano and Heidi Doyle. Doyle appeared on Dark Side of the Ring and talked about Flair’s behavior.
‘I was in the galley,” she said. “Ric Flair was naked in a cape only, and then he decided to come back to the galley to get a coke and then he wouldn’t leave the galley. He had me up against the back door, and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get away from him… I couldn’t… I couldn’t move. He was spinning around his penis and he wanted me to touch it. He took my hand and put it on him.”
It was noted on the episode how Flair has denied the allegations in the past, and a settlement was reached between the plaintiffs and WWE. A Grantland.com article on Flair from 2011 provided the following details from the original lawsuit:
“In May, Fliehr (Ric Flair) and a group of other wrestlers, including Scott Hall (‘Razor Ramon’) and Virgil Runnels III (‘Dustin Rhodes a.k.a. Goldust’) were on a chartered flight back to the United States after a series of shows in Europe. They began drinking, and the situation quickly deteriorated. Two flight attendants, Taralyn Cappellano and Heidi Doyle, would compile their allegations into a 2004 lawsuit. Chief among the chronicled misdeeds was Fliehr’s sexual aggression. He wore nothing but a jeweled cape, the flight attendants said, and ‘flashed his nakedness, spinning his penis around.’ He separately grabbed each woman’s hand and placed it on his crotch, and then ‘forcibly detained and restrained’ Doyle ‘from leaving the back of the galley of the airplane while he sexually assaulted her.’ Other wrestlers on the flight passed out syringes to the flight attendants with instructions to dispose of them. The specifics of the assault aren’t clear. At other points during the flight, Hall licked Doyle’s face, told her he wanted to ‘lick her p_ssy,’ and asked Cappellano to ‘suck his d_ck.’ Runnels advised Cappellano that, ‘You and me are gonna f_ck.’”
Tommy Dreamer is also getting significant social media heat today after for how he appeared on DSOTR, defended Flair and appeared to make light of the incident.
“He could move his hips, twirl it and so his well-endowed penis spins around like a helicopter,” Dreamer said. “So, hey, he’s the Nature Boy for a reason, he’s got a hammer on him. Ric Flair’s not going to try to impose by force any sexual stuff onto anybody. He’s just flaunting, styling and profiling, doing the Ric Flair stuff where everybody’s going to laugh about it. But obviously, someone took offence to it.”
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, who currently works for AEW and was the head of WWE Talent Relations at the time, was asked why Flair wasn’t fired while other wrestlers on the flight were, such as WWE Hall of Famers Curt Hennig and Scott Hall, who allegedly tried to lick Doyle. Ross said
“Good question,” JR said after a pause. “I guess, for lack of a better term, he was a made man… He got a pass. Was it the right thing to do? I dunno. You’re listening to it, folks, you decide. He got a pass.”
Regarding WWE settling with the flight attendants, it was noted that Doyle’s husband urged her to take the payout because he didn’t want the story to be made public. Doyle suggested money can silence victims. Dreamer responded and said Doyle should’ve pursued justice if she felt that way.
“If that’s how she felt, maybe she should have not taken a payout and went to the fullest extend of the law to then truly put this heinous person in jail. My opinion,” he said.
The DSOTR episode also featured interviews with WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam, Justin Credible, Mike Chioda and Terri Runnels. The actual plane ride that day included several other WWE Hall of Famers and top stars – Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and wife Linda McMahon, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Sean Waltman, Triple H and Paul Heyman, among others. You can watch the full episode from Vice below:
(H/T to MetroUK for the DSOTR quotes)