Before Steve Austin took to interviewing Ric Flair on the latest episode of The Steve Austin Show, “The Texas Rattlesnake,” one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, made the case as to why “The Nature Boy” is indeed that, citing the man’s toughness and longevity as two big nods for rightfully having ownership to the letters G-O-A-T. (Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone):
“If you know anything about me, if you know anything about professional wrestling, you know that Ric Flair, and this is a subjective subject, but if you have any common sense, Ric Flair is the greatest professional wrestler that ever lived. When you look at the body of work, when you look at the promos, when you look at the in-ring activity, when you look at the world title defended all around the world, everybody knows that Ric Flair is the man. So, I tried to basically pattern the beginning part of my career after him that’s how big of an influence he was on me.
“I consider Ric Flair to be one of the toughest men I’ve ever met my life.You look at all the turnbuckles he took, all the backdrops, all the slams off the top rope, all of hitting the turnbuckle, flipping over it, landing outside, all that shit. Tellin’ the stories, living the life, you’ve got to understand, and I do, how he was burning the candle at so many ends and what a glorious career he had. Damn near 40 years inside the ring, inside the squared circle.
“As a young person coming up in the business, you have your heroes you have your people you look up and I’ve been fortunate to have so many people like Dr. Tom Prichard, “Gorgeous” Gary Young, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, Bronko Lubich, Skandor Akbar, and so many more – Bret Hart, take me under their wing and give me learnings, give me knowledge, give me 4-1-1, but when you’re sitting there and you’re watching Ric Flair in action, at that close of a distance, and you see what he’s doing you think ‘oh man, he ain’t that good, he ain’t that good, he ain’t that good. Buuullshit! (This is when you’re in your competitive stages) Yeah, he is that good. He’s the greatest to have ever done it.”
You can listen to Steve Austin’s interview with Flair below as they talk Ric’s health, Charlotte Flair, and the classic days of the “one true sport” by going here.