At the age of 69, Ric Flair has stated he has been cleared to jump back into the ring.
This surprising announcement comes just over a year after the WWE veteran recovered from multiple organ failure. While in hospital, doctors removed part of Flair’s bowel, and inserted a pacemaker into his body.
Flair narrowly escaped death, with his family having been informed he only had a 20 per cent chance of survival. At one point, he was even put in a medically induced coma.
However, it will apparently take more than a terrifyingly close brush with death to keep the 16-time world champion out of the ring…
Speaking on The Steve Austin Show Flair described how he has been cleared to ‘do anything,’ and this reportedly includes getting ‘knocked down in the ring’:
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.
The unstoppable WWE legend proceeded to add:
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. I didn’t know if they were going to use me in some capacity and you know the clearances you have to have with the health policy, which is so adamant.
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) December 9, 2018
Speaking candidly about his health issues during an interview with People in September 2017, Flair admitted his health issues were due to years of alcohol abuse.
Flair told People how he would use alcohol as a tonic for dealing with the physical pain and injuries which come with a wrestling career, as well as a means of bonding with other professional wrestlers.
I never drank when I was working. But as soon as work was over, I went right to the mill.
He continued to reveal a healthier approach to life going forward:
I’ll never drink again. I never want to go through this again.
Flair has not wrestled in the WWE since losing to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania a decade ago in 2008. This had been billed as his retirement match, but it appears there could still be plenty of fight left in Nature Boy yet.
Could we soon be looking at a 17-time world champion, or is it time Flair put his feet up and enjoyed his well-earned retirement?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.