On a recent episode of The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair joined fellow WWE Hall Of Famer, Steve Austin. Among other things, Ric talked about his health scare, being able to take bumps.
On the topic of health care, Flair revealed that he started drinking alcohol when he was 15 years old and drank every day while he was in pro wrestling.
“Everybody’s blaming it on drinking, but I started drinking, probably, as a kid as young as 15, not obviously on a regular basis. When I was in high school, I was going to a high school in Wisconsin, and you could drink beer when you’re only 18, and, of course, we did and that leads to everything [else].
And then, I got into the [pro wrestling] business and people thought I was ribbing them or was being facetious when I’d tell people in that 30 For 30 that we drank every day. I said, ‘I drank every day I worked’ and they’d say, ‘well, how many days did you work then?’ And I’d say, ‘I worked every day, twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday.’
And I didn’t drink twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday, but when Saturday and Sunday were over I drank probably double the amount depending on how long I had to wrestle that day because sometimes I would do two hours a day with guys like [Bob] Orton, or [Ricky] Steamboat, or Harley [Race], or [Jack] Briscoe.”
According to Ric, he collapsed while working on a business deal and was rushed to a hospital. He claimed that he has no recollection of anything for 2 months, he came to know that was in a medically induced coma for 12 days to deal with the pain and he was in the ICU for 31 days.
“A friend of mine came into town from Dallas [Texas]. He was putting together a deal to sign autographs for personalized alligator cowboy boots. It was a boot company in Texas. So I made the deal with him. He came on Thursday, and when we were done on Thursday, he, I, and the boot guy went out Thursday.
Then, I went home at about 10 o’clock. We got started at 11 in the morning. He went to Buckhead. And then, the next day, he came by and we went back hard at 11 in the morning and he went to the airport at 5 [pm]. And I just doubled over literally where I was standing. I felt great when he took me to the hospital. I don’t remember anything after for two months. I was in a coma for 12 days, ICU for 31 days.
I had kidney failure, respiratory heart failure, I was septic, and I had pneumonia all at one time, so I guess I was in so much pain they had to induce a coma because Wendy said I was just screaming. They couldn’t give me enough medicine. And then, it took 12 hours to get me ready for surgery.
And then, 12 days in a coma and 31 days I had to sit in intensive care. And then, I had to go to a rehab facility to learn how to walk and just starting from scratch again. I didn’t have any memory of anything until the first of November.”
Ric said surviving the ordeal was nothing short of a miracle.
“It’s a miracle, Steve. I literally look at it like a miracle. The doctor told me it was a miracle and after I look back at everything and coming to realize what actually took place, it is a miracle. People were writing me off.”
Flair also said that he does 500 free squats a day and that he has been cleared doctors to take bumps again.
“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. 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 [Austin] know[s] the clearances you have to have with the health policy, which is so adamant.”
h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.