BRISTOL, Conn., May 23 (UPI) -- "WOOOOO" Nation unite.
ESPN is currently in the editing stages of the '30 for 30' series 'Nature Boy.' The documentary will profile the life and career of Ric Flair and be directed by Rory Karpf. Karpf also directed 'I Hate Christian Laettner' and 'The Book of Manning.'
"In the wrestling world, the viewer isn't sure what's real or what isn't, but 'Nature Boy'–Ric Flair wasn't just a character," Karpf said in an interview, according to Sports Illustrated. "He was real. The wrestler he portrayed in the ring was also the man he was outside the ring. I found that to be fascinating. He's led a crazy life that's a natural for a 30 for 30. Plus I just love pro wrestling."
The 90 to 120 minute documentary could debut this fall, but currently has some scenes left to shoot and archival work to be completed.
Flair, 67, was perhaps the most flamboyant in a wrestling world composed of flamboyance. His trademark bleach blonde hair, huge sunglasses, and Miami-Vice style suits made him an immediate style icon in the sport throughout the 1980's.
"The unmistakable strut," The WWE website says of Flair. "The overdramatic flop. The flagrant low blow. The..."Woooooooo!"
"Such an animated performer like Ric Flair can't be encapsulated in words. He's a man of vibrant actions and endless sound bites. If Dean Malenko is "The Man of 1,000 Holds," then Flair is absolutely "The Man of 1,000 Faces" – each one more flushed red with intensity than the last."
"There was a time when Flair didn't blaze through arenas like a fireball of charisma, but that was before he found his calling as "The Nature Boy." Prior to stealing kisses, flying on jets and riding in limousines, the 16-time World Heavyweight Champion was an adopted, brown-haired kid in Minnesota with a chip on his shoulder."
Flair began his wrestling career at a Wisconsin boarding school. From there, he won state championships in 1966 and 1968. But he attended the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship. After dropping out of Minnesota, Flair worked as a nightclub bouncer where he met Olympic weightlifter Ken Patera. Patera introduced Flair to trainer Verne Gagne. The rest is history.
Flair entered American Wrestling Association camp in 1971, where he made a name for himself. He went on to become 10-time AWA World Heavyweight champ. But his career was derailed along the way.
"Leaving for the Mid-Atlantic region of the National Wrestling Alliance in 1974 looked like a promising choice until a serious plane crash in North Carolina broke his back in three places," his WWE profile says. "At just 26, he was told by doctors that he would never perform again. If Flair was going to defy the odds, he'd have to not only rehab, but adapt. He'd have to wave goodbye to the hefty brawler he resembled in the ring and learn how to be a crafty son of a gun – the "dirtiest player in the game."
Flair returned to NWA to win the United States title several times, while 'The Nature Boy' rose to fame. Flair claimed the NWA World Heavyweight belt and later became the first wrestler to also hold the WCW World Heavyweight belt at the same time. Flair left WCW to win two belts in WWE in 1991 and 1992, before returning.
Flair would continue wrestling into his 50's, even co-owning the WWE. In 2008, Flair became the first active performer inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He joined his team, 'The Four Horsemen,' in the Hall of Fame in 2012, to become the only-two-time inductee.
"Well, it's my whole life," Flair said of the documentary on his podcast 'WOOOOO! Nation' last year. "It's got a little bit to do with my airplane crash, of course, and then coming back from that. And then the titles and the championships and it touches a lot on my personal life, which has been up and down. Right now, it's perfect, but I had a couple rough years there. And it talks about my son, Reid. [ESPN] wanted to talk about him, how special he was to me. And then, a lot about Ashley, Charlotte, who is now the champion in WWE, the Divas division. And about my other two children, Megan and David. So, it was very nice. And then, it talked about where I am today."
Flair has been married four times. He had four children, before his son Reid died in 2013 form a heroin overdose. His daughter Ashley wrestles under the name Charlotte and his son David also spent time in the ring.
Flair is listed at 6-feet, one-inch, 243-pounds. The Charlotte, N.C. product's signature move is the figure-four leglock. His film will also allegedly feature: Sting, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Ricky Steamboat, and commentator Jim Ross.