Chappell: Good afternoon Ric.
Thank you so much for giving [the
Mid-Atlantic Gateway] a little bit of
time to talk about your new book, Ric
Flair: To Be The Man, and to do a
little reminiscing about Mid-Atlantic
…thank you very much.
I think I speak for your many
Mid-Atlantic fans, in that we’re all
thrilled at long last you’ve written
Thank you again. Mid-Atlantic
Championship Wrestling is where I
started…that’s where I got my
beginning. And that’s something that
will always be part of my life. It’s
something that I’ll always remember.
By my count, there are ten
chapters in your book that are devoted
strictly to the Mid-Atlantic area and
Jim Crockett Promotions. And there are
many references to those early days in
other parts of the book as well. Tell
us about your start in the Crockett
You know, I was fortunate enough
to come there at the right time. I was
fortunate enough to be under the
tutelage of both Wahoo McDaniel and
I was fortunate enough to stay for a
long time, which was another unusual
situation…to stay in one place for a
long time and enjoy that level and
quality of life.
Back in those days, that was
A lot of guys at that time, almost
everybody, was moving around from
territory to territory. I was able to
stay in one city, one area, my entire
I was pretty fortunate. And when I
look back on it…it was pretty
When you look back at the
Mid-Atlantic years, what jumps out at
you? You were certainly maturing as a
wrestler; you had many a great match
in the ring; you had a lot of good
times; you went to a lot of great
places and towns; you made many great
friends. What stands out?
(pauses) I think the friendships I
developed there. And the fact that the
territory was growing, and I was
fortunate enough to be part of the
branch that it grew on.
became kind of a fixture because, as I
said before, I was in the right place
at the right time.
When I looked at the
Acknowledgements section in the book,
Ric, I couldn’t help but notice how
many Mid-Atlantic figures were
mentioned there by name. To me, that
says a lot about your feelings about
the Mid-Atlantic area.
Scott; Wahoo McDaniel, Ricky
Steamboat; Bob Caudle,
Arn Anderson…are all mentioned by
name in the Acknowledgements. I’d
like you to talk about each one of
those persons, if you would.
Of course…I’d be happy to.
The first is George Scott, who
you’ve already mentioned briefly.
George was booking the Crockett
territory when you first started.
the Acknowledgments section, you said
George Scott, ‘took a kid who was
rough around the edges and molded him
into a champion.’
Yeah…he really did. I mean, I
came in there a green kid. And even
though I was fortunate enough to be
around Wahoo, who helped me develop as
a wrestler, George helped me develop
my personality and my persona. George
helped me with those things a lot.
I also heard George could be very
tough on the wrestlers. Blackjack
Mulligan called him affectionately to
a section in the book where you
describe George making you take your
back brace off soon after you returned
after the 1975 Wilmington, North
Carolina plane crash…
Then you mention later in the
book, that in 1979 you asked George if
you could miss a TV taping at the WRAL
studios when your son
was born in Minneapolis. George
basically told you that you could go
up there, but when you came back you
wouldn’t have a job.
Well, on that, nobody had time
off. We didn’t take time off. I just
began to realize, that George actually
made me tough to the business. He
helped make me tough…which I had to
had to be a pretty tough guy, and
pretty insensitive, to survive back
I can only imagine…
It was a very insensitive, very
hard, business. And if you didn’t
work…you didn’t get paid.
Bottom line business.
If you missed a date…you lost
your spot. That’s just the way it
You just couldn’t call in and take
two or three days off.