“I Felt I Was Lost” – WWE Icon Ric Flair Reveals Unknown Details on His Battle With Anxiety

Published 05/13/2021, 9:15 AM EDT


For the most part of his 35-year-long career, Ric Flair has been a marquee player. Often regarded as the ‘face’ of the company, Flair enjoyed stardom and in-ring supremacy.

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However, the ‘Nature Boy’ also suffered from anxiety throughout his career. Flair has been very vocal about it, and in the latest interview with Ariel Helwani, he revealed many unknown details of his battle with anxiety.

ATHENS, GA – SEPTEMBER 29: Rick Flair during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers on September 29, 2018, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Despite being the “model of self-confidence,” and being juggled around between WCW and WWE, Flair felt at home when he was in the ring. However, that soon changed.

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“That was my job. I loved doing it and I didn’t see it as work. But anxiety… I have wrestled matches where I could not feel my hands,” Flair said. “I had what’s called agoraphobia (fear of places, situations, people) for a while too, where I could not get myself to leave the house.”

Flair revealed the disorder started in the 90s. He had just come back from a wrestling tour with Arn Anderson, and Kevin Sullivan.

“For about a month, I would have a hard time driving out of my driveway and go into the airport to catch flights.

I felt I was lost, I could not attach myself to it, I was not having any fun. It is hard to explain, but wrestling when you can’t feel your hands, especially when I’m gonna do a flip or I’m pushing off somebody for a backdrop, or take a press slam or something… it was brutal.

Ric Flair had self-confidence issues when he went back to WWE

When Ric came back to WWE in 2001,he had a strict non-compete clause. Thus, he refused to wrestle with Vince McMahon.

I had self-confidence issues when they brought me back, but I didn’t experience any of that (before). When I went back, I was never supposed to wrestle again.”

However, Ric wrestled Vince in a street fight match at Royal Rumble 2002. He went on to have matches with The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and more before retiring in 2008.

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“I looked back at matches and it was so bad,” Flair said. “I could have been so much better. With Shawn Michaels when I retired I was 59. Everything worked physically, I could take every bump in the world, anything. But I didn’t have it here (points to his head).

Although his retirement match is considered one of the best in history, Flair thinks he could have been better if he was not so “preoccupied.” You can check the full interview below –

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It is surprising to see how a successful person like Flair suffered from such acute anxiety. Flair’s confession acts as a testament to the creeping and crippling nature of the disorder.

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Angana Roy

1266 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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