On the latest episode of Neal Pruitt’s Secrets of WCW Nitro podcast, Pruitt welcomed the director of ESPN’s “30 for 30” on two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair, Rory Karpf. Karpf discussed Ric’s relationship with David Flair, ESPN’s reaction to the original version of the documentary, Shawn Michaels’ reaction to a quote from Flair in the film, and Flair’s relationship with Hulk Hogan. Here are the highlights:
Ric’s relationship with David Flair:
“I think it’s probably a strained relationship. Things change every time I talk to Ric [about it]. I don’t think they have very much in common, but I know Ric loves his son. I know [David] came to the hospital to see [Ric], so that was pretty big…but I think Ric is definitely closer to Megan and Ashley for sure.”
ESPN’s reaction to the first version of the film:
“We did three completely different rough cuts…the first one was a very linear progression of Ric’s story. [For] cut two, we really made the film all about 1980’s wrestling, so much so that some other people were featured as well. It was really about 1980s culture and kind of the boom of ’80s wrestling. ESPN hated that cut. They thought it was terrible.”
Shawn Michaels’ reaction to a Flair quote in the documentary:
“I said to [Shawn], ‘Ric said he wants to be remembered as the greatest wrestler’. Shawn just kind of nodded his head and he goes, ‘that’s really somethin’, huh?’ [Shawn] started talking about the wrestling business, and he said that ‘wrestling is really a business…it doesn’t love you back, nor should it’. I thought he had a lot of insight [in that way]. I don’t think this part made the film…but he said ‘y’know, wrestling, it’s a pretty silly thing’. He said he loves it, and it’s fun, but he can’t imagine it taking precedence over [his] family. He said [that] seems ridiculous to him.”
Flair’s relationship with Hulk Hogan:
“Those two have really become pretty good friends over the last couple of years. Ric said he wasn’t surprised to hear [Hulk] put him over like that [in the movie]. From what I understand, they had maybe a little bit of a strained relationship going back to WCW, but then Hogan brought him to TNA, Hogan loaned him some money, they went on a tour together. In fact… when Ric was in hospital, from what I was told, Hogan visited him twice – and was the first person to visit him – whereas a lot of wrestlers you might think [would] visit him didn’t even reach out.
“[Hogan] sent me a really nice email that I thought was really kind. Mainly again – even in the email – Hogan put over Ric. I’m hoping that Hogan will get to come back into wrestling, because that’s where he belongs, and I think that’s his number one love as well as [Flair].”
You can listen to Karpf’s interview on Secrets of WCW Nitro by clicking this link here.