Ric Flair has discussed avoiding drugs throughout his illustrious wrestling career, preferring beer to morphine after serious surgery.
Flair was speaking to Sean Waltman on Waltman’s new Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast. During the discussion Flair mentioned that he had avoided taking painkillers during his career. Something that was commonplace amongst wrestlers of Flair’s generation.
“The one thing you know about me, I don’t take anything. My only good thing I’ve ever done is stayed away from drugs. Even marijuana. I did one [smoked a joint] in college. I’m not saying I haven’t tried. In college, I tried it. One, and it gave me so much anxiety. Never again. Some people like that feeling of being loose and kind of out of control, I’ve never liked that. I mean, I’ve had Jack Brisco hold me down at a party, wrestle me to the ground and try to get me to do something. I said to Jack, ‘I’m not doing it.'”
The 16-time world champion then divulged it was his father – a doctor – that had warned Flair to steer clear of drugs:
“My dad put the fear of God in me about doing drugs and stuff like that. What happened was – I’m not going to mention names – when I first started in Minneapolis with all the guys there, and you can go back and look at the territory. Everybody from Nick Bockwinkel to Ray Stevens to Dusty [Rhodes] to [Dick] Murdoch, Billy Graham. Everybody.”
“When they found out my dad was a doctor – I missed a training camp. I had five guys asking me to get scripts from my dad. Of course, I went to my dad. He went, ‘yeah, I don’t mind doing one, but then the second time around he said, ‘what are these guys doing? That was supposed to last. I can’t do that anymore.’ He thought, ‘okay, I’ll do this for my son. It’s going to help him be – but my dad was very ethical, man. When the second time around [shakes head], absolutely not. But I didn’t get it either, you know what I mean? It’s the same thing, ‘if you can take one Bennie [Benzedrine] and get a little bit of a buzz, well, take two, you’ll get double the buzz, or take three.’ It’s like Ephedrine. That’s why they can’t sell the stuff anymore.”
Ric Flair then recounted a shoulder surgery that forced him to take morphine, and then Demerol for the pain. Although as Flair noted, he found something else more effective:
“Every time I’ve had surgery I can’t even do morphine because it gives me anxiety, really bad. As a matter of fact, when I had my Rotator Cuff done, the second one in Birmingham, they took me off the morphine and they put me on Demerol, which wasn’t doing much at all. I said to the nurse, ‘I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you’ll get me a 12-pack of beer. The nurse went when they got off and got me a 12-pack of beer and brought it back.”
“So I went down to rehab and they don’t let you leave there until you can raise your arm over your shoulder. So I didn’t have any painkillers. I thought this will be no big deal. I could feel it hurt, but before they put that crank, you know they lift it up slowly. Brother, I was sweating like – I mean I was so bad. So we got with Demerol and I’ve had Demerol.”
Ric Flair recently discussed who he would like to see break his record for title reigns. Flair is currently recognised by WWE as having sixteen world championship reigns – tied with John Cena.