GILBERTO Shows His Love For Ric Flair In His Review Of NATURE BOY.

Share Button

FILM REVIEW: ESPN 30 FOR 30: NATURE BOY

BY GILBERT CAMPA

Over the last six years ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series has provided us with some of the greatest stories on the athletes, teams and important figures in sports and entertainment. Some of my favorite 30 for 30 documentaries include “The U & The U Part. 2”, “No Crossover”, “The Fab Five”, “Bad Boys”, “This Magic Moment”, “Believeland”, “This was the XFL”, “O.J. Made In America”, “Broke”, “Sole man”, “Requiem for the Big East”, and “I Hate Christian Laettner” just to name a few.

And with the majority of the documentaries that they have done a lot of them haven’t really dealt too closely with professional wrestling which is sad because from the 1920’s to today audiences have been captivated by the countless wrestling superstars who have inspired, entertained and left many wrestling fans like myself left speechless with what they do. As a lifelong fan of professional wrestling I was so happy that ESPN along with director Rory Karpf put this documentary together about arguably the greatest wrestler of all time “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Unlike his countless DVD’s and WWE produced original programming we all know the story of Ric Flair that spans almost 40 years, but what do we know about Richard Fliehr, the man behind the character ? That is what this documentary examines as the director put it “yes, even if you are a wrestling fan or not, this is still an amazing human character story”, and Karpf did not hold back any punches when it came to asking tough questions which lead to incredible reveals that we have never seen before when it comes to Ric Flair.

There were also many people interviewed for this documentary who were either contemporaries and friends of Flair (Jim Cornette, Triple H, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Stephanie McMahon, Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Hulk Hogan, Jim Ross, Tony Shiovane, Road Warrior Animal), or other people in the entertainment and sports business (Snoop Dogg, Michelle Beadle, Tom Brady, etc.) that were influenced by The Nature Boy.

This documentary shed a great light into how Ric Flair elevated the wrestling business and influenced an entire generation of athletes, music artist, and anyone who wanted to be successful at some point in their life. Flair was (and still is) the ultimate fantasy that every man wants to live and many fans who grew up watching Flair lived vicariously through him which makes his influence and legacy unlike anyone else. But even with the money, the planes, the expensive clothes, the women and the traveling, it wasn’t all good for Flair. Unfortunately Flair has dealt with a lot of personal issues in his life that partly came from his upbringing and lack of attention from his adoptive parents, and also from the massive success that he has achieved in professional wrestling which pretty much has consumed his life. Add to the fact that he was a heavy drinker (which is examined in a funny way during the documentary) and you have a recipe for one fascinating character study.

But everything isn’t tragic with Flair, the recent success that his daughter Ashley (Charlotte Flair) has been having in the WWE women’s division so far has given Ric the greatest pleasure and happiness in his life to see her be successful and do things that he can never do. Ironically he now lives vicariously through her which is another reason to keep him going (especially with his recent health scare just a few months before this came out). This documentary doesn’t shame or put a bad name to professional wrestling which I really appreciated; in fact it shows just how great the business really is and all of the success that one can have, but just like other all time greats such as Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady or Derek Jeter…there can only be one NATURE BOY! WOOHOO!

 

FINAL WORD: