Part of Ric Flair’s legacy as an all-time wrestling great is the number of world titles he’s won, but even he admitted that he wasn’t ready when he won his first.
Flair won his first world title in September 1981 when he defeated Dusty Rhodes to capture the NWA World Heavyweight title, but when asked about it on a recent episode of “Broken Skull Sessions,” Flair didn’t think he was ready to be a world champion. The two-time WWE Hall of Famer said he had to learn how to work with other people and noted that he wasn’t a total success everywhere he went.
“The first time I won it, I wasn’t ready. I traveled around and boy, I stunk the joint out. I had to learn to work with everybody. I had been working with Wahoo McDaniel, a great worker, Paul Jones, good worker, Jack Mulligan, good worker. I was thinking to myself, I win a title, fly down to West Palm my first night after winning the title and I wrestled a kid I had never wrestled before. It was an hour and we struggled and it just got worse. Now, I went back to the Carolinas, huge money. But Kansas City, I didn’t draw. Portland I drew if they brought in Piper. San Juan and those guys, no problems in Puerto Rico. That was a hot territory. In Japan I drew at first, but I was intimidated until I got used to it,” Flair said.
Flair would also go on to say that he felt a lot better winning his second world title in 1983 when he defeated Harley Race. Afterwards, he captured world titles with WCW and WWF in the years since that first title victory.
In addition, Flair also spoke on his run in TNA and you can check out his comments at this link. If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Fightful for the transcription.