WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair was hospitalized over the weekend, and a statement released by his management seemed to indicate that Flair’s hospitalization was only for "routine monitoring." That proved to not be the case.
Fightful.com founder Jimmy Van was the first to report Monday morning that Flair had been placed into a medically induced coma.
Fightful confirmed with WWE that Flair was indeed in a coma, and would be undergoing surgery. Jimmy Van also mentioned that the hospitalization stemmed from a bacterial infection as well as alcohol related issues. Since then, Flair has completed successful surgery, reported by Dave Meltzer to be colon surgery to remove a blockage, with Meltzer saying that Flair was still in bad shape.
Fightful's Jimmy Van was told that Flair was improving following surgery and that although he was still in critical condition, there was optimism that Flair will be okay.
Flair's fiancee and former wrestling talent Wendy Barlow later posted an update on her Facebook page, saying that Flair didn't have colon surgery as many reported, and he remains in critical condition.
UPDATE: According to a new report in Sports Illustrated, Ric Flair had an obstruction in his intestine, that when operated on, ended up requiring the removal of part of his bowel. Complications from that surgery, exacerbated by the 68-year-old's excessive alcohol use, may keep Flair hospitalized for over a month.
Flair was apparently always scheduled to undergo surgery this week, but it's unclear if this was the planned surgery, just moved up, or a different surgery altogether. His manager Melinda indicated that the issue was not heart related as many other outlets speculated.
According to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, Flair was admitted to a hospital on August 12 by his family and was taken to the ICU. His manager sent out a statement saying that Flair was not in serious trouble and that he checked in for routine monitoring.
“Yes, Ric is checked into a hospital for some routine monitoring. No, there is no reason to panic. Yes, we’d like to thank his fiancé & the incredible hospital staff who are providing the best care. No, we cannot answer any personal questions. Yes, Ric would want you to go out and have a great weekend … Nature Boy style!”
Flair's daughter Charlotte was not with him when he was admitted as she was in China representing WWE as the company is set to release the WWE Network in the country for the first time.
The 68-year-old Hall of Famer has not appeared on WWE television for some time, but was a part of the PGA Championship, introducing the golf tournament with a hype video.