Who needs morphine after surgery when you have a 12-pack of beer.
Ric Flair was the first guest on Sean Waltman's new Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast, where he spoke about their time together in WCW, working with Kevin Greene, and their mutual respect for each other and the friendship that has come from it.
At one point during the conversation, Flair addressed how he avoided drugs over the course of his career. According to the 16-time World Champion, he never even took pain pills, something Waltman says a lot of guys were using just to get through their matches. Flair said the following:
"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.'"
Beyond the anxiety, The Nature Boy shared that his father, who was a doctor, put the fear of God in him about the dangers of doing drugs. He also mentioned that when he was first starting out in the business, some of his contemporaries tried to use him and his father as a way of getting prescription pills. Here's what happened:
"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."
Flair then told the story of his second rotator cuff surgery, and how he paid a nurse $100 to get him a 12-pack of beer because the Morphine and Demerol weren't doing anything to help him manage the pain. Here are all the details:
"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. But I got up in the morning and I got off the Demerol, right, and I got up in the morning and you remember Kevin Wilk from down there? 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 was hospitalized in 2017 and placed into a medically induced coma after being admitted with kidney and heart-related issues. The doctors did not believe he would survive. During this time, he was operated on to remove an obstructive piece from his bowel. Thankfully, Flair awoke from the coma. He shared some of the details of his recovery. This is what he said:
"I think that [Demerol] was what they used on me I think when I was in a coma. They might have used Morphine, but when I woke up, and actually I didn't wake up for... I woke up, but I don't remember anything for 30 days, and that's probably what was great that I had a chance to heal because my incision was from right here under my pecs all the way to my groin. I mean major. So I was really lucky, Sean. I lost 43 pounds. I couldn't even pop a cap off a Diet Coke, and I had a Stoma... I had that for a year, and I didn't know until I got home to Wendy's house and in the chair that I had the Stoma.
Waltman asked what effect this had on him mentally and if there was a point where he thought the Stoma might not be removed. Flair replied by saying the following:
No, the guy wanted to wait a year. We waited a year and I went in and unbeknownst to me because the doctors don't tell you this, but they tell your wife or whoever is involved in your health care. First of all, I left the hospital [and] they didn't give me 6 months to live, so they didn't make plans. So when I got better, I went in and they operated on me. One day, two day, three day, four, five, six, seven. Nothing working. On the tenth day, I remember because I texted Vince [McMahon] because he was checking on me every day, and on the tenth day they told Wendy in the morning, they said, 'If it doesn't work today we have to go back and put the bag back on.' At noon it worked."
Four years removed that health scare, Flair is no longer concerned with old grudges and things of the sort as he admits that he has more pressing concerns. That said, he is thankful to be alive and is cherishing every day.
Ric had recently been appearing on WWE TV in an angle with Lacey Evans and his daughter, but all of that was put on hold after the Sassy Southern Belle announced that she was pregnant.
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