For any wrestling fans who enjoy taking looks behind the kayfabe curtain, Vice's Dark Side of the Ring docu-series is a treasure trove of scandals and accusations from all across the world of pro wrestling. The most recent Season 3 episode centered on the infamous "Plane Ride From Hell" that followed the WWE's UK-set pay-per-view event Insurrextion in 2002, and which led to several wrestlers losing their jobs, while others (such as former WWE superstar and exec Ric Flair) facing other consequences for their actions. While much of the information in the Dark Side episode wasn't new or groundbreaking, Flair once again came under fire for sexual misconduct allegations made at the time.
To briefly sum up Ric Flair's reported involvement in the exceedingly drunken plane ride, the wrestling icon allegedly walked around wearing just his signature in-ring robe, which wasn't noted for being tightly closed. Two flight attendants claimed that Flair grabbed each of the women's hands and made them touch his genitals, while one further alleged that he forcibly restrained her in the back of the airplane and sexually assaulted her. While Flair denied the claims at the time, the women eventually filed a lawsuit that was settled out of court by the WWE, without any of those details going public.
Following a weekend full of wrestler-fueled commentary about the Dark Side of the Ring episode, Ric Flair took to social media with quite a lengthy statement, although it was one that curiously changed a couple of times through deleted posts. In his words:
While it arguably makes circumstantial sense to point to the life-spanning 30 for 30 docu-series installment "Nature Boy" as a defense, neither the installment nor filmmaker Rory Karpf's discretion hold much water as legitimate proof of anything. And it's also a strange move for Flair to imply Karpf is a liar except for when he's talking about not finding other incidents of alleged sexual misconduct, since that just inspires further scrutiny. It probably also doesn't help that Ric Flair's pro wrestling persona was glorified for being god's gift to womankind, and that recognition hasn't exactly worn off.
Still, Ric Flair went on to defend himself by pointing to all of the past indiscretions that he has owned up to, including his battles with substance abuse, as well as making quite a few regretful choices that affected his family and relationships.
Following his Twitter response Ric Flair then released another statement to Wrestling Inc., providing some clarification regarding accusations about him swinging his penis around on the plane ride. In his words:
It remains to be seen if anything further will come from this. It's possible the Dark Side of the Ring co-creators could provide further commentary or evidence of what went on in that infamous trip that ended Curt Henning and Scott Hall's then-current stints with the WWE. Or maybe the upcoming episodes about Chris Kanyon and the XPW will have fans taking the conversation elsewhere.
Dark Side of the Ring airs new episodes on Vice on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to keep up with all the other big shows hitting the small screen soon with our 2021 Fall TV schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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