ESPN 30 for 30 'Nature Boy': TV Schedule and Preview for Ric Flair Documentary

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterNovember 7, 2017


The limousine-riding, jet-flying wrestling legend Ric Flair is set to get the ESPN 30 for 30 treatment.

The documentary Nature Boy retraces the WWE Hall of Famer's journey to squared circle stardom. His braggadocious interviews will be on display. As will highlights of his in-ring career and the low points of his personal life.

Nature Boy will premiere on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Rory Karpf, the man behind I Hate Christian Laettner, directed the 30 for 30 special on Flair. During the film's 90-minute runtime, viewers will see clips of Flair chopping foes in the chest, tearing them apart on the mic and discussing his life behind the curtains.

The Flair documentary will feature interviews with names Undertaker, Triple H and Arn Anderson, as well as the 16-time world champ's first wife Leslie Jacobs.

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As Awful Announcing's Andrew Bucholtz noted, this is the first time the 30 for 30 series has touched on pro wrestling. The film doesn't approach this look in on this scripted world in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Rather, it showcases the grueling nature of the business.

The Nature Boy himself talked about that element of the film during a screening discussion in Atlanta (h/t John Canton of Uproxx). "It really depicts how hard we work as wrestlers," Flair said. "There's no other sport or any other physical activity in the world like us."

But where Nature Boy is likely to hook non-wrestling fans is its emotional core.

Flair's life is a fascinating one, a cautionary tale. He has suffered well-documented financial problems. He's gone through several divorces. And his drinking and partying tales are the stuff of legend.

This film will be a chance for many to discover the dichotomy of Flair's in-ring persona and real-life issues.

Sports Illustrated columnist Richard Deitsch praised the film, calling it "a compelling watch." He also noted that the documentary's talking heads don't shy away from Flair's warts.

"Those close to Flair are honest about his strengths and weaknesses," Deitsch wrote. "Triple H discusses forcing him to get help for his alcohol problem and says he uses Flair as an example for young wrestlers that you can have it all but still end up in a precarious spot." 

This will be no glossy rewrite of history. This will be Flair's life in a raw and real form.

ESPN chose wisely for its first 30 for 30 foray into wrestling. The Nature Boy is not only an icon in the business but a complicated, enthralling subject.