Ric Flair is officially recognized by WWE and TNA as a sixteen-time world champion: he has held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship eight times, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times and the WWF Championship twice, although the actual number of his kingdoms varies according to the sources (from sixteen to twenty-five titles).
In 2012 he also became the first wrestler in history to be inducted twice into the WWE Hall of Fame, both individually and as a member of the Four Horsemen. Flair's style and hairstyle are inspired by those of Buddy Rogers, who had used the Nature Boy gimmick before him in the 1950s and 1960s.
Coincidentally, Flair emulated Rogers by becoming the second wrestler to win both the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the WWF Championship. Flair was also the first wrestler to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, having claimed the title after WCW seceded from the NWA in 1991.
On the most recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed Ric Flair’s relationship with Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988.
Jim Ross on Ric Flair
“Ric Flair wore his feelings on his sleeve and he would commiserate.
I talked to him at that time – ‘This was the shits and creative, we’ve got no ideas and there’s nothing fresh.’ But here’s what he was really saying – my money is in jeopardy. And Ric not being unlike anybody else, especially guys that made a lot of money – Ric would share his feelings.
And it wasn’t a secret Ric would entertain those thoughts of leaving. Where else would he go? He’s gonna go to the big dog in the yard, and that’s Vince McMahon’s company. That couldn’t have been a secret or a surprise.
Ric had several of those moments in his life where he was unhappy, he was disenchanted, and if you peeled the onion back a little more, he was concerned about how he would make a living and maintain the lifestyle he’d had established.
No secret there. Luckily he didn’t bolt at that point in time" - Jim Ross said. On why he thinks Ric Flair decided to stay, he added: “I think it was a comfort zone issue. He great up in Mid-Atlantic and grew up working for the Crocketts.
He established his roots, his reputation in the Mid-Atlantic territory. It was home, Conrad. It was home. People thought ‘Well, Tom Brady will always be a Patriot.’ Wrong. He waited until he was 42 to jump. He tried to hang in there, but he said I gotta try something else.
That’s a bold move. I think Ric was in a comfort zone. I believe he had a strong loyalty to Jim Crockett and the Crockett family. We both know that Jim had come to Ric’s aid on more than one occasion”.