In 1991, after a long run as National Wrestling Alliance world champion, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair started his first tenure with WWE. I hadn’t yet worked in wrestling, but knew Ric after writing several articles about him for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The last show of Ric’s first U.S. loop with WWE was in Pittsburgh, at the Civic Arena. I saw Ric at that show. The next morning, I got a phone call:
“Marco? Naitch. We’re taking off for Europe in a bit, and I can’t get all my luggage on the plane. If I leave some at the hotel, can you hold it for me ‘til I get back?”
Sure. No problem.
So I pick up Ric’s stuff, and a lot of it is wrestling gear…including five of his legendary robes, which cost of the neighborhood of $10,000 each.
I had those robes for over a week. I wore them everywhere. (I was thinner then. They fit. Not perfectly.) To the Post-Gazette. To the bar. To coach dekhockey practice.
It was awesome. Ric got them back upon his return. They were none the worse for wear. (Maybe one ostrich feather fell off the black one.)
Speaking of which, here’s a photo of yours truly in that robe, perhaps my all-time favorite. I used to have a bunch of pics like this, but this is only one that survived.
It’s fun to dress up and pretend to be the greatest of all time…and to look at this photo and pretend you’re 30 again. #WOOOOO