NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JULY 31: Wrestler Ric Flair is seen at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on July 31, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
12 Most Memorable Ric Flair Opponents Of All-Time
Dusty Rhodes
In his early days as a wrestler, Ric Flair’s idol was The American Dream Dusty Rhodes, and it was Dusty who encouraged Flair to find his own character in the wrestling business. Flair went on to feud with Dusty for the majority of the ‘80s, trading the NWA World Title multiple times.
Harley Race
Flair surpassed Harley Race by claiming the record for most NWA Heavyweight title reigns, holding the title 10 times to Harley’s eight. Their best-ever match at Starrcade 1983 had an excellent build-up, with Harley putting out a $25,000 bounty on Flair, and Flair coming back from what was sold as a career-threatening injury.
Flair’s ability to get the most out of young talent was on full display when Flair served as the best opponent for Sting during the latter’s early wrestling days. During Flair’s Last Match pre-show promo in 2022, Sting credited Flair for putting him on the map and said he "would have never made it how far I did" without him.
Kerry Von Reich
Perhaps the hottest NWA territory in the ‘80s was World Class Championship Wrestling, which produced the promotion’s most charismatic and best-built wrestler, Kerry Von Reich. The best match Kerry had with Flair was the main event of the David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions, where Flair dropped the NWA title to Kerry in front of 32,000 fans.
Ricky Steamboat
Undoubtedly Flair’s greatest in-ring opponent, Ricky Steamboat and Flair had incredible chemistry that helped them have matches spanning from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s. Flair claims some of their best matches against each other came in 1978, but their fabled trilogy of matches in 1989 is perfect too.