Ric Flair has called himself the "stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' 'n' dealin' son of a gun" throughout much of his 40-plus year professional wrestling career.
But he can probably add "death cheating" to that catchphrase.
Two-time WWE Hall of Famer told the Dan Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio Thursday afternoon that he once survived getting hit by lightning.
Flair said the incident occurred at an airport in Richmond, Virginia, back in the 1970s, where he was in town to have a match with Ricky Steamboat at the Richmond Coliseum.
"I got off the plane and was walking," he said. "I didn't go 10, 15 feet when all of a sudden I felt this pressure boom, and man, my umbrella shot 50 feet in the air.
"I thought, 'What the hell?' Lightning hit the top of my umbrella, bounced off and hit the guy in the eye five feet behind me and killed him. Right there. I just stood there looking at the guy and froze, it scared me to death. People were running out the door to get the guy."
Flair was then jokingly asked by Le Batard how he was was still alive.
"I don't know," Flair replied. "I've always wondered what kind of a lawsuit that was, because it was really a big deal, hence probably the steel tips coming off umbrellas at that point."
Flair, 67, said that his body is in no pain despite the wear and tear of a career that saw him compete in just about every major U.S. promotion.
"I'm blessed guys, all my friends are banged up, and I'm having a good time," he added.
But it was a trip to work for a Japanese wrestling promotion that Flair told Le Batard spawned "the best drinking story of all time."
Flair said he had been working in the Florida wrestling territory for a week in the 1980s, on barely six hours' combined sleep for the entire stay, before he had to fly out from Tampa to Chicago, and then on to Tokyo.
"I started saying I wasn't gonna do it, because I had to land in Tokyo and wrestle three consecutive one-hour matches," Flair said. "So all the way over, I drank bloody marys, booze, beer, everything, for thirteen-and-a-half hours.
"When I got there, and I had talked myself out of this, I could hear them calling me down in baggage claim. I said 'screw this.' I walked over across to the next gate and said, 'I'm going back to the States, when's your next flight?' They said, 'Where's your bags?' I said, 'I don't care, I'm just leaving them here.' And then he boarded me, Tokyo to Seattle, Seattle to Chicago, then back to Charlotte.
"Well I was so flipped when I got down on the plane, I started drinking again. I was looking around for someone to talk to. I said, 'Hey, you mind if I talk to you?' The guy said no. For eight hours we drank and talked. I got him hammered. I said, 'I think I'm having a nervous breakdown.' He said, 'I think maybe you are.' And anyway, he sent me a Christmas card for five years making sure I was OK!
"I got all the way back to Charlotte -- and you're not gonna believe this -- I hadn't slept yet, right? And I got off the plane and there was my wife, and they said you've got to go all the way back. I had to go all the way back, Charlotte to Chicago to Tokyo, and wrestle an hour that day. I still made it back!"
But Flair, who has been divorced three times and separated from his fourth wife in 2012, credited his current fiancé Wendy Barlow with helping him put his party lifestyle behind him, saying the "turbulence" in his life has all been self-inflicted.
"I'm not gonna lie to you. The worst thing ... wrestling was easy, it's what I did to myself from 11 to 3 or 4 [a.m.] depending what city I was in," he said. "But that was my coping mechanism. I just got exhausted.
"I found one that can put up with me," he added of his fiancé. "Yes, I'm very happy. I do get lonely. I'm not a guy that will sit home and drink. I never drink when I'm at home. I like the action. I like to be in the action, and a lot of women don't like that. Wendy, I call her 'two-drink Louie,' but she'll at least stay with me. And I've gone from nightclubs to Carrabba's. A big night [for me now is] at Carrabba's. 'Wendy, can we stay 'til 9?'"