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Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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"Every person that aspires to be a professional in this business should take notes from Ric Flair." ―John Cena
"After I did the film the wrestler, one of the greatest pro wrestlers approached me and congratulated me on my performance. The Nature Boy's compliment meant very much to me because he and Roddy Piper were inspiration for my character. Both Flair & Piper let it all hang out on many nights! I am certain that Ric Flair worked through the physical pain he endured year after year to give the audience a thrilling show. You could see it when Flair walked out to the ring― the man loved his job and loved his fans. He was and still is loved by millions all over the world. He gave all of himself. I loved the guy the first 30 seconds I meet him and was privileged to do a show in Houston with him. To this day I admire and look up to this great athlete & entertainer!"―MICKEY ROURKE
"Nobody compares to the stylin, profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, world-class entertainer and person, my friend, Ric Flair!"― Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan.
"Even if people don’t know anything about WWE, they know who Ric Flair is. The man is a legend, an all around great guy! Give me 2 claps and a Ric Flair WOOOOO!” ―Rob Gronkowski 87
"I love Charlotte. She’s a talented female… And she carries herself. When she enters that damn arena, everybody comes to their feet when they hit that music. It’s a moment." ―Stone Cold Steve Austin
"I used to watch 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair and hope that one day I could be just like him, the coolest, most happening guy in the world. Today, I sit a humble and flabbergasted wrestling fan to have the honor of calling him a colleague and a friend." ―Shawn Michaels
"Having Ric Flair as a mentor made my career. Being under his wing helped me achieve more in this industry than I could have imagined." ―Batista
"It is not easy being a wrestler’s daughter. Charlotte always thinks she could do better. She is still so eager to learn and improve. She has been through a lot and it is rewarding to see her discovering her potential, which is limitless." ―Natalya
About the Author
RICHARD MORGAN FLIEHR aka "Nature Boy” Ric Flair is a 16-time World Champion in sports entertainment. He began his professional career with the AWA in 1972. He was the cornerstone of the NWA/WCW for over two decades and leader of the illustrious Four Horsemen faction. He is also a former WWE Champion and the only man to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice.
ASHLEY ELIZABETH FLIEHR aka Charlotte is the daughter of Ric Flair. She first made a name for herself as the NXT Women's Champion before ascending to WWE’s main roster and claiming the WWE Women’s Championship.
BRIAN SHIELDS is a New York Times Bestselling Author. Since 1998, he has worked with WWE on special projects, and partnered with Mattel, 2K Games, and Topps. Brian has written books for WWE and writes at the Friars Club in New York City where he enjoys membership. Brian teaches Digital Marketing and Social Media at Long Island University.
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I'm not being flippant in stating this; none of these should be taken lightly. Rather, these incredible athletes have wonderful tales to tell...and the very clique nature of the pro wrestling community lends itself to fascinating, insider looks when available. Of course, some personalities are more controversial than others.
Ric Flair, of course, is arguably one of the most divisive of said personalities. Some athletes - Mick Foley, in his auto biography, for example - blatantly call him out as a poor front office person and coworker. Others, however, consider him the only reason they found this industry, a true mentor. Ergo, I expected 'Second Nature' to be an intriguing read, let alone tales of his rocky relationship with his daughter and current star Charlotte.
Well, this is NOT what is in this book. Personally, I was disappointed. It's essentially a stringed together collection of fluff quotes describing Flair's life and career, all very sanitized, overly self deferential and sanctimonious in praise of others. Charlotte's section is no better, offers little difference in writing style, and is a big too sugar coated to take it seriously. The 'legacy' moniker definitely fits: it's a celebration, first and foremost.
Based on its simplicity, I would arguably consider this a decent teenage book, one that won't offend, and may fill in some blanks on both Flair's back stories. If you already love either Ric or Charlotte, this a nice option (or gift to those that do).
I'm happy to say that a large part of the book is Ric's story, taking the reader from the end of his first book, through his retirement, and to the tragic death of his son, Reid, who had been poised to follow in his Father's footsteps.
Ric's part of the story is, at times, hilarious, inspirational, gut-wrenching, and almost unbearably sad. From the low of being told that he would have to retire from the business that he loved, to the highs of a classic retirement match and dual Hall of Fame inductions (The only Professional Wrestler to have that honor....), Ric shares his story with a candor and intimacy that makes reading the book feel like you're having a personal conversation with the man himself.
Charlotte's portion of the book does not succeed on the same level, but it makes for often fascinating reading. I have to lay a lot of the blame for the unsuccessful sections of the book at the feet of co-author Brian Shields, who doesn't do enough to distinguish the two authorial voices. A lot of this may be solved in the final printed book, but the advance review copy that I was provided was sometimes badly formatted, leading to a few instances where I would read as much as a page or two without realizing that the book had shifted from a Charlotte section to a Ric Flair annotation.
A major drawback to Charlotte's section of the book can be attributed to her youth: She obviously hasn't lived as much of a life, either personally of professionally, as her father has, so her story often feels padded. There are long stretches where she goes in-depth about specific meals she shared with her family, or brands of handbags or types of jewelry that her father bought her when she was younger. I now know more about sports that teenage-girls play than I ever thought that I would. While Charlotte's story is compelling and heartfelt, parts of it did seem like being on the receiving end of a marathon talking session with a teenaged girl.
In the end, the book does a nice job of putting a finishing touch on the in-ring career of Ric Flair, and proving that Charlotte does deserve to be where she is in the WWE. The Flair legacy continues....
I believe most wrestling fans that like either Ric or Charlotte Flair will enjoy this book, especially after Ric's recent brush with death. I'm glad this was one time he didn't tap out.