It seems everyone is sharing their thoughts on Will Smith’s slap heard round the world to Chris Rock’s face and now we can add pro wrestling legend, multi-time champion, and WWE Hall of Famer, the controversial Ric Flair to the list.
Flair and boxing great Mike Tyson – who’s also dabbled in wrestling from time to time – were guests of The New York Post when they were asked about the incident and a variety of topics.
The Nature Boy, coming from the background that he does, believes the slap was staged or “worked” in the parlance of the wrestling industry. “I didn’t think it was real,” Flair said.
“I can speak for myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m speaking for Mike: If I didn’t like a remark, for any reason whatsoever, that somebody said about my wife, I would be punching them — not slapping them,” he explained.
Tyson concurred, “If Ric says it’s a fake, then it’s a fake.” He later added if he’s punching someone that offended him, “It would be more than one punch, too.”
Tyson also offered his own advice for Smith, ““I think Will needs to eat some of these Mike Bites and just chill out. It’s okay.”
Fake or not, most agree the slap and the intent behind it were genuine when Smith rose up to deliver a receipt to Rock for a joke concerning Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair which is thinning from alopecia.
Chris Rock hasn’t responded publicly although he did tell attendees at a recent stand-up show, “I don’t have a bunch of s*** about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend.”
He added, “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that s***. And it will be serious and funny.”
Rock’s brother on the other hand has spoken out on his sibling’s behalf, claiming there is residual heat between Chris Rock and Will Smith, if not full-on bad blood.
Someone who would know about bad blood and grudges is Ric Flair. The 73-year-old is in the middle of his own fall from grace that began last August when his inappropriate antics aboard a 2002 charter flight were exposed on an episode of the VICE docu-series Dark Side of the Ring.
Because he pranced around drunk and naked in a robe and cornered an attendant on that flight dubbed “The Plane Ride From Hell,” Flair was let go from WWE and lost a promised on-air position as a manager in AEW.
The promotion’s owner Tony Khan also disinvited Flair from his birthday party over the incident and the negative press it received.
It’s also been reported Flair left his fifth wife so he could keep living a bachelor life of excess and that he’s cut off contact with friends and colleagues from his days in WWE and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) – confidants he’d known for decades.
One of those is “Triple H” Paul Levesque, whose career came to an end this year for health reasons, and another is radio host, podcaster, and former wrestling announcer Mark Madden.
A strong supporter of Ric Flair for 30 years, Madden split from the podcast duties he shared with Flair because of growing friction between them.
Madden didn’t tell all but he did share some dirt in a recent interview you can hear a portion of in the clip below.