Reid Flair, 25, passed away this morning in Charlotte, North Carolina. Very few details have surfaced as of this writing, but early word is that Flair may have died due to overdose. WBTV out of Charlotte reported that Flair was found in a SouthPark Hotel room.
Flair — the son of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair and Elizabeth Fliehr — entered sports through amateur wrestling when he was very young achieving success while growing up. At age nine, Flair qualified for and won the AAU National Wrestling Tournament in the 110-pound weight class in Detroit.
Around that time in April of 1998, Ric Flair had been in a legal battle with World Championship Wrestling, led by Eric Bischoff, due to a dispute over Ric Flair’s contractual status with the company. When Bischoff got wind of Flair’s investment in attending the tournament in support of his son, he called Flair from Japan to have him fly out to a WCW Thunder taping in Tallahassee from Detroit.
Reid Flair later wound up wrestling two matches for WCW in this feud between Bischoff and Ric Flair which was now turned into an on-air storyline.
In October of 1998, as Eric Bischoff had cut a promo intending to verbally trash “The Nature Boy”, Arn Anderson walked out and introduced Reid citing him as “the champ”. Reid Flair would come out with his singlet and the AAU medal he had won earlier that year. That would later turn into a match where Reid Flair would defeat Eric Bischoff live on WCW Nitro.
Two years later in June of 2000, Reid Flair would resurface in WCW at the age of 11, teaming up with his father Ric Flair losing to WCW booker Vince Russo and Flair’s other son and half-brother to Reid, David Flair, shaving their heads as a result of the feud.
Once Reid Flair turned 19, he began training in the Harley Race Wrestling Academy in Eldon, MO under Race, Bobby Eaton and George South. Four months later, he was scheduled for his official in-ring debut as he’d team with David Flair defeating Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags — The Nasty Boys — in a well-received match in terms of crowd reaction. Ric Flair managed his sons, while Jimmy Hart managed The Nasty Boys. To throw even more nostalgia in the bout, Hulk Hogan was selected as the special guest referee.
At one point in the match, Hart, who had been interfering throughout the match, found himself at the end of a Big Boot by Hogan followed by a Figure Four Leg Lock by Ric Flair. Reid Flair then applied the Figure Four onto Knobs, while David Flair locked his legs around that of Sags. The simultaneous submission holds ended with Sags having his shoulders down on the mat allowing Hogan to count the three.
Following that match, Reid Flair entered the independent circuit of pro-wrestling going through promotions such as Northeast Wrestling, NWA Mid-Atlantic, NWA Charlotte and Lucha Libre USA.
Unfortunately for the Flair family and fans the world over, Reid Flair would have a rocky climb to adulthood. In 2007, he was arrested for assault and battery released after posting bail. Two years later, he was released from jail after a $1000 bail due to an arrest for driving while impaired in North Carolina.
A month later, Flair was involved in an automobile accident allowing the local police to find black tar heroin — which received a lot of media attention as the Charlotte police were investigating the surfacing of the drug with potential ties to Mexican cartels — and received numerous charges before being released on a $15,000 bail.
That last arrest ended any potential Reid had of jumping to Ring of Honor as the company saw Reid as too much of a liability.
Earlier this year, Ric Flair had been announced as returning to the ring for All Japan on the 26th of January at the Ota Ward Gym in Tokyo (roughly 4,000 seats). Reportedly, All Japan had tried on numerous occasions to bring Ric in and do special appearances for the promotion, but both sides never came close to an agreement on the price. The company later made a deal with Ric to train his son Reid in the All Japan Dojo earning top of the line training and experience in the process for three months.
While not confirmed, it’s believed that this move allowed All Japan to agree with Ric on a price setting up what looked like a big tag team main-event: Ric & Keiji Muto vs. Seiya Sanada & Tatsumi Fujinami.
However, a month before Ric’s 64th birthday, he suffered a blood clot in his left leg — which resurfaced within the past week taking Ric out of a planned RAW segment — destroying plans to host his return to the ring after the Ota Ward Gym had sold out.
All Japan then scheduled Reid Flair to replace his father while Ric Flair would remain at ringside to manage his son. This was undoubtedly Reid’s highest profile career match in his life despite losing the bout. Before this change, Reid was scheduled to team with Jimmy Yang (the former Jimmy Wang Yang) to face Kaz Hayashi and Kenso.
Reid Flair would continue to tour with All Japan winning his first AJPW singles bout against Yasufumi Nakanoue via Figure Four Leg Lock.
Ric Flair always held his son in high regard bringing up Reid in a number of personal conversations with various news outlets. Dave Meltzer, of Wrestling Observer, noted in a radio show today that Ric absolutely loved talking about Reid and was excited for Reid on potentially jumping to the WWE as well as the early WWE career of his daughter, Ashley.
Reid Flair was scheduled to return to the United States and wrestle dates in Maryland with his father in his corner.
“Two shows in Maryland this weekend with @RicFlairNatrBoy. Good #wrestling and even better times ahead,” Reid wrote in his final tweet yesterday afternoon.
“We are heartbroken to confirm that Ric’s son, Reid Fliehr, has passed away today March 29, 2013 in Charlotte, NC,” announced Melina Morris Zanoni, Ric Flair’s agent, to WBTV.