Ric Flair, also known as the Nature Boy, and famous for his “Whoo!” exclamation, is in the news again. This time around, Flair is making waves for all the wrong reasons. The former WWE superstar is divorcing for the fifth time. Flair and his spouse, Wendy Barlow, will separate after a four-year marriage. The announcement was made on Monday.
Flair addressed rumors of his pending split by issuing a public statement on Twitter. His statement reads:
“After Taking Some Time Apart, Wendy And I Have Decided To Go Our Separate Ways. Please Respect Our Privacy & Our Families During This Time! I Will Love & Cherish All Of Our Memories Together Forever, And I Will Forever Be Thankful For All She Has Done To Make My Life Better!”
Flair and Barlow tied the knot in 2018. Perhaps what is most interesting about their relationship is it began way back in 1993 when both were employed by WCW. In fact, Barlow served as Flair’s valet for a short period of time. Barlow played the role of Fifi the Maid while performing in WCW alongside the Nature Boy.
There is some discussion as to whether Flair and Barlow were legally married. If reports are true, the wrestler never filled out the paperwork necessary to make the marriage legal. However, Flair publicly acknowledged his separation from Barlow on social media. The question is whether the couple was ever legally married. If the two never tied the knot, Flair would have substantially less to lose in the ensuing settlement agreement.
Is Flair Transitioning to Retirement?
The wrestler had asked to be released by WWE earlier this past summer. Vince McMahon approved the release request, effectively ending Flair’s career. However, Flair has accused the WWE of attempting to scrub his legacy from the organization’s history. Flair has had multiple health issues and there is even more reason to believe he is done engaging in the wrestling ring. However, if reports are true, Flair has indicated he would like to wrestle at some point in the future.
Flair publicly commented on a potential return to the ring, stating, “That talk hasn’t happened, but could I do it? Absolutely. I’m in better shape now than I was when Sting and I wrestled the last match on Nitro. WWE won’t let me do anything, even though I’m released. I understand, they have so much liability and I told them I would sign anything, but nobody wants me to die on their watch. I’d rather die in the ring. If I have to go. I’d rather not jump off the 19th floor or spend another 31 days in the ICU.”
A Storybook Marriage Comes to a Close
Flair and Barlow started dating after the wrestler’s fourth marriage unceremoniously ended in an acrimonious divorce. Flair and Barlow officially became engaged in 2016 then waited two years to marry. Barlow remained by Flair’s side through his medical problems in 2017 and 2019. In fact, Flair has even given Barlow credit for helping him bounce back from his health challenges.
Flair’s recent years as a public figure have been marred by controversy. Even if fans were to overlook his prior divorces, the wrestler has dealt with allegations of sexually inappropriate actions and arguments with Becky Lynch pertaining to “The Man.”
He has attempted to resuscitate his podcast in an attempt to frame himself as a public figure worthy of respect and empathy, but his star has clearly faded. The news of Flair’s latest divorce certainly won’t do much to help his image. However, he still continues to make money from bookings for appearances at public events.
Though details pertaining to Flair’s latest divorce are sparse, it has been reported that he and Barlow have cited irreconcilable differences. Fans of the wrestler will be intrigued to know that he was assaulted by his fourth wife, Jackie Beems, at his home just two months ago. The assault was not the first problem between the contentious couple.. Beems was also arrested after assaulting the wrestler in the winter of 2010.
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It is possible Beems’ return to Flair’s life led to a fallout with Barlow that ultimately triggered his most recent divorce. After all, his prior marriages were plagued by claims of adultery and money issues.