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To Be the Man

2004 autobiography by Ric Flair

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  • Aug 3, 2010


I have read many books that deal with wrestling, most of which are auto bios but I have to say that this has got to be one of the most insightful, entertaining, and honest ones I have had the joy of reading. For those who don't know [why are you reading this] who Ric Flair is just go ask the first person you see with any wrestling shirt on. You will probably get a weird look followed by a back hand to the chest and a lively "WOOOOOOOOOOO". That's right that will be the answer, if you were expecting an answer like "he is a legendary wrestler" you would be very wrong. He is that of course but the fact you would have to ask is what would warrant the back hand. To those who do know this would be the perfect way to get to know the man in ways most would never be able to. Whether you love him or hate I don't know anybody who is a wrestling fan that doesn't respect him.

In this book you will learn about the man who actually had to struggle with himself and with his own confidence, that's right that cocky, arrogant, smooth nature boy character was at times just that, a character. You will be very surprised by what points in his career he had these feelings, though you will defiantly understand the situations and why he felt that way. I mention this at the beginning of this review because it shows what type of man Ric is; he is a very openly honest man that is really actually more of an emotional humble man. And it is because he is such that this book is a must read, because no matter how it makes him look he is honest about every topic covered in the book. All things are covered from how he broke into the business to the dying days of WCW all the way to his recent WWE days; of course this came out way before he retired so it only goes so far.

The first third of this book is all about Ric growing up and getting into the wrestling world, this like every other I have read really surprised me by being one of the most interesting parts of the book. I say it surprised me because like most people I really wanted to get right into the final couple years of WCW to find out about the juicy stuff behind the scenes. Once I opened the book though I felt a little bad about thinking that way because this is Ric Flair, I should have wanted his whole story not just apart of it for the controversy. It is in these early chapters that you find out a lot of stuff about famous early wrestlers that you would have never known. There is one part in particular that had me dropping my jaw, I won't ruin it for you and give it away but it is truly surprising. Also it is cool to learn about how he learned about wrestling, and what he went through to make it in wrestling. He wasn't great right off the bat, and really had to work at it. It seems weird to say that, because as long as I have watched him he has been one of the greatest. I mean come on he had to survive Verne Gagne, Wahoo McDaniel, Harley Race, and many more that he learned from, some of the best ever. He also talks about how wild his early days were, and even at times shows how sorry he is that he acted that way. His days doing these types of things as you will learn through out the book strained a lot of relationships he had, and he seems truly sorry about them. Of course his times in early companies including the NWA are covered in full detail, these chapters end up being some of the best [learn some things about Dusty Rhodes].

The middle of the book is where most people will be spending their time, this is of course were the WCW days starting in the 80's comes in to play. It is here that we learn all about the four Horsemen and Ric's numerous and legendary title reigns. The various versions of the Horsemen are really talked about in detail, more so then the WWE produced DVD about the group. And of course some of the most interesting topics come in about Eric Bischoff, these two had a real behind the scenes hatred that was so heated at times it could have [and probably did] burn the company down. I don't want to give any away of it away because to do so would rob you of the shock you would feel when you read some of this. Other interesting things like Hogan and Randy Savage are talked about a great deal in this, starting with his first stint in the WWF [which also is a good portion of the book] into when all three were in WCW. With Savage Flair goes into detail about how despite the intense feuds the two shared in the ring he actually liked and respected Savage. But how Savage's own personal demons and fragile mind around certain people put him out with a lot of people. Of course Hogan is talked about and it was interesting to read how these two actually got along at one point, of course what happened later with the two only helps in my opinion of Hogan [can't stand him, especially after I read about one thing in particular]. The hits don't stop there, Shane Douglas, the NWO, and all the talent that WCW held down like Jericho, Malenko, Benoit, Guerrero and others. Along with those Ric tells all about his feelings about Vince Russo, you may be surprised by some of this. There are some really really interesting things that are discussed about Bret Hart, in fact the only thing that up sets me a little about this book is something said during this portion.

The last third of the book is about how low Ric felt at this point in his career and how he had no confidence any more. The last days of WCW and all his legal problems are discussed and his thoughts and feelings on the final Nitro show is a real interesting read. Of course his reemergence in the WWE is discussed up to that point in his legendary career. His words during these pages are touching and kind of sad at times, a real emotional and interesting read. I can honestly say that this is one of the most open and honest reads of all time. I would recommend this to not only wrestling fans but to anybody that likes a truly interesting book. Buy this, you will not be disappointed.

P.S. Arn Anderson is talked about at length as well, and the pages with comments from Flair's friends and such was a great addition to this book.

Go to fullsize imageGo to fullsize imageGo to fullsize imageRic_Flair3 by cactusj32819.

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October 10, 2010
Sounds good. I like Ric Flair and the guy has enemies and friends. I always hear the same criticizm about the book in that Flair gives a lot of lipservice to how great WWE, Vince and Trips. I always heard that Vince Jr and Ric always got along and there was never any real problem with them. WOOOOOOOO!!!
August 04, 2010
WWWOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! doing the Flair strut LOL!
More To Be the Man reviews
review by . January 05, 2010
To Be the Man is Ric Flair's autobiography.  A detailed read about one of the best performers to ever step into a wrestling ring.  Ric Flair did it all and his stories tell a tale about a man who always gave it his all for the fans and never put on an unwatchable performance.  I used to totally mark out for "The Nature Boy" because all of his matches were phenomenal.  This is a guy who wrestled a guy who was drunk and put on a wrestling clinic.  He also had a match …
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I basically am just a normal person obbsessed with Mixed Martial Arts, pro wrestling, movies of all kinds, music of all kinds, books of all kinds, and of course foods of all kinds. Just trying to keep … more
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About this book


Autobiography of Ric Flair co-written by Keith Elliot Greenberg.
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Editor: Mark Madden
Author: Ric Flair
Genre: Sports,Autobiography
Publisher: Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster
Date Published: 2004
Format: Hardback
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