Peacock and WWE are giving wrestling fans — and anyone who follows sports and entertainment — a gift during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. A documentary on wrestling legend Ric Flair will premiere on NBC’s streaming platform Monday, Dec. 26. The two-hour doc is titled Woooooo! Becoming Ric Flair. possibly
Renowned sports reporter Tom Rinaldi narrates the film, also interviewing the many figures providing insight and commentary. Since leaving ESPN for Fox Sports, Rinaldi has expanded his work to documentaries, including last year’s John Madden retrospective, All Madden. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise since storytelling is Rinaldi’s trade. Many of his features for ESPN and Fox are essentially mini-documentaries.
Woooooo! is the second mainstream documentary to chronicle Flair’s life and career, following ESPN’s 30 For 30 film, Nature Boy, which premiered in 2018. Rory Karpf focused largely on Flair’s wrestling exploits and the effect that they had on his personal life and loved ones.
Directed by Ben Houser (42 to 1, WWE: Behind the Curtain), Peacock’s film will be nearly twice as long, which may indicate that Flair’s impact on pop culture beyond wrestling may be explored. Among those interviewed by Rinaldi will be fellow wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, Charlotte Flair, boxer Mike Tyson, rapper Post Malone, and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. This won’t take a hardcore wrestling angle like VICE’s Dark Side of the Ring series or A&E’s Biography: WWE Legends.
Continuing Flair’s pop culture moment, he’ll also appear as a character in the upcoming Iron Claw film dramatizing the life of wrestling’s Von Erich family. According to Deadline, Flair will be played by Aaron Dean Eisenberg (The Deuce) — though the role is expected to be a small one, maybe a cameo. Maybe the Nature Boy will get his own dramatized movie someday.
But the story of the Von Erichs’ pro wrestling glory can’t be told without including Flair a little bit. Kerry Von Erich ascended to stardom after defeating Flair for the NWA championship at Texas Stadium in 1984. As a young wrestling fan, I remember it was a quest to get a VHS copy of that match. We didn’t get much World Class Championship Wrestling programming up in Michigan. Pro wrestling was a regional, territorial enterprise back then.
Although Ric Flair was on my TV nearly every Saturday night on TBS’s World Championship Wrestling. Unfortunately, he usually wasn’t wrestling in the ring, but his bombastic interviews were entertaining enough. I presume Woooooo! will include plenty of those.
UPDATE (Dec. 17): Peacock released a trailer and poster art for Woooooo! Judging from what we see, the documentary tries to explore the man behind the persona.
Woooooo! Becoming Ric Flair premieres Monday, Dec. 26 on Peacock.