Two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee Ric Flair was rushed to an Atlanta-area hospital on Thursday morning after suffering a medical emergency, reports TMZ.
As noted, the 70-year-old Flair was reportedly in the Atlanta area when “something went wrong,” requiring him to be taken to the emergency room for treatment. No further details were mentioned in the entertainment outlet’s initial report.
While TMZ said that sources claimed the issue was “very serious,” a subsequent tweet from Fightful‘s Sean Ross Sapp cited Flair’s son-in-law, wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson, who clarified that the wrestling icon’s condition “is not as grave or serious” as TMZ had claimed. Per Sapp, Thompson added that his father-in-law was hospitalized for a “planned procedure” ahead of the upcoming Starrcast II wrestling convention in Las Vegas and that Flair’s family was aware of the situation.
“[Thompson] stated that Flair and the family knew the procedure was coming and he could have had it before or after Vegas, and wanted to feel good for Starrcast,” Sapp continued in a follow-up tweet.
Flair had a notable medical scare in August 2017, when he was rushed to an undisclosed Georgia hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma for 11 days. According to Sports Illustrated, early reports claimed at that time that Flair had suffered a heart attack or was undergoing heart surgery, but it was eventually revealed that Flair was treated for an intestinal blockage and had part of his bowel removed.
Speaking to Wrestling Inc. one year after the aforementioned life-saving surgery, Flair recalled that it was easy for him to follow doctors’ orders and quit drinking after years of being known for his hard-partying lifestyle.
“I only had to go through that one time,” Flair said. “I had the doctor tell me when I got out that it wouldn’t work. I’m not the smartest guy in the world but if they’re blaming that on alcohol then I don’t need to have alcohol again.”
According to TMZ, Flair had been in good health in recent months, as he celebrated his 70th birthday in February alongside a variety of high-profile guests, including fellow wrestlers Triple H and Jeff Hardy, boxing legend Evander Holyfield, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, and former NBA power forward Dennis Rodman.
Flair made his most recent WWE appearance at WrestleMania 35 in April, when he handed a sledgehammer to Triple H, allowing him to defeat Batista in their career-threatening No Holds Barred match. As recalled by Give Me Sport, this storyline development was also Flair’s revenge against the WWE superstar-turned-actor, as Batista attacked Flair during his on-air 70th birthday celebration on the February 25 episode of Monday Night Raw.
In addition to his involvement in WWE storylines in the lead-up to WrestleMania 35, Flair had participated in a number of angles involving his daughter, current SmackDown Live superstar Charlotte Flair, in recent years. Per ESPN, the father-daughter duo also wrote an autobiography, Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, which was published in the fall of 2017.