In 1995, Ric Flair travelled to North Korea for one of the most bizarre pro-wrestling events of all time.
Collision in Korea was a 1995 collaboration between WCW and NJPW, following the death of Supreme Leader Kim Il-Sung.
After Kim’s death, his son Kim Jong-Il wanted to make a statement, and was convinced by NJPW President and politician Antonio Inoki to put on a pro-wrestling event to rival any other.
While he originally wanted Hulk Hogan as his opponent, Inoki took on Ric Flair in the main event of Collision in Korea, in front of 190,000 fans.
Ric Flair takes Antonio Inoki’s enziguri kick in North Korea
Flair revealed in a 2014 interview with USA Today that the wrestlers were held for three days, after they were supposed to leave.
The reason for this was because they wanted the wrestlers, including Ric Flair, to make public statements in support of the totalitarian regime.
They instructed The Nature Boy to claim that North Korea could dominate the United States, and that it was a realisation he came to after his days in the country.
However, he did note that they were very nice during his time there, and that he was “thrilled and honored” to be in their country.
They kept us three days after the event — we were supposed to leave right after but they kept us three days longer. The thing that really disturbed me the most was that they wanted me to make a public statement…. that after my time in North Korea, I saw that they could dominate the United States of America if they wanted to.
I couldn’t say that, you know what I mean? I can’t remember how I angled my way around that one but I did not say that. I just said that I was thrilled and honored to be there and appreciated their hospitality.
They were, for the most part, very nice. It was just an intimidating format, the whole time. There was no misunderstanding that [the North Koreans] wanted us to know that they were a threat as a world power.
One of the guys over there [Scott Norton], apparently called home and said something that would indicate I guess that he wasn’t happy where he was, that he didn’t like being there, and they cut off his phone. I didn’t communicate to anybody… I brought my wife and kids to Tokyo with me in case I didn’t make it back.
Ric Flair spoke about his trip to North Korea on the Joe Rogan Podcast
Ric Flair made waves this week when he appeared as the latest guest on the hit podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
He joined a host of former wrestlers, such as DDP and The Undertaker, to appear on the show, and talked about all manner of topics relating to his legendary wrestling career.
The most interesting part of Flair’s interview was when he talked about travelling to North Korea, to wrestle Antonio Inoki at Collision in Korea.
The Nature Boy called it “the most scared” he’d ever been, even worse than the plane crash that nearly ended his career.
“[North Korea was] Probably the most scared I’ve ever been of anything in my life, really. Forget the plane crash, everything else. It was so intimidating.
They took our passports right, and then they separate us, but they put me in one hotel, and the other talent that came along in another.
I knew right away I was in trouble. This guy says, ‘Okay, look at your Rolex watch,’ I think they were making like six American dollars a week. That’s what these people were making, or the equivalent
He said “it would take a hundred years to buy one of these. I wanted to say, ‘Brother, you can have this right now,’ but it just kept me on a plane home. I mean, it was that bad.”
He went on to add to the tale about the North Korean’s not letting him leave the country with a statement about the might of their nation.
Ric Flair revealed that he made a statement about North Korea, making it sound like they were an intimidating nation, and could destory the United States in battle.
“I don’t know if they’ll charge you without making that statement. I know, okay, here we go again. What am I gonna think about it?
So anyway, I made it sound like they could be intimidating. In other words, I made it sound like we wouldn’t back down to them, but there’s a possibility that they could win or something like that. I had to prove it before they gave my passport back?”
He previously revealed on the show that, prior to the event, a rocket was flown over the stadium, much to do the delight of the fans.
Flair said that the North Korean’s claimed that it was a rocket headed to the United States, as one of their regular attacks to destroy the country they hated so much.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.