Legendary wrestler Ric Flair has been engaged to girlfriend Wendy Barlow, who he met when the two worked together in World Championship Wrestling, for over a year.
Barlow’s the mother to four children, ranging in ages from 12 to 17.
“I bring my kids with me to North Carolina as often as possible because they love staying with ‘Uncle Ric,'” Barlow wrote in a short ABC biography. “Who wouldn’t? Nature Boy knows how to live!”
Flair and Barlow’s relationship stretches all the way back to the early 1990s, and the two have flooded social media with pictures together at various appearances.
In mid-August, Flair was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for what Barlow described as “severe abdominal pain.” She said in a Facebook post obtained by TMZ that her fiancee is in “critical condition” for his organ problems.
Here’s what you need to know about Barlow and Flair:
1. Flair & Barlow Got Engaged Last Year
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, Flair, 68, popped the question to Barlow, and she had been seen showing off her “huge” ring at various appearances.
The proposal comes after several years of dating. In 2013, Flair’s ex wife Jacqueline Beems was arrested for threatening Barlow over the phone on multiple occasions, though police didn’t reveal the details of the phone calls to TMZ.
“Flair and his wife were still legally married at the time of the alleged threats,” TMZ wrote.
2. The Couple Worked Together in WCW
Flair and Barlow met through wrestling. Flair, who was in the middle of a stint in WCW, tabbed Barlow, who was known as “Fifi the Maid” on the wrestling promotion, appeared alongside Flair in many promotions and often walked him down to the ring.
Flair and Fifi were on camera prior to 1993’s Hollywood Havoc when Flair delivered one of his famous promos. At that time, Fifi was at the center of Flair’s feud against Rick Rude leading up to the pay-per-view.
Fifi assisted Flair on occasion on his talk show, “Flair for the Gold,” but was in wrestling for just one year and never re-appeared again. For years, her identity had gone unknown until she joined WorldWrestlingInsanity’s podcast as a guest in 2011. Barlow talked about a wide array of topics, including managing Flair’s sons as they wrestled on the independent circuit.
Barlow is listed as an uncredited part of the 2009 drama The Joneses, starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny.
3. Barlow Was Injured in a Car Accident in April
Tragedy nearly struck in April when Barlow was involved in a serious car accident while stopped at a stoplight.
After the accident, Flair reached out to his twitter followers asking for support and prayers.
According to details obtained by ProWrestlingSheet’s Ryan Satin, the incident occurred at a red light with four other vehicles. Statin wrote that Barlow was “waiting at a red light behind three other cars when a vehicle plowed her from being going full speed.”
Statin reportedly saw the car crusing in from behind just before impact and was able to turn her steering wheel to avoid smashing into the cars stopped in front of her.
“Barlow is still in pain, but she’s hoping the swelling will go down by next week so she can begin physical therapy,” Statin wrote.
Barlow ended up surviving the wreck and sported a neck brace for a few weeks after.
4. Flair & Barlow Were on an Episode of Wife Swap
In 2013, the couple appeared on an episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap,” where Barlow switched places with former — now deceased — wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper and his longtime wife Kitty. Piper was the best man during Flair’s wedding to his first wife.
On the show, Barlow found difficulty stepping into Kitty’s role as Piper’s wife, especially when it came to cooking. At one point, Barlow told the Piper family that “it’s time to get off the mountain and have some fun,” and the family travels downtown for a day out.
Kitty, on the other hand, was surprised when she got a chance to experience what it was like living the lifestyle of the “Nature Boy,” who buys her an item from a jewelry store right off the bat. The two head off for drinks and then dinner, which Kitty finds strenuous after fans run to Flair for autographs and pictures.
Toward the end of the show, Kitty sits down with Flair for a talk that puts things in life into perspective for him.
5. Flair Had Been Married Four Times Before Getting Engaged to Barlow
Flair was married four times before meeting Barlow. He married his first wife, Leslie, on August 28, 1971, and they had two children together, Megan and David. But after 12 years of marriage, the couple divorced in 1983. It didn’t take long for him to find his second wife, Elizabeth Harrell.
Flair and Elizabeth got married on August 27, 1983, and they also had two children together: Ashley and Reid. After almost 23 years of marriage, however, the couple got divorced in 2006.
Once again, it didn’t take long for Flair to find another woman in his life. He married fitness competitor Tiffany VanDemark on May 27, 2006, but the marriage lasted just two years. Tiffany filed for divorce from him in 2008 and it was finalized in 2009.
Later that year, Flair married his fourth wife, Jacqueline Beems. The marriage lasted just until 2012, though, and yet again Flair filed for divorce, though it wasn’t finalized until 2014. During their marriage Beems was arrested for attacking him and leaving him bloodied.
Flair had to be sent to the hospital following the incident WTVD noted. The news report said that Beems used her teeth, arms and legs during a domestic dispute.
After that, Flair and Barlow started a romantic relationship.