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Ric Flair suffered life-threatening health complications in August 2017. 

By Jenna West and Dan Gartland
May 16, 2019

WWE legend Ric Flair is expected to make a full recovery after being hospitalized Thursday morning, his wife, Wendy Barlow, said in a statement to TMZ Sports.

"Due to ongoing health complications, Ric was taken to the hospital and is expected to undergo a procedure tomorrow morning, after which he expects to fully recover," Barlow said. 

TMZ first reported that Flair had been “rushed to a hospital” after suffering a medical emergency. The wrestler’s son-in-law, podcast host Conrad Thompson, told reporters that Flair was undergoing a previously scheduled surgery.

Thompson made the comments on a conference call promoting his upcoming “Starrcast II” convention in Las Vegas, at which Flair is expected to appear. Thompson said Flair elected to have the procedure before the convention but declined to give further details. 

Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin reports, however, that Flair was taken to the emergency room and that the situation is “more serious” than Thompson is indicating.

The "Nature Boy" suffered a major health scare in August 2017 after complications from a blockage in his bowels forced doctors to place Flair in a medically induced coma. He spent a month in the hospital before he was finally discharged. 

Flair told SI.com a year later, in August 2018, that he was feeling “fantastic” and that he feels fortunate that his years in the ring did not damage his body as badly as some of his colleagues’. 

“I’m not physically banged up,” Flair said. “I feel great. My knees, elbows, and back, they don’t bother me at all right now. When I look at my friends with back operations, hip replacements, knee replacements, I’m just thankful I’m in one piece because so many have been through a lot.”

But while wrestling may not have damaged his body, years of alcohol abuse did. 

“I had one vice,” Flair told SI.com less than two weeks before his 2017 health scare. “I’m not going to point my finger at anybody else. My vice was drinking. I didn’t have any pain issues, addiction problems, marijuana, cocaine, nothing like that. It’s a fact that I kept myself up all night and always had a good time.”

Flair returned to WWE TV three months after the 2017 incident to congratulate his daughter, Charlotte, on winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship. His most recent appearance came on Raw in February, when Dave Bautista (making his own WWE return) attacked Flair before what was supposed to be a 70th birthday celebration, sparking a feud with Triple H that led up to WrestleMania. 

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