Ric Flair vs the Nasty Boys

Date: November 30, 1991
Location: China Club in Manhattan, NY
Source: To Be the Man by Ric Flair, Flair’s “Wooo Nation” podcast

The fight between Ric Flair and the Nasty Boys was not well publicized at the time it happened in the days before the internet, but became well known later when Flair discussed it in his autobiography.

Flair departed WCW in the summer of 1991, and joined the WWF almost immediately after when Bobby Heenan brought him in as the “real” world champion. His first advertised match with Hulk Hogan in the WWF, which fans had wanted since 1984, was in October of ‘91. The incident with the Nasty Boys happened the night of a WWF show at Madison Square Garden in November, just days before he first wrestled Shawn Michaels.

There was no prior heat between either side. Flair was at the China Club in Manhattan with his friend Robby Kanoff, who was drunk and calling himself “Jewish Lightning.” Flair was talking to a TWA pilot about aviation when Kanoff came up to them and complained that the Nastys had taken Kanoff’s sunglasses and stomped on them. Flair went up to Brian Knobbs and said something like, “What the Hell, leave him alone.”

Knobbs made some sort of immature noise and said, “F*ck you, Flair!” Flair punched him in the face, and Knobbs fought back, but Flair said he had it under control. Arn Anderson had told Flair that Knobbs was like a jellyfish but that Sags was pretty tough.

Sags was with Vince McMahon and heard the commotion. When he saw the two going at it, he ran towards them and leaped a few yards in the air and nailed Flair in the eye. Flair and Sags then went at it before it was broken up.

The kicker is that the damages and bar bill ended up getting charged to Flair’s credit card, and they totaled $3,000. This was after Flair was kicked out of the bar, so the Nastys partied on Flair’s tab and got the last laugh. Flair complained about it in his book, and while the Nastys were wrong for picking on Kanoff, it was Flair who did throw the first punch.

There was no heat between Flair and the Nastys after this. It was just an isolated incident, and the Nastys knew better than to retaliate against McMahon’s newest investment. Knobbs was on Flair’s podcast in 2015 and they all had a good laugh about it. Only Flair gave his side of the story, but Knobbs didn’t object to anything Flair said so it probably went down largely as he recounted it.