Columbia (WLTX) - Wrestling legend Ric Flair has a bunch of world titles, but until Monday, he'd never gotten a key to the City of Columbia.
Well, now he has one.
Mayor Bob Coble made the presentation to Flair Monday morning at City Hall.
Flair, who got a little emotional during the ceremony, talked about how much Columbia had meant to him in his earliest days in the business.
"I started coming to Columbia, the Township(Auditorium), in 1974," Flair says. "I came down every week on Tuesday. The fan base here, the fans have always been some of the best in the world...We just knew when we walked in it was going to be loud, it was going to be packed, and it was going to be difficult to get out of the ring and back into the dressing room because the fans really get into the show."
Flair, of course, is a wrestling icon, known for his famous "whoooo!" yell and outrageous ring style. Flair's been in the wrestling business since the 1970s, and became a nationally known figure in the 1980s.
He's wrestled nearly every other major name in the business, and has won, by some accounts, 16 world titles.
Despite all that, Flair says getting the key is a highlight of his life.
"Of all the things I've supposedly done in my career...I'm most proud of moments like this," Flair said with tears in his eyes.
Flair says beyond his career, he's got personal ties to the city. Mike Campbell, the son of the late Governor Carroll Campbell, is a close personal friend. He's also friends with USC Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier, and attends Gamecock home football games.
"The Nature Boy" is in town for a WWE event Monday night at the Colonial Center.