Ric Flair knows a thing or two when it comes to selling a slap, and the WWE legend is convinced Will Smith 's on-stage assault of Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars was not all it seemed.
Rock, 57, was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards when he joked that Jada Pinkett-Smith—who has alopecia —would be starring in a G.I. Jane sequel. The bald joke didn't go down well with Smith, who stood up for his wife by storming the stage and smacking Rock before returning to his seat.
The moment has been talked about as one of the most memorable in Oscars history, but 'The Nature Boy' isn't buying it as genuine. Wrestling icon Flair, 73, appeared on a recent episode Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson and delivered his verdict on one of the most infamous moments in recent Hollywood history.
He opined that he "didn’t think it was real," to which the host responded: "If Ric says it’s a fake, then it’s a fake." Sixteen-time world wrestling champion Flair was famed for his signature 'knife-edge chops', slaps to the chest that cued the crowd into a chorus of 'woo' noises.
“I can speak for myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m speaking for Mike," Flair continued. "If I didn’t like a remark, for any reason whatsoever, that somebody said about my wife, I would be punching them — not slapping them."
Tyson piled on by adding "it would be more than one punch, too," if one was defending their partner. Flair went on to reiterate his belief the actions simply didn't appear realistic, adding: “When you’re mad at someone, you don’t slap him, you punch him."
King Richard star Smith—who won his maiden Oscar on the same night that he slapped Rock—later released a statement apologising to the comedian, calling his behaviour "unacceptable and inexcusable." He described violence as "poisonous and destructive" in all forms, adding his actions did not represent "the man I want to be."
During one of his absences from boxing in 1998, Tyson made his WWE (then WWF) debut at WrestleMania XIV. There, he acted as an enforcer during the main-event match-up between 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels, though he's since made further appearances inside the wrestling ring with WWE and AEW.
The former undisputed heavyweight world champion has also gone into business with Flair in his cannabis company, Tyson 2.0. Together, the pair are producing cannabis strains and a line of edibles that “makes you go ‘Woooooo!'”
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