Famously known in the ring as "Nature Boy," Flair, 70, wrestled for four decades during stints in WCW and WWE

By Adam Carlson Jason Duaine Hahn
May 17, 2019 01:52 PM
Ric Flair

Wrestling legend Ric Flair, who was hospitalized in the Atlanta area on Thursday, is dealing with complications that have delayed a planned medical procedure on Friday, according to his wife.

“Ric’s surgery has been postponed until Monday to address some [c]omplications that needed to be taken care of first,” Wendy Barlow, who wed Flair last year, wrote on Instagram Friday afternoon.

She added: “Thanks for all the well wishes.” She did not specify the nature of the surgery and Flair’s condition is the hospital is unclear. A source told the wrestling news website Pro Westling Sheet that Flair was hospitalized in connection with recent heart issues.

In a previous statement to PEOPLE, Barlow confirmed that “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.”

Famously known in the ring as “Nature Boy,” Flair, 70, wrestled for four decades during stints in WCW and WWE.

He has experienced a number of health issues in recent years, including an emergency in August 2017 when it was revealed he was in the early stages of kidney failure and on the verge of congestive heart failure — the result of years of alcohol abuse.

At the time, Flair’s family members were told he had only a 20 percent chance of surviving, and he was placed in a medically induced coma while they — including daughter Charlotte Flair, also a pro wrestler — took to social media to asks fans for prayers.

“I’ll never drink again,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “I never want to go through this again.”

From left: Wendy Barlow and Ric Flair in May 2017
James Black/Icon Sportswire/Getty

A year later in September, Flair married Barlow in a ceremony held on the rooftop of the Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, Florida.

After news broke Thursday of his hospitalization, those in the wrestling community sent well-wishes to Flair through social media.

“Wishing @RicFlairNatrBoy the very best for a full and speedy recovery,” retired wrestling champion Mick Foley wrote on Twitter. “Get well soon, Ric – there is still much stylin’ and profilin’ needed to be done!”

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