"They came down the next day and at 10:30 we took a group shot and he did the 'Wooooo!' and he told us really funny stories about whenever he was on 'Baywatch' and told us some funny things about Pamela Anderson and the Hoff."
ROSEMARY BEACH — Some local lifeguards got to style and profile as they met one of the legends of professional wrestling who was vacationing in the area last week.
South Walton lifeguard Jordan DeWitt, who usually patrols the beach where The Pearl hotel sets up its beach chairs, was running on the beach with The Pearl's beach services supervisor last Tuesday when she heard someone say to them, "There goes Baywatch."
DeWitt recognized the person who said it as retired professional wrestler "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Fellow lifeguard Randy Wright approached Flair and let him know they were big fans and wanted to know if they could take a photo with him. Flair and his wife had been at the beach all day and asked if they could take the photo on Wednesday instead.
"They came down the next day and at 10:30 we took a group shot and he did the 'Wooooo!' and he told us really funny stories about whenever he was on 'Baywatch' and told us some funny things about Pamela Anderson and the Hoff," DeWitt said. "It was so much fun. We took a picture and some of the beach chair services guys got pictures with him and we talked for a couple of minutes and then us lifeguards had to skedaddle and get back to our towers."
Flair is widely considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He is recognized as a 16-time world champion (although that number may be closer to 21) and he has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice, first for his singles career and a second time as part of the wrestling faction, the Four Horsemen.
Flair, the master of the figure-four leg lock, played a larger-than-life character in the ring who was often called the dirtiest man in the game and often described himself as a "limousine-ridin', jet-flyin', kiss-stealin', wheelin' dealin' son-of-a-gun."
Flair was in Rosemary Beach celebrating his one-year anniversary to his wife, Wendy. After their initial meeting on Tuesday, Flair and his wife requested to have their beach chairs set up next to DeWitt's lifeguard tower the rest of their stay and the three talked regularly.
DeWitt said she had been a life-long fan of Flair and meeting the Nature Boy in real life did not disappoint.
"When I was younger, we used to have the Pillow Pal Wrestling Buddies," she said. "I had 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, my older brother had Hulk Hogan and my younger brother had Ric Flair. We used to hardcore wrestle with those things, like launch off the beds with each other. We watched wrestling all the time growing up, so it's so surreal that I got to meet him.
"He was fun," DeWitt added. "He was just really happy to be there and really upbeat and just so, so nice."
Flair tweeted the photo of him and his wife with the lifeguards on Friday, with the caption "Baywatch Rosemary Beach! WOOOOO!"