Despite retiring from wrestling almost a decade ago, Ric Flair and his brand are experiencing a renaissance.

Just scroll through your timeline, and, whether you intend to or not, you’ll see him—tweeting meditations on the meaning of swag, or tagging images of his new 18-carat gold watch on Instagram to Rae Sremmurd or Post Malone. Flair is experiencing More Life than Drake. And it’s only appropriate, seeing as Flair has been one of hip-hop’s favorite muses for decades. His lifestyle has become the rapper blueprint and his name has become a metaphor for pageantry. In Ric Flair, rap artists have found the embodiment of their brashest selves, co-opting his character’s brand as a stand-in for extravagance and excess.

“The greatest thing I’ve ever did, was all the things I thought up,” says Flair. “The limousine riding, jet-flying, the kiss-stealing, wheeling dealing…all that bullshit. Who would have thought it would all come back?”

Even at age 68, Flair can still pull out that old strut and deliver an uber-audible “Wooo!”—eyebrows elevated, lips pursed—in that vaudevillian tone we’ve come to love. He looks strong in the shoulders and across the chest. Even with his fiancée Wendy Barlow on his arm, Flair’s handshake is so strong, you can tell he could pick you up in a fury and slam you on the mat in a flash.

Known during his early career as the dastardly heel, Flair was despised by the millions, and for good reason. He once looked squarely into the camera and said, “Let me take this opportunity to talk about myself!” He would step to the mic and remind fans of how inferior their lives were in comparison to his. How could they relate to the feeling of walking around in $600 lizard shoes? And how could Flair have known he would become one of the most beloved and quoted wrestlers considering how hated he has been for most of his time spent on the national scene?

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