Exclusive: JZ Flair on challengers for his Bojangles Championship & more
As the story goes, back in the early 1980s a union between Mr. Clean and Mrs. Butterworth helped create JZ Flair. JZ Flair ultimately scoured the Earth looking for his beloved queen, eventually finding the Angels Champion, Chealsea. The two married in 2014 and have since taken the belt-collecting world by storm. Since 2018, Flair has also dominated the fried chicken world, becoming the first and longest-reigning Bojangles Champion.
I personally discovered JZ Flair on a very different wavelength. Beyond hearing his name dropped on several of the Conrad Thompson-related podcasts, I encountered the infamous Bojangles belt-carrier at WrestleCon in New York. And the Opposuits-wearing co-host of the Walk The Walk Podcast is every bit as entertaining in-person as he is on-air.
Below are highlights of my Q&A with JZ Flair himself who keeps a store online at www.whatforapparel.com/jzflair. The North Carolina resident is still accepting challengers, yet shows no signs of losing his Bojangles Championship anytime soon.
You are synonymous with wrestling belts. When did that interest first come about?
JZ Flair: The first time I really was drawn to wrestling belts was around 1997. I remember Undertaker coming down to the ring with the Winged Eagle around his waist and I was drawn to the belt and wanted to know the details in the belt that I couldn’t make out on TV. I continued watching wrestling and remember seeing the Big Gold and Big Eagle and I was HOOOOOOKED. The Big Eagle on that beautiful blue leather was the first belt that made me want to have one… and IT WAS ON.
I started looking to see if I could afford one and only found a Winged Eagle for sale for 1400 dollars. WAYYYY too much for a 14-year old kid. I continued on searching for belts and seen pictures of a collector known as Super Dave Miller. I then started to want to become a real belt collector and in 2007 I started.
Around how many belts do you currently have in your collection these days?
JZ Flair: Currently I own 15 real belts, three which are ring-used, three replicas and three leathered replicas. I currently plan on adding a few more leathered replicas, such as the classic IC and Smoking Skull belt. I love collecting random titles and I'm not always after the same belts people go crazy for.
What about your interest in fried chicken? Has that been a lifelong interest?
JZ Flair: (laughs) Who doesn’t enjoy some fried chicken, man? Growing up in my hometown, the most popular breakfast item was a fried chicken biscuit covered in cheese. We got a Bojangles and it became my Granny Z’s favorite restaurant. Also after school, me and my friends would go out to eat at Bojangles as a hangout. If you come to my hometown, you will see a line out of the parking lot into the main drag every morning. It's insane!
Is the Bojangles Championship the first belt you have been the title-holder of?
JZ Flair: It is the first championship that I have been given the honor of holding and defending. The belt is truly growing in popularity and is the most prestigious and sought-after belt on Twitter. I have another championship that I had made for me, but I don’t think someone can declare themselves their own champion… COUGH COUGH OVERBOYZ…
Did anyone challenge you for the Bojangles Championship at WrestleCon?
JZ Flair: NOT A ONE. So many people were talking trash and claiming they were coming for me in New York. Which they did, only to see me and cower in fear and ask for an autograph. Most people are all talk and not a bit of walk. It's an open challenge on my title and I don’t hide where I am. Yet there is never a person who seems man or lady enough to take it from me.
Who's biggest name to have challenged you for your Bojangles Championship? Marc Mero?
JZ Flair: "The Hurricane" Shane Helms wants a shot at my championship. I'm still awaiting for when this match will happen. Currently the OverBoyz and Skyler Steele are after me as well. Steele being someone who I could see being a legit challenge and the OverBoyz are JZ Flair wannabes who are and will remain "neverbes."
Any plans to record a podcast live at a Bojangles?
JZ Flair: Plan on doing a live Twitter/Periscope at my local Bojangles soon. If it goes well then it will happen more and more. Always open to being out and about with my fans and fellow fried chicken lovers.
What is your favorite wrestling promotion of the moment?
JZ Flair: I'm all about the local promotions here in North Carolina. Currently LOVING GOUGE, American Lucha and LIVE! Championship Wrestling. I am hoping that these three feds will join together for a super-show soon. All of them full of great future stars who are grinding to get to the top. They are all iron-sharpening iron promotions. I love them.
And other than your own, what is your favorite wrestling podcast of the moment?
JZ Flair: Other than WTWsmoothcast, I am loving -- and I mean -- loving What Happened When? Tony Schaivone and Conrad Thompson are putting on a banger of a podcast. It's one I don’t miss and I am sad when it's over.
Finally, JZ, any last words for the kids?
JZ Flair: Never ever, ever give up on what you want to be. Don’t take "no" as a reason to stop. You can over come any obstacle put in your way. Also, STAY KIND and HUMBLE. Be thankful for what people do for you. Never give or do good deeds for the reward. Love thy neighbor.