After Flair left the AWA for Jim Crockett Jr.'s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (MACW) in 1974, he began working tours for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW).
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In August 1995, under a WCW contract, Flair participated in the G1 Climax tournament in New Japan, where he beat Shiro Koshinaka, drew Masahiro Chono, and lost to Keiji Mutoh.
On July 17, 1996, Flair challenged Shinya Hashimoto for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a losing effort in NJPW.
Flair is officially recognized by WWE and Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) as a 16-time world champion (eight-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and two-time WWF Champion), He was the first holder of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (which he also held last).
As the inaugural WCW World Heavyweight Champion, he became the first person to complete WCW's Triple Crown, having already held the United States Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships.
On the February 7, 2005 episode of Raw, broadcast from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, Flair lost to Shawn Michaels in a singles match. Kennedy in the Ariake Coliseum and William Regal in the Budokan Hall, both under the stipulation that he would retire if he lost.
On January 2, 2013, All Japan announced that Flair would make his return to AJPW for the first time in five years on January 26, 2013, teaming with Keiji Mutoh to take on Tatsumi Fujinami and Seiya Sanada.
PWI awarded him their Wrestler of the Year award a record six times, while Wrestling Observer Newsletter named him the Wrestler of the Year (an award named after him and Lou Thesz) a record eight times.
The only two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee, first inducted in 2008 for his individual career and again in 2012 as a member of The Four Horsemen, he is also an NWA Hall of Famer.
During the next three years, he held five reigns as NWA United States Heavyweight Champion while feuding with Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, Mr.