Could it be? Professional wrestling is staged? That's the shocking accusation a promoter has made in a lawsuit filed against champion wrestler Ric "the Nature Boy" Flair.

It turns out that Flair - known for his blond tresses, piercing battle cry, "Woooooo!" and sparkling robes, including one that has 7,200 rhinestones and weighs 45 pounds - is an entertainer, not an athlete.The suit filed in state court by World Championship Wrestling claims Flair's failure to show up at a series of bouts this year played havoc with "story lines" planned out for the performances.

Flair, 49, has a three-year contract worth nearly $2 million to wrestle for Turner Broadcasting System's top-rated cable show.

He did not return phone calls left at his Charlotte, N.C., home and gyms.

"Wrestling is action-packed sports entertainment," WCW spokesman Alan Sharp said Thursday.