I Tried Ric Flair's Wooooo Energy Drink And Wasn't Wooed

While I don't usually review energy drinks, when I heard about Ric Flair's new Wooooo Energy I knew I'd have to try it and report on the results. Wrestling-slash-food tie-ins are absolutely in my wheelhouse, after all – yes, I'm aware no one reads the bylines of online articles (it's ok; I don't, either), but if you've ever read a Mashed article about food and the writer name-dropped Macho Man Randy SavageChris Jericho, or any other past or present pro wrestler, it was probably one of mine.

One thing about Wooooo is that it seems to be a product meant strictly for wrestling fans. Unlike with Zoa Energy, a drink marketed by The Rock (or Dwayne Johnson, as he's known in civilian life), the very name "Wooooo" is taken from a Ric Flair catchphrase, and his image is stylin' and profilin' on every can. Zoa, meanwhile, has very generic-looking packaging. It's also something you can only order from the Wooooo website, whereas Zoa can be purchased in groceries and convenience stores. It's not such a stretch, then, to assume that Wooooo Energy isn't being sold to fitness enthusiasts so much as it is to wrestling fans like me, which is to say, the markiest marks since the Funky Bunch.

Wooooo Energy is made with mushrooms

One of Wooooo Energy's selling points is the fact that it contains adaptogenic mushrooms, which help support both the brain and body. The specific ones featured in this drink are lion's mane, which may be able to boost memory and the ability to focus, and cordyceps, which is said to help the immune system and increase stamina. (Not so fun-gi fact about the latter: It's actually not a mushroom but a fungal growth that attaches to insect larvae.)

Unfortunately, fungus isn't a great flavor for a bubbly beverage. I'd tried Katy Perry's DeSoi nonalcoholic aperitifs before and found those mushroom-based drinks to be a bitter swill to swallow. I feared that Wooooo Energy might not taste too great, either, a prediction that was only bolstered by the reaction of Ric Flair's son-in-law Andrade El Idolo. Andrade, who was then wrestling for AEW, stopped mid-match to swig from a can of the stuff, and the face he made was none too pretty.

The cans look good, but the taste is atrocious

One reason why Wooooo probably isn't going to be too many people's go-to energy drink is that it's pretty darn pricey. And no, I didn't get the product comped in exchange for a review — I shelled out almost 40 bucks for two six-packs of the stuff, and no, it's not even tax-deductible since I don't have enough of these to itemize. Anyway, I ordered it and waited a few weeks, and finally, my Wooooo arrived at my door.

The cans, upon unboxing, didn't disappoint. They came in three varieties as colorful as Flair's ring gear: lemon in blue and yellow, passionfruit in a Hart Foundation-esque pink, and strawberry banana in yellow and red that make it seem like Hulkamania is running wild on the Nature Boy. Still, the real proof of the Wooooo comes in the drinking, so I wasted no time in cracking open a can of strawberry banana.

My very first impression was, "Okay, that's not as bitter as I feared." Milliseconds later, the relief gave way to another thought: "Wow, this drink is really, really sweet." Once the aftertaste kicked in, though, I realized that I'd come face-to-taste with my nemesis, the dread artificial sweetener. Damn it, I should have read the label to the bottom, because it's there I found a word that strikes fear into my tastebuds: sucralose, an ingredient that makes me feel like my tongue's coated in gasoline and fur.

The taste was regrettable, but I have no buyer's remorse

I did eventually manage to try a small amount of all three kinds of Wooooo Energy, and I'd have to say I liked the lemon flavor the best, or rather, hated it the least. Still, the sucralose completely ruined the flavor for me. My son tried some of the Wooooo, too, as did a friend, and while neither of them hates artificial sweetener quite as much as I do, they also found the drinks to be excessively sweet while still not quite managing to mask the mushroom-y bitterness

Sorry, Ric, but I won't be ordering any more Wooooo myself, although I sincerely hope that others feel differently about the stuff, and I don't regret my purchase. Even though I don't care for the drink, still, it's Wooooo Energy that has funded Ric Flair's post-retirement run in AEW, much in the way that Slim Jims covered the cost of Randy Savage's WCW salary. Since I watch AEW religiously (or sacrilegiously, as some might feel), I feel I've more than gotten my money's worth in entertainment value. Plus, I now have a cool collection of colorful cans with Flair's face on each one, which will go great with my drawer full of Macho Man Randy Savage-themed Slim Jim Savage meat sticks.