Ric Flair's estranged wife Jackie is a vicious alcoholic who has physically beaten him several times -- once even assaulting him with a glass object -- so says Ric, and now he's asking a judge for a protective order.
Ric filed docs in response to his wife's legal separation papers -- calling Jackie "cruel" and "barbarous," and claiming she has endangered his life in drunken fits of rage ... multiple times throughout their marriage.
In the docs, Ric says Jackie went after him -- back in February 2010 -- with a glass object and "shattered it over his forehead, cutting him severely, and requiring medical attention."
Ric also claims Jackie -- his 4th wife -- was once arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol level of .22 ... nearly three times the legal limit.
Even though they've been separated since December ... Ric says he's still terrified of his estranged wife, and is now asking the court for a domestic violence protective order.
He also wants to void a separation agreement he signed in October -- in which he promised to pay Jackie tens of thousands of dollars.
Ric claims Jackie's badmouthing -- she called him a cheating scumbag -- cost him lucrative performance and endorsement contracts, and now it's impossible for him to make the payments.
We reached out to Jackie ... who tells us, the allegations are 100% false. And says Rick is using them as cheap trick to "avoid paying her the money to which she is entitled."