Ric Flair is doing so well in his recovery, he's now taking phone calls from his famous wrestler friends ... including Stone Cold Steve Austin who says the two had a great convo earlier this week!

"All I can say is that I had a great conversation for about 5 minutes and we were both laughing," Austin said Wednesday on Sean Waltman's "X-Pac 12360" podcast . 

Steve says Flair's still got a ways to go after undergoing major surgery for multiple organ issues -- but the fact he's got his personality back is a huge deal. 

Stone Cold also says he's confident Flair will fight through this because he's one of the toughest people he's ever met ... and he explains why.