WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is promising that he will come off the top rope when he wrestles his final match during Starrcast V weekend.
As we’ve noted, Flair is scheduled to return to the ring for one night only at Starrcast later this summer. The match is planned for a special one night only “Jim Crockett Promotions Presents: Ric Flair’s Last Match” event on Sunday, July 31 at Starrcast V in Nashville, Tennessee, live from the Nashville Fairgrounds. Flair is expected to team with AAA & ROH World Tag Team Champions FTR against WWE Hall of Famers The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and a mystery partner. It was rumored that WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat would be the mystery partner, but he recently nixed that talk. It’s also been rumored that WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan will be the opponent.
It was believed that Flair’s mystery opponent for the six-man match would be announced on Monday of this week, but that didn’t happen.
Flair spoke with Paul Ruzzo of The Tampa Bay Times this week and commented on this last match.
“[Wrestling] in my blood,” Flair said. “It’s my life. So, I thought, why not one more go-around?”
The 73 year old Flair has spent some time in Tampa as of late, and says he is working harder than he is partying, and credits Tampa training opportunities for getting him back into shape. Flair says he’s currently at 223 pounds.
“I feel better about myself now than I did 12 years ago,” Flair said. “I now weigh 223. The last time I wrestled, I weighed 240.”
Flair is now spending up to two hours per day at the Hard Knox South private gym in Tampa, where John Cena’s personal trainer pushes him harder than anyone has in years. For up to another two hours per day, Flair works on his in-ring skills with AEW star Jay Lethal at Tampa Bay Pro Wrestling’s Lethal Academy.
We’ve noted how Flair recently released videos that show he and Lethal training in the ring. You can see those clips below.
“That was just an experiment to make sure my pacemaker didn’t come unplugged from landing on the mat,” Flair joked, sort of.
Despite the 2017 health scare that Flair had, he says doctors have medically cleared him to return to the ring and now it’s all about “just picking up the pace where I’m moving faster and just reacting” during a match.
The Nature Boy also said he’s not returning to the ring out of boredom or because he needs money.
Flair did admit that his family said he was crazy when he told them about the idea of having one more match.
“But they’ve always known I was crazy,” he said, adding that they do support his decision.
Flair also admitted that his athleticism is diminished but he can still pull off his most famous moves – the signature chops to the chest, the Figure Four, and strutting the ring as he yells “Wooo!” to the crowd.
Flair was asked about his signature spot where he gets flipped upside down over the ropes, runs the apron, climbs to the top turnbuckle and leaps off, only to be caught with a punch to the gut. He said he’s still working on that move, but guaranteed he will be coming off the top rope.
“That’s what I’m working on,” Flair said. “It’s just a timing issue. I’ll guarantee I’ll be coming off the top rope. Whether it’s the flip or not, I don’t know.”
Flair had his retirement match back at WWE WrestleMania 24 in 2008, losing to WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. He worked an Unsanctioned Match against Randy Orton the following year on RAW, and then worked four matches with Hogan on the Hulkamania tour of Australia in November 2009. Flair also worked 11 matches for TNA/Impact Wrestling in 2010 and 2011, with his last match coming as a loss to WWE Hall of Famer Sting on the September 15, 2011 edition of Impact. Flair suffered a torn left triceps in that bout, which was heavily criticized and needed to be edited.
Flair says the last match with Sting robbed him of a formal retirement match due to the injury and the shape he was in. Flair says he wasn’t in proper shape with TNA, and this final match in July will “be better than I was the last time I wrestled with TNA. That’s all that really matters. I just want one more go around to look back on and say I did something special. I’m pretty confident it will be something special.”
The “Jim Crockett Promotions Presents: Ric Flair’s Last Match” event is scheduled to begin at 6:05pm ET on July 31, with the start time being a throwback nod to pro wrestling on Saturday nights. The event is being produced by Thuzio, a Triller company, and will stream worldwide via FITE. Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 27 at 12pm ET, which is also when FITE pre-ordering will go live. It was previously noted on the RicFlairsLastMatch.com website that Flair’s opponent and the full card will be announced soon. Starrcast V will be a big weekend for Flair as there will be a Four Horsemen reunion and The Roast of Ric Flair.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more on Flair.