After a couple of videos of Ric Flair training with Jay Lethal made it out into the wild, The Nature Boy officially confirmed this week that he really is returning to the ring. Flair will wrestle his first match in more than ten years, at the age of 73, at the Nashville Fairgrounds on July 31, 2022. If you won’t be in the area or can’t get a ticket, the match, and presumably the rest of the event, will stream live on Fite.
The only element of Flair’s latest return match that hasn’t been confirmed is who else will be involved. Thankully, it doesn’t appear as if Flair will be rolling the clock back 35 years and wrestling a 60-minute broadway. However, one of them he had some of his best matches ever with, Ricky Steamboat, will reportedly be involved.
According to Fightful Select (via Wrestling Inc.), Steamboat will be a part of the match, wrestling for the first time since 2010. Steamboat’s last match was actually even longer ago than Flair’s. Naitch’s final match was a losing effort to Sting on Impact in 2011. Steamboat’s last match was one where he tagged with his son Richie in 2010, though he was sort of involved in a match/physical angle with The Duke at an AIW show in 2018.
As for how Steamboat will factor into the match, if other reports are correct he will likely be teaming with The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express. The belief is that Steamboat, Ricky Morton, and Robert Gibson will take on the team of Flair and FTR. On paper, that gives Team Flair the advantage since the average age of the team will be far younger. Then again, if Steamboat is still in tremendous shape, which seems likely, he will probably wrestle like a man half his age.
As this plan continues to unfold, who exactly wants this match to happen outside of Flair himself remains unclear. Hopefully, the match will be well thought out and Flair won’t do much outside of the hits. Connecting with a few chops, taking the Flair Flop, that sort of thing. Whatever the plan, if you want to see it happen, tune into Fite on July 31.
The match will be taking place at Jim Crockett Promotion’s Starrcast event in Nashville, TN on July 31. The show is set to air just via FITE TV just one day after WWE’s SummerSlam, which will also be in Nashville.