Ricky Steamboat Reveals Why He Backed Out Of Ric Flair's Last Match

Ricky Steamboat explains why he turned down Ric Flair

At the age of 73, Ric Flair finally retired from professional wrestling in 2022, picking up a win alongside Andrade El Idolo against Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal at July's 'Ric Flair's Last Match'.

The original plans for the match were very different, though, and the initial idea was for Flair to team with FTR against Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat and The Rock 'n' Roll Express.

Speaking with Bill Apter of Sportskeeda, Steamboat revealed he turned down being a part of Ric Flair's Last Match after he found out his longtime rival had a pacemaker. 

"Initially, you know, Conrad, who's the promoter, we talked, we went to Nashville, and we had a sit-down, and it was Conrad, his wife, and me and my wife, Sandy. I was still training pretty good and feeling pretty good. So I said okay, and we hadn't signed or sealed the deal on the money part of it. But what put the nail in the coffin was a week after that when I found out Flair was wearing a pacemaker. All these years, I never knew, and I immediately said I don't think I wanna do this. I don't want my legacy to be, you know, I was in a ring with him when he happened to pass away or something went wrong," Steamboat said.

"So I have done some interviews after they found out that I said no, but you know, first time I'm coming public with this. I didn't wanna throw Conrad or Flair under the bus. So I threw myself under the bus even when I was talking to you that I'm not the guy the fans remember me by. It's like one of those old-timer boxers. They get in the ring, and after about the third round, the legs are gone. Everything's sitting there and saying, 'Man, you should have remained retired.' So I used myself as the reason."

While he wouldn't step in the ring for Ric Flair's Last Match, Ricky Steamboat did come out of retirement in 2022. The Dragon teamed with FTR to defeat "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal, Nick Aldis, and Brock Anderson at a Big Time Wrestling event on November 27.  

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons