However, with Ric Flair coming out of retirement to have one more match (at aged 73), rumours were swirling who his opponent would be.
Initial rumours he would be teaming with FTR to to take on the trio of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and Jay Lethal. The six man aspect of the tag team match would have meant that Flair would have had to do a lot less wrestling and could just hit his classic spots and go home.
However last night everyone was shocked when it was revealed that Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat was set to take place at Starrcast V. Their matches over the NWA Heavyweight Championship were some of the most legendary matches of the 1980s and 1990s, although both men are now pensioners and have no right stepping into the ring together.
Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was slated to be returning to wrestling this summer, taking on Ric Flair at the Nashville Fairground for one final bout.
Unfortunately, Steamboat has appeared to quash those rumours and revealing he is intent to retire while his health is still good and he can enjoy his remaining years.
Steamboat revealed during a Highspots Superstore signing that he was approached about doing the match but he has since declined the offer and put the ridiculous suggestion to bed.
In the interview, Ricky Steamboat said;
“Well, I was approached and given it really some serious thought. A lot of respect to the guy in the ring. You know, both of us are night and day when it comes to stuff out of the ring. Flair wouldn’t be Flair without it. I thought about it for a week and just recently just declined on it.”
“I know when I wrestled Jericho at WrestleMania 25, then we had the return match at Backlash in a singles, but at 69, and I know it’s a six-man tag and I could get a little this and that in, but with all due respect to our fans, I want them to remember me that last time I was in there with Jericho when they chanted, ‘You still got it.’ I don’t want to scar that phrase.”
“Even that night with Jericho, you know, I was working for the WWE. I was one of the trainers at the school and was pretty active in the ring, so I had a lot of confidence in myself. But knowing Ricky now and not being in the ring for a number of years, I don’t want to tarnish the memory that the fans have of me.”
“It’d be a good payday, sure, but I don’t want them thinking, ‘Maybe he should have stayed retired.’ You know, and I could get out there and maybe pull it off and say, ‘Well, you know, for a guy who’s 69 years old, he sure did pretty good,’ but that’s the double-edged sword right? So, you know, The Dragon does have a lot of pride in his work and the way the fans remember me in the ring, and I want that lasting impression.”
“I know my physical capabilities right now. I would love to be able to go out there and perform like I did with Jericho. I was 56 or 57 years old, but I think I want my fans to remember me as that guy and not have a chance of disappointing. That’s how much I love my fans.” (Source – Fightful)
As mentioned in the interview, Steamboat came out of retirement once before in WWE. The former NWA World Heavyweight Champion returned for a 3 on 1 handicap match against Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 25.
He impressed so much in the match (despite losing) that he faced Y2J again in singles competition at Backlash. The match was a simple one that had crowds on their feet at the chance of seeing their childhood favourite, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, one last time.
Since then he has kept out of the ring, wanting fans to remember the great matches like Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat and not as he is now.
Would you like to see Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat one last time? Let us know in the comments or click below to read more
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.