As this post goes live, Ric Flair is just a couple of hours away from wrestling his last match as part of a special event called, appropriately enough, Ric Flair’s Last Match.
I don’t plan on watching it live due to a couple of reasons. One is the hefty price tag for the online PPV event, and as early as I have to get up every day, I wouldn’t be able to stay up late enough to enjoy it. Those are the practical reasons. Another reason is, that I’ve already seen his last match back at Wrestlemania 24.
Now I know that Flair went on to wrestle in TNA after his retirement match against Shawn Michaels at that event fourteen years ago. But I’ve never watched any of the matches he had there, nor do I intend to. His send-off at Wrestlemania and the retirement ceremony the following night on Monday Night Raw was a perfect endpoint in my mind. I briefly wrote about it once upon a time while looking back at some of my favorite Wrestlemania memories. Here is what I had to say:
For me, it was the end of an era. An era of fully enjoying watching wrestling. I watched Raw the following night and the awesome send off the WWE gave the greatest wrestler of all-time. That was the last time I watched a full episode of a wrestling show.
I had seen my favorite at his peak, and at his lowest, and then I got to see him on one last high over those two days. As Flair closed the book on his active wrestling career, I closed the book on my fandom. No one would ever capture my imagination like the “Nature Boy” did again.
I still feel that way. Tonight’s event has even more nostalgia associated with it since it is the last card that will be presented by Jim Crockett Promotions…my all-time favorite promotion that brought me so much entertainment through the years. Not only that, but being held at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville is significant as it’s the site of two of Flair’s world title wins. The first being over Ricky Steamboat at WrestleWar ’89, and the second was over Randy Savage at Starrcade ’95. Both of those events I witnessed live on PPV. One other little bit of nostalgia associated with the event is that its start time is 6:05 pm…a little nod to the history of wrestling on TBS with its traditional 6:05 start time every Saturday night for YEARS.
Even though I won’t be watching, I wish the “Nature Boy” all the best. Not only in health as he’s attempting to do this match with a pacemaker, but in spirit as well. I hope Ric finds the happiness that he’s searching for by going out there to do what he loves one last time.
Who knows, maybe one day when I’m older, I’ll attempt to do something I’ve loved one last time and will know what he’s going through, and someone will be cheering me on and wishing me well from afar.