“The Nature Boy” will do the rounds one last time.
Ric Flair, one of the most well-known and revered professional wrestlers in history, will perform in one final match on July 31, sources told ESPN on Monday. Flair, 73, will step into the ring at the Nashville Fairgrounds on an independent card that will air live on FITE TV.
Flair, a two-time WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time world champion, has not wrestled in a match since September 12, 2011, a bout for Impact Wrestling against longtime rival Sting. His last WWE match was in 2008 at WrestleMania XXIV against Shawn Michaels. Flair’s opponent for July 31 remains unclear. It is also unknown if it will be a singles or tag team match.
“I’m going to walk down this aisle one last time to prove once and for all that to be the man, you have to beat the man,” Flair said in a statement to ESPN.
Flair’s final match will be the day after WWE SummerSlam, which is also taking place in Nashville. The event will take place immediately following the Starrcast V Wrestling Convention and Expo at the Nashville Fairgrounds, which has hosted several historic professional wrestling moments over the years.
Flair, known for his “Woo!” catchphrase and famous strut, posted videos on social media of him training with current AEW wrestler Jay Lethal. The legendary wrestler requested his release from WWE in 2021 and received it. Flair was best known for his work in the NWA and WCW, which was WWE’s biggest rival in the 1980s and 1990s. But he also played in WWE for part of two decades, as a wrestler and manager on screen.
Last August, Flair appeared in Mexico City for the AAA promotion, cornering her daughter Charlotte’s fiancé, Andrade El Idolo, for a headlining match against Kenny Omega. Flair got physical during the match, entering the ring and slicing Omega’s chest, a signature move for him.
Flair’s heyday dates back three decades, but it still has a massive following, boosted by the hip-hop community. Offset’s 2018 rap song “Ric Flair Drip” was a huge hit, and a year earlier Flair starred in a music video with Latin star Bad Bunny, who is now the most streamed musician on Spotify.
The card that Flair will perform on July 31 will begin at 6:05 p.m., a tribute to Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW’s weekend start times from the 1970s through the 1990s. Tickets and the pay-per-view stream will go live. sale May 27 at noon.
Flair suffered major health issues in the summer of 2017, requiring bowel surgery, which resulted in kidney failure and dialysis treatment. He was hospitalized for over a month but has been in good health since the scare.