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Competing in the final match of his illustrious career, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair teamed with his son-in-law, All Elite Wrestling star Andrade El Idolo, to defeat Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal on Sunday at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Flair started the match against Lethal, with Jarrett avoiding him through the early exchanges. The legend brought out some of his trademark moves and celebrations, which delighted the crowd.
As the match wore on, Flair was busted open but continued to fight on. He endured a suplex from Lethal and was put in his own Figure-Four Leglock submission by Jarrett.
The closing sequence saw Jarrett inadvertently hit Lethal with a guitar before Flair hit Jarrett with brass knuckles and locked in the Figure-Four to get the pin. Confetti fell from the rafters in celebration of Flair’s final victory. His family members were in attendance, as were wrestling legends like The Undertaker, Mick Foley and Bret Hart.
Flair addressed the crowd after the match, reflecting on his career and thanking his family, his friends and the fans one last time:
The 73-year-old Flair, who last wrestled a match for TNA in 2011, began preparations for his final match a few months ago, and it wasn’t until recently that his partner and opponents were revealed.
Flair had been training with Lethal, but an angle was run that saw Lethal and Jarrett attack Flair in a parking lot, leaving him in a pool of blood.
That set the stage for the match with Flair choosing Andrade, who is married to his daughter, WWE Superstar Charlotte Flair, as his partner.
The match had originally been scheduled to take place at the Nashville Fairgrounds one day after WWE’s SummerSlam event in Nashville, and while the bout did occur during SummerSlam weekend, it was moved to a bigger venue because of high ticket demand.
Flair became a free agent last August after he requested his release from WWE. Upon receiving his release, Flair tweeted the following, noting that he had no ill will toward the company:
Flair had been making fairly regular appearances on WWE programming since late 2012 after his contract with TNA expired.
Flair’s final on-screen work in WWE saw him get involved in a storyline with Charlotte and Lacey Evans early last year. It was suggested in the angle that Flair was romantically involved with Evans, which is why he turned on his daughter and aligned himself with Lacey.
The storyline came to an end in February 2021 when Evans announced she was legitimately pregnant. Flair was taken off television shortly thereafter.
Days after getting released by WWE, Flair appeared at AAA’s Triplemania event and was in the corner of his future son-in-law, Andrade El Idolo, for his match against Kenny Omega.
Flair even got physical in the match by chopping Omega and putting Konnan in the Figure-Four Leglock.
— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) August 15, 2021
While Flair has primarily acted in a managerial or special appearance role over the past several years, he is best known for being one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
His 16 world titles in NWA, WCW and WWE are recognized as the most ever along with John Cena, and to this day, Flair remains a huge part of pop culture because of his “stylin’, profilin’, limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ and dealin’ son of a gun” persona.
Flair getting physical at his age and with the serious health problems he has encountered in recent years may not have been the best idea, but he has long discussed his desire to get back in the ring.
Flair did precisely that on Sunday despite the fact that he nearly died from a bowel obstruction and kidney failure five years ago.
Now, Flair can ride off into retirement with his final match in the books, but given his love for wrestling and being in the spotlight, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him take on a role with WWE or AEW if either has interest in signing him.