This past July, Ric Flair wrestled in his advertised last match by teaming with Andrade El Idolo to defeat Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett, but that wasn’t the original plan. 

Fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Ricky Steamboat was originally planned to be part of the match, but didn’t end up not doing it. Steamboat is considered one of Flair’s greatest rivals dating back to their matches in the 80s and 90s.

While speaking to Bill Apter of Sportskeeda, Steamboat explained why he decided against being part of Flair’s last match.

The Real Reason

“Initially, when Conrad, who is the promoter, when we talked, I drove to Nashville and we had a sitdown. I was still training pretty good and feeling pretty good, and I said ‘okay.’ We hadn’t signed or sealed the deal on the money part of it, but what put the nail in the coffin is, about a week after that, I found out that Flair was wearing a pacemaker. All these years and I never knew. I immediately said, ‘I don’t think I want to do this.’ I don’t want my legacy to be that I was in the ring if he happened to pass away or something went wrong. I didn’t want that.”

Steamboat noted that he initially publicly stated that he turned down the match due to not having any interest in wrestling again, but it was due to him not wanting to throw Conrad Thompson or Flair under the bus. 

Steamboat had his own last match when he teamed with FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) to defeat Brock Anderson, Jay Lethal and Nick Aldis on November 27, 2022 at Big Time Wrestling.

H/T to Fightful for the transcription