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Ric Flair's Last Match HOT TAKE

July 28, 2022

FINAL (definition) - coming at the end of a series.
LAST (definition) - only remaining.
FAREWELL (definition) - an act of parting or of marking someone's departure

This Sunday, FITE will present Ric Flair's Last Match, live from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, the site of several of Flair's World Heavyweight Championship victories and now, the venue that will be forever known as the last aisle that The Nature Boy walks.

Several years ago, the world almost lost Ric Flair when he nearly died. Before that, there have been many times where Ric Flair lost himself, to grief, to anxiety, to failure, to sadness. For even a man who has captured the imagination of untold billions of fans and taken them on some of the greatest emotional journeys inside the squared circle is still, just a man. Flair has lived life and has been celebrated for those exploits, but at the end of the day, he still has to look himself in the mirror.

The idea of one last match for the greatest professional wrestler who ever lived has captured the imagination of fans from across the globe, the reality is, no matter how many tens of thousands will watch on FITE and no matter many congregate in Nashville, there is only one person Ric Flair is competing for this Sunday - himself.

This isn't a corporately mandated retirement match and it's not an attempt to squeeze blood from a stone financially, it's a moment in time for Ric Flair, who has given so much entertainment to so many, to take a deep breath and do what he was born to do one last time, for himself more than anyone else. This isn't another chance at the World title. It's not even an attempt to redeem himself or prove his greatness one last time. It's one last chance to run the bases, take it all in, and show love for not just everyone who cares about Ric Flair, but for himself as well.

At the end of the day, Ric Flair, like us, is just a man, but this Sunday, one more time, he gets to be THE MAN and step back inside the wrestling ring as God intended him to do his entire life. Flair carries the legacy of professional wrestling alongside him, from Verne Gagne to Johnny Valentine to Rip Hawk to Ricky Steamboat to Harley Race to Dusty Rhodes to Triple H to Shawn Michaels to Terry Funk and beyond. One man night, he celebrates all that legacy and himself, live on FITE.

But, that doesn't mean Flair isn't also coming for a little revenge!

As fans have witnessed on the docuseries building to Flair's return to the ring, he was assaulted by Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal and left bloody in a parking lot for slights real and perceived. Calling upon his son-in-law, AEW's Andrade el Idolo to back him in the ring, Flair is not just looking for a kind celebratory moment in the ring, but a chance to give back a little bit of the asskicking and bloodletting he suffered at the hands of Double J and Jay Lethal. Having the chance to humiliate Jarrett and his wife Karen in their hometown of Nashville, TN will only make that final walk of the aisle that much sweeter.

Ric Flair has lived through many rivalries and wars and this Sunday, he enters the battle for pride and greatness one more time. It's the stuff dreams in professional wrestling are made of, and it's exactly the type of emotional main event that one would expect for the return of Jim Crockett Promotions.

If this event is anything, it's a wish fulfillment.

Ric Flair gets to compete again.

Pure professional wrestling fans get to hear the familiar tones of voices like Tony Schivaone and David Crockett again.

The JCP banner, initials and insignia return to the forefront of professional wrestling and the next generation of stars who made Jim Crockett Promotions the destination for everyone who watched The Superstation WTBS are represented.

Inter-promotional dream matches with the stars of AAA, New Japan Pro Wrestling, AEW, MLW, Impact Wrestling and more under one roof. Different styles and personalities clashing.

If there was ever an event that celebrated all that was right and fun and true about the King of Sports, it is this event.

FITE is proud to collaborate with everyone involved and bring these main event attractions to fans across the globe, live from Nashville for Ric Flair's Last Match:

Impact Wrestling World Champion Josh Alexander vs. former MLW World Champion Jacob Fatu - Josh Alexander has been the heart and soul of the current incarnation of Impact Wrestling, which has spent most of 2022 earning the respect back from professional wrestling fans week by week with some of the best action anywhere in the world weekly on AXS TV. Alexander has defended the title against everyone from Eric Young to Joe Doering and beyond, putting the championship on the line against all comers, but this Sunday, he steps into a much different situation, against a challenger who doesn't even work for Impact. MLW's Jacob Fatu has been one of the definitive brawlers who have defined the MLW Underground every week on Fusion TV, battling the likes of Alexander Hammerstone, Bestia 666, Madds Krueger and beyond, brawling through every venue in the world. Fatu is a prideful powerhouse who is willing to kneel to no man and to give no quarter in the ring. For him, this is about showing MLW as the dominant promotion as much as earning another World Championship. Alexander can wrestle and brawl with the best of them but Fatu is a force of nature and will provide one of the most dangerous challenges to Alexander's championship run to date. This one of a kind dream match can only happen once - and it will be live on FITE!

The Wolves vs. The Motor City Machine Guns - Speaking of dream matches! Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin. Let that roll off the tongue. In a world where tag team excellence seems to always exceed expectations, The Wolves vs. The Motor City Machine Guns all but promises to steal the show from everyone else competing in the ring this Sunday in Nashville, TN. The Guns are the kings of that stylized, synchronized double-team maneuvers the likes of which were popularized by The Midnight Express while the Wolves are one of the most explosive hybrid tag team combinations utilizing MMA striking, in-ring ferocity, and sheer technical finesse. For The Wolves, who have only reunited on special occasions in recent years, this will be their highest profile undertaking as they seek to end the hunt once and for all by proving themselves as the better team and take the ultimate win. To do so, they're going to have to beat the most celebrated tag team in Impact Wrestling history. No easy task.

Laredo Kid vs. Bandido vs. Black Taurus vs. Rey Fenix - As they say, now for something a little different! Lucha Libre AAA is sending a quartet of some of the finest luchadors in the world to battle in a Four-Way bout as they seek to take out each other and gravity at the same time. Bandido was one of the most successful and celebrated Ring of Honor World Champions under the Sinclair Broadcast Group era and is an explosive competitor. Rey Fenix has evolved in recent years into one of the most high-flying and popular lucha fighters in the entire world. Laredo Kid has burst onto the American scene in Impact Wrestling but has continued to capture the imaginations of fans across Mexico in AAA. Black Taurus is one of the most twisted and imaginative competitors anywhere in the world. Unrestrained and seeking to capture the imagination of FITE fans everywhere, these stars will take to the stars and the stratosphere alike as they fly, brawl and fight to prove they are the best luchador in the world right now.

Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Rachael Ellering - Impact's Knockouts division has featured some of the best women's professional wrestling in the world over the last year and this championship match will be no different. Jordynne Grace is in the midst of her most successful time ever in the ring, having captured the Knockouts Championship for the second time. Her power could possibly only be negated by someone with mega-level in-ring technical prowess, which is the only way to describe what Deonna Purrazzo possesses when she breaks down opponents inside the ring. Seeking to regain the Knockouts Championship, Deonna will have to not only account for a thunderously successful Grace but the enigma in this situation, their mutual opponent, second-generation star Rachael Ellering. The daughter of Paul Ellering is also Grace's former Impact tag team partner and a powerhouse in her own right. A championship win here could catapult her back into the center of the women's wrestling galaxy. Three women, one championship they all covet and no one can stand to lose.

Ricky and Kerry Morton with Robert Gibson vs. Brian Pillman Jr. & Brock Anderson with Arn Anderson - The Four Horsemen's battles with The Rock N' Roll Express have been the stuff of legend, but this Sunday, it becomes a family affair. As the Express prepare to say goodbye to their fans as team, Robert Gibson will stand beside Ricky Morton and his son Kerry as the father-son duo have their biggest spotlighted tag team bout yet, taking on Brian Pillman Jr. and Brock Anderson, the son of The Enforcer, Arn Anderson, who will be at ringside. Morton battled the late Brian Pillman Sr. for the WCW Junior Heavyweight Championship and he and Arn battled in arenas across the United States, but now, the sins of the fathers and the legacies they have all created collide in this most combustible tag team encounter. On a night when the history of Jim Crockett Promotions is celebrated, the next generation of those veterans we all cheered and booed now rise up to fight and earn their own place in the pantheon chof professional wrestling.

Killer Kross vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. - A battle of power vs. power on paper, this bout will be anything but fought on equal footing. Kross is a roughhouse brute, seeking to cut corners and beat the opposition down at every angle. Smith, the son of Hall of Famer British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith, is cut more from the old school cloth, taking his time to meticulously and slowly break down his competition with suplexes and strikes. This will be one of two things: a short, explosive contest that ends in a brutal manner or a long, drawn out war of attrition where bruises form, swelling sets in and strike for strike, hold for hold, a massively physical fight will take place inside the squared circle.

Beyond these main event attractions, Jim Crockett Promotions will bring back the legendary Bunkhouse Battle Royal, New Japan Pro Wrestling will send young lions Yuya Uemura and Ren Narita into action against each other and a most intriguing four way battle will feature international implications with Jonathan Gresham vs. Nick Wayne vs. Alan Angels vs. Konosuke Takeshita.

All of these battles will be bookended with surprises, nostalgia and once again, all the great memories you have come to expect from FITE, Jim Crockett Promotions and Ric Flair himself. Diamonds are forever, and so is great professional wrestling. We invite you to stand witness alongside us as we witness the last chapter for The Nature Boy, the ultimate collaboration across wrestling's greatest promotions and a whirlwind of a special, unique one of a kind card that can never, ever come together like this ever again. Ric Flair's Last Match, exclusively on FITE.

Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.