Bigger factors than simply paying tribute to Sting might have been at play when Ric Flair strutted down the aisle on Dynamite.
On the October 18th episode of Dynamite, Sting announced he plans to retire at AEW Revolution in early 2024. This was followed by the news that Tony Khan would have a special gift for Flair on October 25th.
That gift turned out to be the Nature Boy Ric Flair.
Tony Schiavone introduced Flair and put over how important he was to wrestling on TBS and to Sting’s career. Flair said when he got the call from Tony Khan, he knew he wanted to ride with The Stinger one last time.
The reunion was interrupted by Christian Cage, Nick Wayne, and Luchasaurus, with the trio setting up a match with Darby Allin, Sting, and a mystery partner at Full Gear.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported that AEW’s impending TV rights negotiations played a part in Flair appearing on the show.
“I know that he was gonna go there right when that Dark Side of the Ring thing came out. I don’t know this but I was assuming that he was gonna go as the manager of Andrade. But he and Tony Khan had a verbal deal, and then after Dark Side came out, it was not the right time.
It’s the (TV) contract year and I think they’re really trying to hotshot as many stars for ratings purposes because of the name value and things like that, but by doing that you’re also ageing the show, and nostalgia when it comes to TV ratings is usually a short drug, not a long-term thing.”
When Did Ric Flair Last Wrestle?
Ric Flair last stepped into the ring as an active competitor on July 31st, 2022. On a special card run under the Jim Crockett Promotions banner, Flair teamed with Andrade El Idolo to defeat Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett.
Flair struggled badly during the match and put his troubling performance down to dehydration.
Despite Flair recently saying he wanted to wrestle again “right now,” he later claimed he has no desire to wrestle again.
H/t to Wrestle Talk