Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat has addressed his rumored return to the ring.
Over the past month, Ric Flair has been uploading videos of himself training for an in-ring return which is set to happen on July 31 at the Nashville Fairgrounds. The bout is believed to be between Flair and FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) against The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) and a partner.
Earlier today, Fightful Select learned from sources close to Steamboat that there were plans in order for the 69-year-old to come out of retirement to wrestle another match. During a Highspots Superstore signing, the WWE Hall of Famer addressed the situation, confirming that he was approached, but after much deliberation decided to decline.
"Well, I was approached and given it really some serious thought. A lot of respect to the guy in the ring. You know, both of us are night and day when it comes to stuff out of the ring. Flair wouldn’t be Flair without it. I thought about it for a week and just recently just declined on it. I know when I wrestled Jericho at WrestleMania 25, then we had the return match at Backlash in a singles, but at 69, and I know it's a six-man tag and I could get a little this and that in, but with all due respect to our fans, I want them to remember me that last time I was in there with Jericho when they chanted, ‘You still got it.’ I don't want to scar that phrase. Even that night with Jericho, you know, I was working for the WWE. I was one of the trainers at the school and was pretty active in the ring, so I had a lot of confidence in myself. But knowing Ricky now and not being in the ring for a number of years, I don't want to tarnish the memory that the fans have of me. It'd be a good payday, sure, but I don't want them thinking, ‘Maybe he should have stayed retired.’ You know, and I could get out there and maybe pull it off and say, ‘Well, you know, for a guy who’s 69 years old, he sure did pretty good,’ but that's the double-edged sword right? So, you know, The Dragon does have a lot of pride in his work and the way the fans remember me in the ring, and I want that lasting impression. I know my physical capabilities right now. I would love to be able to go out there and perform like I did with Jericho. I was 56 or 57 years old, but I think I want my fans to remember me as that guy and not have a chance of disappointing. That's how much I love my fans," Ricky said.
The Dragon would also comment on remarks made by Jake Roberts last month that he was dealing with health issues, sharing that he is in excellent health.
"You know, I've been getting – Thanks to all the fans. A big question that's been out there, and I’ve been getting hundreds, and it's fans and relatives. They're asking, are you okay? Have you got health issues? I know, maybe going back a couple of weeks ago, [Jake] Roberts getting up there and talking about, he said that Steamboat’s got health issues. I just want to assure everybody that I don't. I'm 69. Probably have the normal stuff. Little arthritis in the shoulders and knees, you know, years of wrestling. But I get a physical every six months. Blood tests every six months. My doctor is surprised at how well everything – cholesterol, blood pressure, liver, all the stuff that on the inside that you can't see. He says, ‘Ricky,’ he said, ‘You're like you're 35 years old.’ So just want to make make it clear to all the fans out there that the Dragon is fine. Train still three times a week. Got my bike out and my wife and I bike three times a week. So I'm good. I really am," he said.
Ricky last competed in June 2010 for FCW in a Tag Team Match with his son. He last wrestled Ric Flair in 1994, with the two legends facing each other nearly 300 times during their careers.
It was recently announced that The Roast of Ric Flair will headline Starrcast V. Click here to learn more.
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