They finally got around to announcing the main event of Ric Flair’s Last Match yesterday (July 18). The tag is a mix of expected names — Flair himself, of course, and his training partner Jay Lethal — and not terribly surprising reveals — Flair’s son-in-law Andrade El Ídolo, and Nashville legend & current WWE executive Jeff Jarrett.
Aside from some podcast and social media beefing between the Nature Boy and Lethal, there didn’t look to be much heat to the match. But the video announcement (which first streamed on TMZ exclusively and has now been uploaded to Flair’s YouTube) shows they actually pulled out all the stops to make July 31’s Flair & Andrade vs. Jarrett & Lethal match seem “real”.
The juice (literally and figuratively) is at the end, and we’ve queued it up to that point. There’s some set-up before that though, with footage from a June press conference for Ric Flair’s Last Match featuring Flair, David Crockett, Jarrett, and Nashville Deputy Mayor Brenda Haywood. Haywood announces July 31 will be Ric Flair Day in Music City. Jarrett says he won’t be in Ric’s last match, but is there to support the show’s promoter Conrad Thompson and his Starrcade V convention that it will be a part of. Naitch ribs Double-J by giving him two tickets for the event, saying they’re for Jeff and his dad, legendary Memphis promoter Jerry Jarrett.
In the parking lot after the presser is where things get nutty, with Lethal waiting to confront Flair over being left off the card. Jarrett and his wife Karen at first try to help the Nature Boy, but when the 73 year old refuses their assistance along with some unkind words for the Jarrett family, Jeff joins the beatdown. At one point he demands Karen give him her spiked heel shoe, which he uses to bust Ric open. Flair’s blood drips onto the pavement while he moans about it being “hardway”. Jeff throws in a few remarks about never liking the Crocketts before walking off into the sunset with his wife and new tag partner, all three covered in Naitch’s blood.
Appreciate them coming up with an angle, when they really could have just thrown it out there as a context-free house show and probably sold just as many tickets & PPVs. The angle itself is pretty wild, with Naitch coming off as kind of a dick. But he always was at his best as a heel, so it makes sense to give us a little taste of his arrogance.
It probably also tells us to expect Flair to bleed more than bump next Sunday at the Municipal Auditorium. Does it convince you to buy the show if you weren’t already going to? That’s really all that matters.
Here’s a look at the full line-up for Ric Flair’s Last Match:
• Ric Flair & Andrade El Ídolo vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
• Josh Alexander (c) vs. Jacob Fatu for the Impact World championship
• Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Rachael Ellering vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the Impact Knockouts title
• Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)
• Killer Kross vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
• Rey Fenix vs. Laredo Kid vs. Black Taurus vs. Bandido
• The Briscoes vs. The Von Erichs
• Clark Connors vs. Ren Narita
• Rick & Kerry Morton (w/ Robert Gibson) vs. Brock Anderson & Brian Pillman Jr. (w/ Arn Anderson)
• Bunkhouse Battle Royal with Bully Ray, others