Legendary WWE referee Earl Hebner recently revealed that he was asked to officiate Ric Flair’s final match.
On July 31, Flair wrestled in what was advertised as his final bout on the “Ric Flair’s Last Match” pay-per-view under Jim Crockett Promotions. He teamed up with his son-in-law Andrade El Idolo to take on Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal.
While some called the match entertaining, others described it as hard to watch. But mostly everyone was in agreement that they were happy to see the Hall of Famer finally hang up his boots.
Earl Hebner debuted as an official in WWF/E back in 1988. He has been part of some of the company’s most iconic matches – like Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997, and Triple H vs. The Rock at Backlash 2001. After his WWE release in 2005, he spent 12 years in TNA/Impact Wrestling. He has also made appearances in All Elite Wrestling.
While appearing on a K&S Virtual Signing event, Earl was asked if there was a match he wished he was a part of, to which he replied:
“I wish I had refereed the Ric Flair match, the last match. I wasn’t well at the time. I was asked if I would be interested in doing it, but after my operation, I couldn’t do it.” [h/t Fightful]
Another legendary former WWE referee, Mike Chioda, ended up refereeing The Nature Boy’s last match instead. But that might not have been his final match after all.
Ric Flair teses in-ring return, says he will never retire
Before his match earlier this year, Ric Flair hadn’t wrestled since September 2011. He tore his tricep while wrestling Sting in TNA. A year later, he would announce his second retirement.
Now, at the age of 73, the 16-time World Champion has retired for a third time, this time seemingly for good. But he has once again sparked rumors of another in-ring return.
The two-time WWE Hall of Famer recently took to Twitter to celebrate his 50 years in the wrestling business, having wrestled his first match in 1972 in AWA. He thanked the fans and those who helped him along his five-decade long journey before proclaiming that he would never retire.
“Thank You To Everyone Who Helped Me Celebrate My 50 Years In The Business! One Thing Is For Certain… I WILL NEVER RETIRE! WOOOOO!” he wrote.
While this may be nothing more than a jest, if Ric Flair decides to enter the squared circle one more time, would you be willing to cheer him on? Or do you want him to enjoy his retirement?
Did you know a major backstage fight erupted during WrestleMania 32? More details right here.