REVIEW: Ric Flair’s Last Match (2022)

A Pay-Per-View by Jim Crockett Promotions

One really can’t speak of professional wrestling without talking about the legacy of Ric Flair. Love him or hate him, there’s honestly no way you can pretend he didn’t change the entire business multiple times over in the FIFTY years he was entertaining the fans. While he has now “retired” two times prior to this, once in WWE against Shawn Michaels, and once in TNA against Mick Foley, I can’t imagine there will be more after this and this is the final closure he wanted to give the fans. Yes, many have looked at this event in a cynical manner likening it to a cash grab in order to pay off yet another alimony check, or a way for Flair to die in the ring or some such. While I personally do not think that a 73 year old man wrestling is that great of an idea, the people in place are there to help protect him and ensure that this is the best match they can possibly get out of somebody that doesn’t have much gas left in the tank. I look at this as what it should be – tribute to the legacy of one of the greatest professional wrestlers in all of history and a chance for him to go out one last time and end everything on his terms.

I actually had no idea that Jim Crockett Promotions was brought back for this show, and what a show it was! Apparently, Shortly after Flair’s announcement, David Crockett and Conrad Thompson filed for U.S. trademarks on “Jim Crockett Promotions” and “JCP” for the sole purpose of putting this show on. I will be interested to see if David Crockett keeps this going, as there is always room for more wrestling, and having one of the biggest names of the past back in some form is a cool call-back to history. Conrad Thompson has stated he will give his 50% percent of the U.S. trademarks of Jim Crockett Promotions to David Crockett on August 1st, 2022 after the conclusion of the Starrcast weekend, the major convention that this show was the “main event” of.

For anyone wanting to watch this, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

The Card:

  • 1P Ren Narita defeated Yuya Uemura by pinfall Singles match 5:30
  • 2P Mance Warner won by last eliminating Bully Ray[Elimination order 1] Bunkhouse Battle Royale 11:10
  • 3 The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) defeated The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) by pinfall Tag team match 10:50
  • 4 Killer Kross (with Scarlett Bordeaux) defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. by pinfall Singles match 5:20
  • 5 Jonathan Gresham defeated Alan Angels, Konosuke Takeshita, and Nick Wayne by pinfall Four Corners Match to determine the #1 contender to the Progress World Championship 5:10
  • 6 The Four Horsemen (Brian Pillman Jr. and Brock Anderson) (with Arn Anderson) defeated Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Kerry Morton) (with Robert Gibson) by pinfall Tag team match 7:40
  • 7 Rey Fénix defeated Bandido, Laredo Kid, and Black Taurus by pinfall Four-way match 11:50
  • 8 Josh Alexander (c) vs. Jacob Fatu ended in no contest Singles match for the Impact World Championship 10:30
  • 9 The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) defeated The Von Erichs (Marshall Von Erich and Ross Von Erich) by pinfall Tag team match 7:45
  • 10 Jordynne Grace (c) defeated Deonna Purrazzo and Rachael Ellering by submission Three-way match for the Impact Knockouts World Championship 9:05
  • 11 Ric Flair and Andrade El Idolo defeated Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett (with Karen Jarrett) by pinfall Tag team match 27:00

My Thoughts:

Old School:

While it’s not a new thing to see a reunited Tony Schiavone and David Crockett donning the headsets together (they’ve done it in AEW a couple of times) it’s really cool to see the continuity of having two men that did commentary during the earlier days of Ric flair’s career back at it once again as if no time has passed. Commentary was actually pretty interesting on this show including members of various commentary teams such as ROH’s Ian Riccoboni, NWA’s Nick Aldis, and Impact Wrestling’s Scott D’amore just to name a few.

Cool Returns:

It’s been a LOOONG time since The American Wolves teamed together, and I was happy to see them back. Eddie Edwards has been one of the cornerstones of Impact Wrestling for years, and Davey Richards came back after a long hiatus to join the MLW roster last year. These guys paved the way for teams like The Young Bucks, and don’t get enough credit in my opinion. Hopefully this leads to more reunions down the road!

Match of the night:

In a show full of great wrestling matches, the match of the night was easily this Lucha Libre scramble match. The match was a who’s who of the top lucha talent on the US scene at the moment, and everyone did an exceptional job. I’m a huge Rey Fenix guy, so anything where he gets to get a great win in under his belt is solid for me.

The Cameos:

Dear WWE, this show is how you do a “Legends night” without making your show mock all of the old-timers involved until they eventually refuse to ever work with you again. Glad to see some awesome cameos and a new generation taking part in the show. Big surprises included guys like Jerry Jarrett and The Undertaker, just to name a few. Loved seeing Arn Managing a new generation of The Four Horsemen, hope AEW keeps that going. I have collected some of the major appearances up above.

That Theme Song:

I don’t care who likes to pretend Jeff Jarrett isn’t a great wrestler – all because they once watched a WWE revisionist history DVD designed to bury TNA Wrestling with “He never drew a dime…” quotes, this theme song from TNA is and will always be fire, and he’s a solid heel. This is the hill that I will die on.

One Last Walk:

Carrying out the original “Big Gold” he won in his very first Championship match in Kansas City at Municipal Auditorium, one could easily see the gravity of the night on the man’s face. This was his last match, and for one night everywhere is Flair Country.

That’s all she wrote:

Of course it’s not a great match – Ric Flair’s a 73 year old man. Lethal, Andrade, and Jarrett did an exceptional job carrying the weight of the match overall, and allowing Flair to get all his spots in and look like a star one last time. It’s amazing that Flair thinks enough of a guy like Jay Lethal, a man he once said “would never be a champion”, something that lit a fire under him to get better, to allow him to be part of such a match. Spot of the night was easily how Flair, in a period of pure desperation, faked a heart attack just to eye poke Jay Lethal. Of course he was busted open and bled all over the place, but that was obviously going to happen, I mean this is a Ric Flair match! Not a five star match or anything, and it served it’s purpose. Yes, his last two retirement matches were better in just about every way, but this was a fun send off for the fans and Flair alike. This was the end of an era.

Conclusion:

The great thing about this show is that this has “Forbidden Door” all over it. While AEW and NJPW seems to mostly be only working together these days, this show had a lot of people from NWA, DDT, NJPW, MLW, AAA, Impact Wrestling, and AEW, as well as cameos from WWE guys and multiple legends. No matter how iffy a match involving a 73 year old man retiring may be, the rest of this card was a wrestling fan’s dream of interesting “what-if” sort of matches, returns, and inter-promotional matchups. I hope Jim Crockett Promotions does more moving forward, as this was a solid show.

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