There’s no doubt about it; Ric Flair’s Last Match will live on forever in the hearts, minds, and memories of wrestling fans the world over, even if the match clearly didn’t live up to expectations set by his initial retirement match at WrestleMania 24 versus Shawn Michaels.
… then again, if you really expected to see a 73-year-old put on a stone-cold classic against a 55-year-old who has wrested two matches since 2020, I don’t know what to tell you.
The card featured more than a few callbacks to Flair’s glory days, from the presence of the new Four Horseman, Brock Anderson and Brian Pillman Jr., to the return of performers like Bully Ray, and even a match between The Von Ericks and The Briscoes – though not the ones Flair wrestled back in the day – and in the end, “The Nature Boy” took the ring with his son-in-law Andrade El Idolo against his old frenemies Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal while scores of his friends, from Bret Hart, to Mick Foley, and even The Undertaker watched on hoping his fake heart attack spot wasn’t a shoot.
Though a ton has been written about the match, and more will continue to be written as the dust continues to settle, one of the voices that holds a bit more weight than most decided to weigh in and pay tribute to his long-time friend and occasional rival. Here’s what Mick Foley had to say on the matter via his Facebook, which, unlike his Twitter, is n’t currently hacked.
My son Hugh went along for a boys night out with Dad – and what an amazing night we had! Not only did I get to put my daughters boyfriend, Frank the Clown in his place, but we took in some great matches, I saw some old friends, and was part of the joyous atmosphere backstage – the likes of which I have seen seldom.
I did not even know that The Undertaker was coming until about 20 minutes before he arrived. It certainly was good to sit with and reminisce with someone I had so much shared history with. And no, there is no heat whatsoever between me and The Undertaker.
Great matches come and go. On the occasions I had to headline PPV shows, you walk through the curtain after the match, and the crew is breaking down the arena, and there’s only a handful of your colleagues who haven’t hit the road. Wrestlemania would be the best exception to that rule. But last night, there was this amazing sense of history and joy backstage. I am so glad I had a chance to be part of a great night of wrestling history.”
Yelling from the crowd at Mick Foley that his Twitter’s been hacked pic.twitter.com/5xWxMwGbS9
— Jigsaw (disambiguation) (@swissonenine) July 31, 2022
Mick Foley and Ric Flair hold a special place in WWE history.
Ric Flair gave Mick Foley his final good match in professional wrestling.
Now granted, is that a controversial statement? Eh, maybe a little, but even now, all of these years later, it’s hard to argue that any of Foley’s proceeding matches, even his Five-way No Disqualifications Match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship at Vengence 2007: Night of Championslet alone any of his TNA matches, was better than 2006’s I Quit match, as it perfectly personified everything that made Foley great.
There’s no doubt about it, the match had a little bit of everything folks have come to expect from the hardcore legend; it had thumbtacks, it had blood, it had hardcore spots, and most importantly of all, it had a barbed-wire bat the likes of which Cactus Jack once used in a match against Terry Gordy during his time in Japan. While Foley didn’t secure the win, as Flair went full-on heel and threatened Melina to secure the two magic words, the match was a hardcore masterclass featuring two very different titans of the most popular era of professional wrestling history.
Considering Foley’s current mobility issues, this is probably the match fans will have to remember the ECW legend for, as it’s incredibly unlikely fans will be attending his “Last Match” any time soon – let alone when he’s 73 in 16 years – even if such an affair would likely be a must-watch television. Oh well, there’s always old ECW VHS tapes that will keep Foley fresh in the minds of wrestling fans in perpetuity; thus cementing the Legend of Foley forever.