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Ricky Steamboat debunks in-ring return rumors

Ricky Steamboat is a WWE ambassador.
Ricky Steamboat is a WWE ambassador.
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Liam Power

WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat has denied recent rumors regarding his in-ring return against a pro wrestling legend.

Ricky Steamboat's legendary career began back in 1976 and spanned all the way to 2010. During this time, he competed in the NWA, WWE, WCW, and NJPW and reigned with the likes of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The Dragon was involved in several iconic matches during this time, including a WrestleMania clash against Randy Savage and a series of matches against Ric Flair in the NWA.

The latter series of matches once again got The Dragon's name in the headlines. Following the announcement that Ric Flair had been training for an in-ring return with the likes of FTR and The Rock 'n' Roll Express also being in the mix, it was suggested that Steamboat might also be involved.

However, the Hall of Famer has now denied his involvement in the bout during a Highspots Superstore signing. He said he didn't want to "tarnish" his legacy and the memories fans have of him by returning.

"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, 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?" Steamboat said. (H/T Fightful)

While he claims he's in great shape, Ricky's decision to stay retired is out of respect for the fans.

"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... 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."
there isn't much more i love in pro wrestling than ricky steamboat. i know flair probably can't go anymore, but there is nothing i would adore more than seeing steamboat wrestle one more time. i may even try to get tickets to the show https://t.co/2uCt7zKWLn

Steamboat's last in-ring appearance came more than a decade ago.

When was Ricky Steamboat's last match?

Ricky Steamboat retired from in-ring competition back in 2010, following a brief run the previous year that saw him compete at WrestleMania 25 against Chris Jericho.

Steamboat's last match, however, was alongside his son Ritchie Steamboat on WWE's former developmental brand Florida Championship Wrestling in 2010. The father-son team defeated Trent Barretta and Caylen Croft in tag team action.

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The Dragon's last WWE appearance came in 2019, during Ric Flair's 70th birthday celebration on RAW. The two legends last wrestled each other in 1994.

With Ricky Steamboat denying his involvement in Flair's upcoming match, it would be interesting to see who steps up to face the latter on July 31. Fans will have to wait and see what happens when The Nature Boy finally returns to the squared circle. Stay tuned to Sportskeeda to get regular updates on the situation.


The Judgment Day vs. The Bloodline? We asked Damian Priest if this could happen. More details here.

Edited by Angana Roy
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