Ric Flair's comeback match was supposed to feature Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat in Starrcast V in July, but The Dragon refused the offer.

It's all but sure now that the 73-year-old “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is going back to the ring for another match. While we originally reported that Ric Flair's match is going to be at AEW, it appears that's not the case. Instead, the two-time WWE Hall of Famer will be wrestling his “Last Match” in Starrcast V on July 31 inside the Nashville Grounds. In this match, The Nature Boy will be appearing in the corner of FTR as they square up against The Rock N' Roll Express.

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Apparently, one of the wrestlers that were approached for this “Last Match” is Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, one of Ric Flair's best all-time wrestling rivals. There's great history between the two, and the 69-year-old WWE Hall of Famer and veteran is known to be a safe worker. He would have been a fitting opponent for this event. However, Steamboat refused the offer. According to Fightful Select (h/t), Steamboat said no to the match, saying:

“Well, I was approached and given it really some serious thought. A lot of respect to the guy in the ring. You know, both of us are night and day when it comes to stuff out of the ring. Flair wouldn’t be Flair without it. I thought about it for a week and just recently just declined on it. I know when I wrestled Jericho at WrestleMania 25, then we had the return match at Backlash in a singles, but at 69, and I know it's a six-man tag and I could get a little this and that in, but with all due respect to our fans, I want them to remember me that last time I was in there with Jericho when they chanted, ‘You still got it.’ I don't want to scar that phrase. Even that night with Jericho, you know, I was working for the WWE. I was one of the trainers at the school and was pretty active in the ring, so I had a lot of confidence in myself. 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, and 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? So, you know, The Dragon does have a lot of pride in his work and the way the fans remember me in the ring, and I want that lasting impression. 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. That's how much I love my fans,” says Steamboat.

The 2009 WrestleMania 25 match Steamboat is referring to was a Handicap match between Chris Jericho and him, Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ric Flair at Ringside. A month later, Steamboat would go 13 minutes with Jericho in a singles match. Steamboat's last match was in FCW tagging with his son in 2010. His last match with Ric Flair was all the way back in 1994.

More recent reports reveal, however, that Ricky himself was more than interested in working the match. However, Ricky ended up being too expensive for the organizers, and negotiations broke down when it became clear that they wouldn't be able to afford The Dragon. And thus, what could have been a nostalgic match to retire both wrestling stars ended up not happening.