Conrad Thompson explained why Ric Flair’s Last Match wouldn’t have been possible without both Vince McMahon and Tony Khan.
On July 31st as part of Starrcast V, Ric Flair competed in what he says to be his final match at the age of 73. The bout saw Flair team with his son-in-law Andrade El Idolo against the team of Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett, and though there was concern for the badly-bloodied Flair following the match, the WWE Hall of Famer was thankfully said to be in “great” condition afterward.
Conrad Thompson, the man behind Starrcast and another of Ric Flair’s sons-in-law, explained that the bout “shouldn’t have happened” but was made possible due to both AEW President Tony Khan and former WWE CEO Vince McMahon being on board. Speaking to Jeff Jarrett on the My World podcast (available first via AdFreeShows), Thompson had this to say:
“I want to give a ton of credit and props and kudos to Tony Khan for allowing really the forbidden door to happen. We’re not supposed to talk about it but we’re going to say it one time, we had an AEW superstar tag teaming with a WWE special Vice President to take on an AEW superstar and Ric Flair. That shouldn’t have happened.
“There’s a lot of reasons that it shouldn’t have happened but Vince McMahon, back when that was a thing, green-lit it and so did Tony Khan and this could not have happened without both of those folks allowing it.”
Continuing, Conrad Thompson explained why Jay Lethal was the perfect choice as one of Ric Flair’s final opponents after videos of the two training had gone viral online.
“There were lots of ideas put together for how could we do Ric Flair’s last match but when we settled on a story, it sort of clicked. ‘Hey, wait a minute, the videos of Jay Lethal training with Ric have gone super viral, millions of views,’ so we already have a built-in story there, we can just build on it. But it doesn’t make sense for Jay to be his partner because they’ve been working against each other.
“So, in an effort to best take care of my father-in-law and Morgan’s grandpa, let’s make sure the guy he’s wrestling that night is the guy he’s been wrestling four times a week since April.
“I know there was a lot of people who said, ‘oh man, when Ric steps through those ropes he’s going to die.’ Okay smart ass, he wrestled an hour a week four days a week since the first week of April. So, when he stepped through the ropes that Sunday it wasn’t the first time he had done it, it was just the first time you had seen it.”
Thompson also explained the rationale behind including Jeff Jarrett in the match and reiterated that it would not have been possible without cooperation from the heads of both AEW and WWE.
“We had been talking about on this podcast, is Jeff a Horsemen? Is he not? For over a year. So, those two things just fell in line, and by the way, over the summer, literally the day our tickets went on sale is when Andrade married Charlotte. So, everybody now knows through TMZ and People Magazine and everywhere else that Andrade is Ric Flair’s son-in-law and everybody also knows that Jay Lethal has been training Ric Flair for his last match.
“I happen to be in business with and partners with a guy who knows how to be a heel in Nashville better than maybe anybody and so here we are. It worked but it couldn’t have happened without Tony Khan, it couldn’t happen without Vince McMahon.”
Elsewhere on the podcast, Conrad Thompson said that Ric Flair’s Last Match is bigger than a one-off show and part of a larger “master plan.”