Michael Hayes Encouraged Ric Flair To Drink Before Major WrestleMania Match

Ric Flair

When Ric Flair had nerves before one of the biggest matches of his career, WWE producer Michael Hayes encouraged him to drink.

At WrestleMania 24 in 2008, Ric Flair wrestled his final WWE match against Shawn Michaels. The bout is best known for Michaels saying “I’m sorry, I love you” before delivering a superkick to Flair and defeating him.

Speaking on his To Be the Man podcast, Flair recalled how he suffered from incredible nerves before the bout as his self confidence had taken a major hit.

“You know my self-confidence, once you lose it – I mean I had days where it was great, but you can only imagine wrestling Shawn Michaels in front of 70000 people, what that was like for me. I mean, I just couldn’t sleep at night.”

Continuing, Ric Flair recalled how he had stopped drinking the weekend of the big match, but that WWE producer Michael Hayes encouraged him to drink as that was his custom before many of his prior matches.

“I remember, I wasn’t drinking during the weekend it was so much fun that we’re in Orlando, of course, and Michael Hayes looked at me and said, ‘What’s wrong with you, you stupid son of a bi*ch. You’ve been drunk before every match you’ve ever had your entire life,’ which is true, ‘What are you doing walking around drinking a Diet Coke?’ I said, ‘You’re right.’ I got hammered [before the night of the show], I never drank during the day of the show unless I was in Puerto Rico because I was afraid to get to the venue and getting killed [laughs].”

Though the WrestleMania 24 bout was his final match in WWE, Ric Flair returned to the ring and last wrestled against Sting in 2011 while working for TNA. Despite serious health concerns, he is currently set to have one final match as part of Starrcast in July, though his opponents are yet to be determined.

h/t Sportskeeda