Ricky Steamboat has assured fans that he remains in good health, despite recent reports suggesting otherwise.
On May 16th, Ric Flair confirmed that he is returning to the ring one last time for a match at Starrcast. Despite being 73-years-old, facing numerous health struggles in recent years and having been out of the ring for more than a decade, the star will be donning his famous robe one final time.
Following the announcement it was reported that the match in question will be a six-man tag, with Flair teaming up with FTR to take on The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and Ricky Steamboat. While there was no confirmation on the participants, it was reported that Starrcast organiser Conrad Thompson had met with Steamboat personally in an effort to get him onboard.
The report came as a surprise to many fans, as in recent weeks Jake Roberts revealed that the WWE Hall of Famer was “having some issues” with his health. However, speaking during a Highspots Superstore signing, Steamboat assured fans that aside from a little arthritis in his knees and shoulders as a result of his in-ring career, he’s in great shape.
You know, I’ve been getting – Thanks to all the fans. A big question that’s been out there, and I’ve been getting hundreds, and it’s fans and relatives. They’re asking, are you okay? Have you got health issues? I know, maybe going back a couple of weeks ago, [Jake] Roberts getting up there and talking about, he said that Steamboat’s got health issues.
I just want to assure everybody that I don’t. I’m 69. Probably have the normal stuff. Little arthritis in the shoulders and knees, you know, years of wrestling. But I get a physical every six months. Blood tests every six months. My doctor is surprised at how well everything – cholesterol, blood pressure, liver, all the stuff that on the inside that you can’t see. He says, ‘Ricky,’ he said, ‘You’re like you’re 35 years old.’
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,”
During the signing, ‘The Dragon’ also revealed that he turned down the chance to appear in the match at Starrcast, as he wants fans to remember him when he could still perform at a high level.
Ricky Steamboat last wrestled in 2010, while his final match in a major promotion came at a WWE live event in August 2009 where he took on a young Drew McIntyre.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.