Why Did Ric Flair Miss The 2023 Royal Rumble?

Ric Flair at Raw XXX

Ric Flair recently appeared on the special 30th Anniversary edition Raw, bringing an end to an exile from WWE that had lasted for almost two years.

Before then, the 16-time World Champion hadn’t appeared with the company since February 2021. At the time he was involved in an angle where he managed Lacey Evans in her feud against his daughter Charlotte Flair. However, the storyline came to an abrupt end following the news that Evans was expecting her second child. While Flair initially remained with the company he requested his release in August and it was eventually granted.

Flair announced the news that he would be returning to WWE on his podcast, To Be The Man, back in November. At the time, he also said he would be appearing at the 2023 Royal Rumble.

On Raw XXX on January 23rd, Flair did indeed appear, introducing his daughter, the SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte, as she made her way to the ring.

However, the Hall of Famer was conspicuous by his absence from the Royal Rumble, and it has now been revealed what he was doing instead.

Ric Flair took part in Pirate Festival

PWInsider confirmed that Flair was slated to be at the Rumble, however, on the day he was actually acting as the Grand Marshall for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida.

As the Grand Marshall, Flair led 95 parade floats, 50 krewes, seven marching bands, and ‘Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla’ pirates along the city’s Bayshore Boulevard.

A video posted on social media shows Flair at the head of the parade, riding on the back of a Jeep.

Ahead of the event, Flair told Fox13 News that it felt like being mayor for a day.

“Well, I’m just excited to represent Tampa. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be? It’s like being the mayor for a day.”

“I want it to be the funnest, wildest, but safest event of the year. Anywhere, anytime.”

H/T to Fox13 for the above transcription.