Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair was encouraged to drink ahead of his WrestleMania 24 retirement match by the veteran-WWE name Michael P.S. Hayes.
At the 2008 event, Flair lost the match to Shawn Michaels and per the stipulation at the time, had to retire from wrestling.
The night prior, Flair was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, making him the first-ever Superstar to be inducted whilst working as an active competitor.
Speaking on his ‘To Be The Man’ podcast, Flair discussed the match and how little confidence he had before the bout:
“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.
“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].”
Despite the retirement stipulation, Flair would later wrestle for TNA Wrestling, with his most recent match being in 2011.
Hayes works for WWE to this day as Vice President, Creative Writing & Booking and is also a senior Producer.
Flair will have his final match next month at Starrcast V.