Ric Flair has wrestled at the Nashville Fairgrounds in the past but that venue is not big enough for him these days.
Flair, 73, announced in May his final match would be July 31 at the historic fairgrounds as part of the Starrcast pro wrestling fan fest. Tickets sold out in 24 hours.
On Monday officials said the event would move to Municipal Auditorium, which is a larger venue (9,700 capacity), and additional tickets would go on sale Friday at 11 a.m.
Flair’s opponent and the rest of the event card has not been announced. The event will be streamed on FITE.
“On July 31, I’m still going to walk that aisle and style and profile as only I can,” Flair said. “But now, (with a) a bigger crowd, brighter lights. The Nature Boy can’t wait to do what I do best. Wooooo!”
The additional tickets start at $39 and are available at RicFlairsLastMatch.com. Current ticket holders’ seats will be honored, and communication on the changes will be emailed this week.
“Like so many times before, having Ric Flair’s name on the marquee has the wrestling world buzzing,” said David Crockett, president of Jim Crockett Promotions. “On July 31, we look forward to bringing the fans at Nashville Municipal Auditorium, and our worldwide audience, a night of professional wrestling that they will never forget.”
On Thursday, Mayor John Cooper will declare July 31 Ric Flair Day in Nashville. The Mayor will also announce that the property at 500 Wedgewood Ave. for the weekend of July 29-31 will be known as the Nashville FLAIRgrounds, in conjunction with the three-day event.
Channel 4’s Lindsey Nance joins Jay Cutler’s multimedia platform
Jay Cutler added a familiar face to his multimedia platform Outsider when he hired former WSMV-4 personality Lindsey Nance.
Cutler, the former Vanderbilt and NFL quarterback who lives in Nashville, co-founded Outsider.com with Shannon Terry, a former Lipscomb basketball player who also created Rivals.com, 247Sports and On3.com.
Nance, a former Lipscomb cheerleader who spent four years at WSMV where she recently became a news anchor, will serve in a versatile role at Outsider developing original shows and content around Nashville, sports culture, and events.
“We shot a day in the life of Jay Monday where I’m interviewing him,” Nance said. “We’re doing a lot of fun stuff. This is honestly getting back to my roots and what I studied in college where I was having to come up with content on my own and finding my own stories. Being able to be creative and write those stories how I want to write them as opposed to reading someone else’s writing every day.”
Cutler and Nance will be at Nashville Superspeedway over the weekend doing a podcast along with Marty Smith during the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400.
Checking on local players in the USFL
The USFL’s 10-game regular season wrapped up last week and here’s a look at how some players with local ties performed.
Former Ravenwood and Tennessee State wide receiver Chris Rowland had 21 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown for Philadelphia. Rowland also had 13 tackles.
Wide receiver Taywan Taylor (Tennessee Titans) had 24 catches for 315 yards for New Orleans; running back Madre London (Tennessee Vols) rushed for 415 yards on 96 carries and scored a touchdown for Pittsburgh; cornerback Micah Abernathy (Tennessee Vols) had 71 tackles and two interceptions for Houston; safety Ladarius Wiley (Vanderbilt) recorded 47 tackles, a sack and an interception for Philadelphia and safety Arnold Tarpley (Vanderbilt) had 43 tackles and an interception for Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Tyshun Render (MTSU) had 29 tackles and 1.5 sacks for New Jersey; safety Cory Rahman (TSU) had 15 tackles for Michigan; cornerback Terrell Bonds (TSU) had 11 tackles for Pittsburgh; defensive end Mekhi Brown (TSU) had six tackles for Tampa Bay; lineman Paul Adams (Christ Presbyterian Academy) had four tackles for New Orleans and safety Eddie Graham (TSU) had three tackles for Michigan.
Belmont’s Guy Lipscomb named All-American
Belmont sophomore Guy Lipscomb earned a spot on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-American third team.
The former Franklin centerfielder became the first Bruin to make the team since Matt Beaty and Drew Ferguson in 2015.
Lipscomb was the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year after leading the Bruins to their first regular season championship. He finished ninth nationally in batting average (.406) and fifth in stolen bases (42).
Jason Hinchman, a senior outfielder from Tennessee Tech, also made the team.
TSU’s Chelsea Hudson lands head coaching job
Former TSU basketball player and assistant coach Chelsea Hudson, who also served as an assistant at Pearl-Cohn, is the new coach at Panola College.
Hudson played at TSU from 2011-15 and became the Tigers 11th all-time leading scorer with 1,221 points. She led TSU to the OVC tournament championship and an NCAA berth as a senior.
She returned to TSU as an assistant from 2019-21.
Hudson was an assistant at Panola from 2017-19. She spent last season on the staff at Tyler Junior College.
Hudson was on the staff at Pearl-Cohn in 2016-17 when the Firebirds went 25-5 and earned a berth in the Class AA state tournament.
MTSU caravan set for July 20-28
The MTSU Blue Raider Blitz summer caravan is set for July 20-28.
Members from the team’s football coaching staff and some of the school’s other sports will be at each stop.
Season ticket information, posters, contests, prize giveaways and appearances by the spirit squads and the mascot Lightning will highlight the events.
Football season tickets can be purchased at each stop.
The stops include July 20 in Franklin at Party Fowl (noon-1:30 p.m.) and The Listening Room (6-8 p.m.); July 21 in Manchester at Boskey’s Grille at Willowbrook Golf Course (noon-1:30 p.m.) and Smyrna at Lee Victory Park (6-8 p.m.); July 25 in Mt. Juliet at The Corner Pub Between the Lakes (noon-1:30 p.m.) and Shelbyville at the Bedford County Courthouse Square (6-8 p.m.) and July 28 in Murfreesboro at Cannonsbugh Village (6-8 p.m.).
I’Tavius Mathers returns to MTSU as graduate assistant
I’Tavius Mathers, who finished his playing career at Middle Tennessee State in 2016, is returning as a graduate assistant.
As a running back Blackman Mathers was the Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year and Tennessee Titans Mr. Football winner.
He rushed for 5,569 yards on 584 carries and scored 65 rushing touchdowns for his career at Blackman. He was the first running back in Rutherford County history to run for 2,000 yards in a 10-game regular season in 2010.
In three seasons at Ole Miss Mathers rushed for 1,061 yards on 189 carries an scored seven touchdowns.
He transferred to MTSU for his senior season. He led the Blue Raiders with 1,561 yards on 232 carries and scored 17 touchdowns in 2016.
Mathers began his coaching career as an assistant at Blackman before moving to Wilson Central and then returning to Blackman through the 2021 season.
West High and Austin Peay great Ronnie Fuqua dies at 73
Two-time Midstate track champion and The Tennessean 1967 Nashville Interscholastic League Trackman of the Year Ronnie Fuqua from West High died on June 18. He was 73.
Fuqua set the NIL record in the 440-yard dash at 50.2 seconds.
He also was a quarterback on West’s football team and made the 1966 All-NIL Team.
He went on to play football where he moved to running back and run track at Austin Peay.
From 1992-2004 Fuqua coached several sports at Clarksville High and in 2005 was named the football coach at Clarksville Academy.
Fuqua also worked as a TSSAA official for 40 years. He officiated college football games in the SEC and OVC for 16 years.
Author of book about fighting cancer will be at Vanderbilt Bookstore
Local author Kelly Motley will sign her book “The Fight for My Life: Boxing Through Chemo,” July 2 from 1-2:30 p.m. at Vanderbilt Bookstore.
The book chronicles how training and boxing helped Motley navigate a breast cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy.
The former public relations and marketing professional said the intense physical activity was a way for her to develop a stronger mind, body and soul.
Former high school coach Tony Majors dies at 73
Tony Majors, a former Midstate high school basketball coach, died on June 15. He was 73 and living in Hartsville.
Majors, a Trousdale County graduate, led the Lady Jackets basketball team its best record in history at 29-3 in 1972 and in 1977-78 led the Eagleville boys’ team to a 25-5 record, its best in history.
He led the 1973-74 Trousdale County girls’ team to the state tournament.
Majors later coached the Smyrna boys before becoming the Hendersonville girls coach in 1979 where he also coached golf.
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
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