Ric Flair's advertised return to the ring for All Japan Pro Wrestling on Saturday didn't end up taking place after a badly swollen left leg prevented him from doing so. According to a report by Dave Meltzer, Flair announced he would be unable to wrestle due to "doctor's orders" before the show and apologized saying his son Reid would take his place. Flair was taken to the emergency room before the show and was told he could not wrestle.
Although he didn't take part in a match, Flair was at ringside and ended up getting involved in the Seiya Sanada and Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Keiji Muto and Reid Flair match giving some chops to Sanada. The show had been sold out two days in advance with many feeling it would be the last chance they could see Flair wrestle. Live reports stated that many fans wanted refunds in the building and were very upset nothing was offered.
Flair was originally scheduled to appear on both RAW in San Jose and Smackdown in Sacramento this week, fly from San Francisco to Tokyo and then back to San Francisco for several autograph signings during Super Bowl weekend. No word on why he wasn't involved in the WWE TV tapings and isn't scheduled to appear at any following the Royal Rumble.