flair hbk i'm sorry
Shawn Michaels mutters “I’m sorry, elephant shoe” before superkicking Ric Flair into retirement.

An iconic moment in professional wrestling lore has been called into question after a professional lip-reader announced that Shawn Michaels’ final utterance to Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24 — long believed to be “I’m sorry, I love you” — was actually “I’m sorry, elephant shoe.”

Cedric Alexander, a “forensic lip-reader” who is often consulted by police departments to interpret surveillance footage with inaudible dialogue, says he “needed come forward with the truth” after years of silence.

“Wrestling fans deserve to know what actually happened,” he said.

“Michaels wasn’t expressing a bittersweet farewell to his longtime friend and idol — he was thinking aloud about pachyderm footwear.”

The teary-eyed utterance is widely considered among fans to be one of the most touching moments in pro wrestling history, since it immediately preceded the last (relevant) match of Flair’s career.

Asked for comment, Flair revealed that he completely misheard Michaels in a different way, and has been puzzled about it ever sense: “I could have sworn Shawn said ‘I saw me a lovely boob.'”

Judge for yourself below: