Booker T tells TMZ Sports his wrestling days are long behind him ... however, he respects a guy like Ric Flair, who, at age 73, will be lacing up his boots and stepping in the ring to fight one final match later this summer.
"I have no itch to scratch," Booker T said when asked about possibly coming out of retirement. "I've scratched every itch that I want to scratch as for as getting back inside the squared circle."
"What Ric Flair is doing, he's doing that because he loves this business, man. Ric Flair told me a long time ago that he would never retire. That's that guy, man."
57-year-old Booker T is clearly impressed by Flair's tenacity ... telling us, "He's gonna come in and go out in a blaze of glory. You can only respect that."
Booker also reflected on the first time he ever wrestled the Nature Boy -- it was a WCW Saturday night taping that he got thrown into at the last minute.
"Half of the time, I didn't know if I was coming or going just because he was telling me one thing, and he was doing another," Booker said.
The former heavyweight champ said he learned so much from sharing the ring with Naitch that night ... recalling he was like a "sponge" just trying to soak up all the knowledge Flair was imparting.
Booker may no longer be an in-ring performer ... but he remains an integral part of WWE's storytelling as a commentator, which is why the King of the Spinarooni has been tapped to host a new series called "WWE Rivals."
The series -- which is a joint collaboration between A&E network and WWE -- dives into the most iconic rivalries in the promotion's history ... and it airs on July 10 at 8 PM ET.