Ric Flair’s most recent seven months in WWE drummed up quite a bit of controversy. It started in November when Flair’s daughter, Charlotte, and her opponent at the time, Paige, decided to bring Flair’s deceased son, Reid, into their angle. It ended with Charlotte kicking her father out of her in-ring life, dissolving their on-screen relationship. Sandwiched in between saw Ric involved in an incident at a Boston airport and some mild struggling during his promo work.
As reported by the Inquisitr, the angle with Paige forced WWE to respond to an inordinate amount of backlash, issuing a statement that read, “Subject matter this personal is only approved as a result of the strong advocacy of the talent themselves. Notwithstanding that, WWE is ultimately responsible for what airs in its programming.” Ric Flair was not aware his daughter and Paige were going to go through with it, but he admitted that controversy creates cash.
Charlotte laid it on her dad pretty thick when she kicked him to the curb this past May. Again, her demeaning promo had many fans stirring. In fact, thousands of fans from India peppered the WWE Facebook page with comments demanding Charlotte be suspended or fired. No statement was issued this time around, but Charlotte did backtrack a little the following week, leading many to believe WWE officials had to encourage her to do so. The goal was to get Charlotte over further as a heel, out of Ric Flair’s shadow, and it worked. The backtracking occurred while she discussed their actual family life.
So Flair has been away from the WWE for more than a month, but it appears as if he’s close to returning, according to a report from Ringside News. It appears as if he’ll insert himself right back into the main program within the Women’s Division, but Ric will have different allegiances this time around. Flair will be on the opposite side of Charlotte when she presumably puts her WWE Women’s Championship on the line against Sasha Banks at SummerSlam in August.
The thought was that Charlotte would team up with Dana Brooke in a tag team match against Banks and Becky Lynch at Battleground. WWE fans got that match for free this past Monday on RAW with Banks forcing Dana to tap out to the Bank Statement. That doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t run the match again in less than four weeks, but it certainly raised some eyebrows as it pertains to the direction the company takes this program.
The prevailing thought was that once the tag feud wrapped up, Sasha would then go on to challenge Charlotte for the title, and she would be the one to finally take it off her at SummerSlam. Whether Ric Flair returns as Sasha’s manager or simply as an adviser (and adversary to Charlotte) remains to be seen. But it appears that Flair will be there for the eventual pay-off before Charlotte and Sasha move on to different feuds.
The expectation is that Charlotte will transition from Banks to her current protege, Dana Brooke heading into the fall. That is if Dana is deemed ready to handle a singles program on her own, which has yet to be the case. Whether Flair would then continue alongside Sasha is unclear, but they’d have to invest a lot of creative in order for the logic to align.
It’s interesting to think that if Emma never got injured, would Dana have ever joined up with Charlotte? It’s likely that Flair still may have been cast aside, but would it have happened so soon without Dana there to play the role of Arn Anderson? Controversy tends to follow the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. And that will certainly be the case again when the world is treated to an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary later this year.
[Image via WWE]