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Ric Flair Released As WWE Roster Shakeup Continues

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 2, 2021

WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is no longer with the promotion after reportedly requesting his release. Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc reported Sunday night that a big name had asked for their release and got it.

Flair recently appeared on WWE television as part of a pregnancy angle alongside (kayfabe) baby mama Lace Evans, much to the chagrin of her then-rival Charlotte Flair. The storyline was promptly dropped after Evans legitimately became pregnant. Flair last appeared on WWE programming on the February 22 broadcast of Raw after Charlotte told her legendary father to go home.

Flair’s release will lead to natural speculation that he will become yet another high-profile former WWE star likely to appear in AEW. In addition to former WWE Superstars who are active competitors, AEW has signed a host of WWE Hall of Famers including Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Sting, Tully Blanchard, The Big Show and Mark Henry.

Between the shocking releases, reported backstage morale issues and looming free agency—namely with top NXT star Adam Cole, whose contract is set to expire soon—WWE’s roster moves have become a storyline in and of themselves. WWE has spent the entire summer making major roster cuts. Several dozen names both in the ring and behind-the-scenes have been released including, but not limited to, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Gerald Brisco, Aleister Black, Billie Kay, Mickie James, Lana and Rusev as the promotion looks to remain as profitable as possible.

During Thursday’s Q2 2021 earnings presentation, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon appeared to joke about possibly supplying AEW with more talent through WWE’s recent releases.

“‘I’m not so sure what their investments are as far as their talent is concerned, but perhaps we can give them some more,” quipped Vince McMahon about AEW, which continues to sign ex-WWE stars including Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black.

The comment is sure to fuel conspiracy theories of WWE boldly cutting some of its biggest—and high-priced—names in the middle of a national wrestling war against its most formidable competition since WCW, though McMahon does not see AEW anywhere near that level.

“I don’t consider [AEW] competition in the way I would consider WCW back in the day. Not anywhere near close to that,” remarked the WWE Chairman.

AEW is currently enjoying a very palpable, lucrative amount of buzz following reports that both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are on their way to the promotion. Bryan and Punk’s impending arrivals have been widely compared to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s storyline invasion of WCW in 1996 after they departed WWE. Hall and Nash’s WCW signings sparked a near two-year winning streak for the Turner-branded WCW Nitro alongside Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and on the backs of the New World Order.

MORE FROM FORBESCM Punk Return Rumors Heat Up As WWE Reportedly Feels He Is AEW Bound

Despite AEW President Tony Khan remaining coy on whether or not he has signed Bryan or Punk, AEW recently sold over 12,000 presale tickets for AEW Rampage’s arena show, dubbed “The First Dance,” at Chicago’s United Center on August 20.

CM Punk is heavily rumored to appear on that show, which had better happen if AEW ever wants to show its face in Chicago again and draw another dime.

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