Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
WWE: 5 Reasons They May Not Want to Take Ric Flair Back
When will he end up in the WWE?
That's the question that wrestling fans have been asking from the moment that he parted ways with TNA.
But perhaps that question should be changed to this: Will the WWE even bring Flair back?
Like most wrestling fans, I do indeed think that Flair will ultimately end up in the WWE. Somehow. Some way.
Yet, I don't think it's a given, nor do I think that it's necessarily the best move for either party.
Here are five reasons why the WWE may not want to bring back "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
5. Potential Bitterness Toward Flair
Although Ric Flair's appearance at this year's WWE Hall of Fame ceremony appears to have squashed any talks of this, you have to wonder if there's any bitterness within the WWE toward Flair.
Yes, he's one of the biggest legends in wrestling history. But he's also done somes thing since leaving the WWE that could have hurt his reputation within the company.
Following his "career ending" loss to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24, Vince McMahon and the WWE gave Flair one of the—if not the—greatest sendoffs in wrestling history.
In 2010, Flair showed up in TNA, and would go on to wrestle multiple matches there.
Chances are that most people within the WWE understand that Flair did this out of necessity (the guy needed money) more than anything else, and that he wasn't intentionally trying to anger anyone by wrestling following his supposed retirement match against HBK.
But at the same time, you never really know if the WWE is willing to take Flair back after he wound up working for the "competition" not even two years after an epic match and sendoff at WrestleMania.
Flair may have burned some bridges, and if he burned those bridges with the wrong people, then a return to the company may not be as likely as we think it is.
4. Flair's Ongoing Divorce
Stop me if you've heard this before: Ric Flair is getting divorced again.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Cagesideseats.com), Flair has filed for divorce from his wife, Jacqueline Beems, because of "irreconcilable differences." For those keeping score at home, this will be Flair's fourth divorce.
As we all know, divorces—especially public ones—can become very messy, and there's a good chance that that's exactly what will happen with Flair's.
Even if it doesn't, though, it's not as if even the smoothest divorces are just simple cake walks. They're often complicated and drawn-out legal processes.
I'm honestly not sure the WWE wants to touch Flair as long as that's going on.
He might find himself in a bitter legal dispute that involves a lot of money, and it could presumably affect his personal and professional life.
Perhaps the WWE will stay away from Flair until his divorce drama settles down, or in what would be a worst-case scenario for Flair, for the rest of time.
3. There Are Limited Ways to Use Him
Ric Flair still has name value, and thus, it makes sense for the WWE to want to at least sign him to a Legends deal.
But if the WWE is looking to bring him in as an on-air performer, there aren't a whole lot of ways to use him.
It's not like Flair is 30 years old anymore. He's 63.
I highly doubt that the WWE would ever even consider letting him wrestle again, which means that there are only a few on-screen roles that he could fill.
Commentator? GM or commissioner? Manager?
We've already seen Flair in an authority figure-type role before; I'm not sure if the WWE would want to put him at the announce table, and I fear that making him a manager would backfire because he'd probably overshadow whoever he managed.
I'm not saying that Flair would fail in any or all of those roles. Not by any means.
What I am saying, though, is that all of the headaches and baggage that Flair brings with him might not be worth it when he isn't a main-event wrestler in his prime.
2. A Potentially Hefty Price Tag
I have no idea how much money Ric Flair was making in TNA, but I feel pretty confident in saying that it was, well, a lot.
There's no doubt that Flair's gonna want more money from the WWE than he was getting from TNA, nor is there any doubt that the WWE can afford to pay him more.
But if you're the WWE, how much is Flair really worth?
Keep in mind that the WWE reportedly "lowballed" Edge earlier this year when negotiating a Legends deal with the "Rated-R Superstar," and to this day, he still hasn't signed a new deal with the company.
Now, Flair is obviously a bigger name than Edge, but it's not like Edge was some scrub wrestler. He's a WWE Hall of Famer and one of the most decorated superstars ever, and the WWE didn't want to break the bank for him.
The same could very well happen with Flair.
With the WWE in control here and recently showing that it wasn't going to shell out an absurd amount of money for a big-named legend, Flair may not end up in the company.
After all, this is a guy who reportedly turned down a $15,000 offer for a tag team match with The Great Muta.
1. TNA's Lawsuit Against WWE
If the WWE doesn't care about Ric Flair competing in TNA, his ongoing divorce, the limited ways to use him or his guaranteed-to-be-hefty contract, there is at least one thing that company officials will not overlook: TNA's lawsuit against the WWE.
I'm sure you've heard about that by now, right?
According to PWInsider.com (via F4Wonline.com), TNA filed a lawsuit against the WWE earlier this year, alleging that former WWE and TNA employee Brian Wittenstein was relaying contract information regarding TNA talent to the WWE.
The resulting legal process is still ongoing, and there doesn't appear to be any type of settlement—whether in or out of court—in sight.
Until that happens, I'd fully expect the WWE to stay away from signing any former TNA talent whatsoever out of fear that it will be used against the company in court.
That includes Ric Flair.
As long as there is a legal battle going on between TNA and the WWE, don't expect to see Flair, Matt Morgan, Bully Ray, Alex Shelley or any other major TNA name signing a WWE contract.
If a settlement is reached, however, the chances of Flair going back to the WWE instantly improve considerably.