Ric Flair is set to mentor a former world champ, and AJ Lee won't be back until she has a ring on her finger, according to the latest WWE rumors.
Many fans thought that Flair would be back once Evolution reformed, but the company is said to have other ideas in mind for "The Dirtiest Player in the Game." AJ is on her way back to the ring as well, but maybe not until SummerSlam.
Reported plans for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Fandango's dance partners are two of the more noteworthy stories floating around the Internet. The following is a look at word from backstage on these items and when to expect Flair and AJ on TV again.
Ric Flair, Manager
Flair could soon be managing once again. As exciting as a Flair-Dolph Ziggler pairing would be, that's not the reported direction WWE is heading.
According to PWInsider, via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc, should The Nature Boy pass a series of medical tests, he'll be back and "word going around indeed is that Flair will be put with The Miz again." The report goes on to say that Flair suggested that he manage Ziggler, but "that idea was shot down."
Flair and Miz already joined forces in early 2013. The Hall of Famer passed down the figure-four leglock during an encounter with Cesaro.
That moment gave Miz a boost that didn't last long. He's been an inconsistent part of WWE programming since. Perhaps a lack of alternative ideas is why WWE is reportedly thinking of putting Flair in Miz's corner.
Miz doesn't need him to be his mouthpiece as much as he needs his star power to elevate him. Having Flair help him relearn how to do the figure-four would help as well.
WWE Title Situation
On Monday's Raw, Daniel Bryan refused to give up the world title. Stephanie McMahon told him that if he didn't do so at Payback, his wife Brie Bella would be out of a job.
If it feels like WWE is stalling in deciding who would take the belts while Bryan rehabs from neck surgery, it may be because the company is setting up for a huge match at Money in the Bank.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Middleton of Wrestling Inc, reports that WWE is considering the following:
One potential scenario is to put top Superstars into a Money In the Bank ladder match at the June 29th Money In the Bank pay-per-view and instead of having a future title shot up for grabs, have the winner get the title itself.
This would be a smart move since it would allow WWE to put on two highly significant Ladder matches at the show. One winner will emerge the champ, the other with the Money in the Bank contract.
In the process, at least 10 Superstars would be vying for gold.
Emerging stars can gain momentum by getting close to the championship or briefcase. Meanwhile, Bryan can continue to be onscreen in this current role of defiant champion who is unwilling to part with his titles.
WWE could also be putting off naming a new champion to see if Bryan can recover quickly and begin competing again. If not, fans could see a Money in the Bank Ladder match with the kind of energy that the 1992 Royal Rumble had.
Direction of Divas Feud
In a division that has so often just featured one rivalry at a time, it appears that a number of women are getting to be a part of stories not related to the Divas title.
Summer Rae returned to Raw on May 19. A cat fight broke out, as Fandango's dance partners past and present collided.
Layla distracted Summer on Monday's Raw, allowing Eva Marie to pick up a cheap win. This feud may now find its way onto a bigger stage.
Josh Isenberg of Wrestle Zone passed along word from F4WOnline that "Summer Rae and Layla will most likely have a match to end their feud, most likely at a Pay-Per-View. Fandango would be involved as well, most likely as a special guest referee."
The confrontations we've seen so far certainly point to this happening. In addition, Fandango has little else to do, and WWE can promote Total Divas with Summer involved.
It's not a rivalry that is going to please diehard fans hoping for Ziggler to get a push or Tyson Kidd to have a storyline on Raw, but it's far better than another round of Santino Marella vs. Fandango.
AJ Lee's Potential Return Timeline
As fans learned during a recent Chicago Cubs game, CM Punk and AJ Lee are getting married in June.
It looks like the expected rematch between Lee and Paige will have to wait until after that.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Nick Paglino of Wrestle Zone, reports the following:
AJ Lee will not be returning to TV until after her marriage to CM Punk. Lee was originally scheduled to return sometime in June, but it looks like her return will now be pushed back to sometime between Money in the Bank and SummerSlam.
WWE has recently been good about giving its Superstars time off to tie the knot. Last year, the company wrote Cody Rhodes off TV so he could enjoy his honeymoon. Bryan also received some free time for the same reason.
In AJ's absence, Alicia Fox has emerged as a compelling nutso, and Paige is on the way to establishing herself as a viable champ. Waiting for SummerSlam to have AJ go after Paige works out as both a way to allow AJ to have personal time and for WWE to make Paige a bigger star in the meantime.