WWE Rumors on Ric Flair, Vince McMahon, Charlotte, Adam Cole and Bray Wyatt's Release

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Ric Flair joins a telecast during a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center on February 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Flair Reportedly Voiced Frustration Over Charlotte's Booking

On the heels of news that Hall of Famer Ric Flair had been released from his WWE contract Monday, a new report surfaced regarding Flair's frustration with WWE.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Jason Ounpraseuth), Flair messaged WWE Chairman Vince McMahon about his issues with the way his daughter, Charlotte Flair, was being booked.

Meltzer noted that McMahon made the decision to release Flair from his contract.

On Monday, Fightful and Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com reported that Flair was no longer under contract with WWE after requesting his release.

It was later reported by Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton) that Flair was frustrated with some of WWE's booking decisions and had contacted McMahon about it, and then asked for his release.

On Tuesday, Flair released the following statement on his WWE departure and insisted he isn't upset with WWE:

Ric Flair® @RicFlairNatrBoy

<a href="https://t.co/hQHkVWJlks">pic.twitter.com/hQHkVWJlks</a>

Flair most recently appeared on WWE programming early this year when he aligned himself with Lacey Evans in a feud with his daughter, Charlotte Flair. That rivalry was called off when Evans announced she was legitimately pregnant.

The Nature Boy had been making sporadic appearances on WWE programming for several years before his release after wrestling for the company from 1991 to 1993 and again from 2001 to 2008.

Charlotte's fiance, Andrade El Idolo, left WWE and signed with AEW this year. Chavo Guerrero is serving as his mouthpiece, and it stands to reason that Ric Flair could be added to the mix.

Having Flair interact with Sting is also a possibility given all the memorable matches and moments they had together in NWA and WCW. That included facing each other in the last match ever on WCW Nitro in 2001.

Since Nitro aired on TNT, which is the current home of AEW Dynamite, a Flair appearance on Dynamite in the near future would make sense for all parties involved.

WWE Officials Reportedly Surprised By Cole's Contract

The fact that Adam Cole's WWE contract is reportedly set to expire this month has apparently taken some within the company by surprise.

According to PWInsider (h/t Middleton), some WWE officials were under the impression that Cole was under contract through at least January 2022.

It was also reported that there was some "frustration" among WWE officials that Cole's contract status became public.

Giri reported Monday that Cole's contract actually expired last month, only for him to sign a short-term extension that will expire in August.

Cole reportedly signed the extension in order to finish his program with Kyle O'Reilly, as they have beaten each other one time apiece. After O'Reilly attacked Cole on NXT last week, it seems likely they will face off again at NXT TakeOver the weekend of SummerSlam.

Given Cole's contract status, it is possible the match could have a loser leaves NXT stipulation. That would either allow Cole to leave the company and sign elsewhere, such as AEW, or he could sign a new deal with WWE and be elevated to the main roster.

Cole has been the face of NXT since signing with WWE in 2017, as he held the NXT Championship for a record 396 days and led the highly successful Undisputed Era stable.

There is no question that Cole would be a huge loss for WWE, and with both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan rumored to be signing with AEW, it could increase WWE's sense of urgency to keep Cole in the fold.

TV Executives Reportedly Frustrated By Wyatt's WWE Release

WWE's decision to release Bray Wyatt last week reportedly didn't sit well with some of those who work for WWE's television partners.

According to Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast (h/t Middleton), there was "a lot of frustration" from the networks working with WWE regarding Wyatt's release. WWE has billion-dollar television deals for Raw and SmackDown with NBC Universal and Fox.

Zarian noted that one network source told him, "Bray's release is really disappointing and a little scary that top stars are being let go."

Wyatt is the latest in a long line of releases since WrestleMania 37 in April, including the likes of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, The IIconics and Mickie James.

Given his status as a two-time universal champion and one-time WWE champion, as well as a mainstay in WWE for the past 12 years, Wyatt is the biggest name and biggest surprise of those cuts.

Wyatt had not been seen on WWE programming since the night after WrestleMania 37 in April, when he took part in a Firefly Funhouse segment on Raw.

The expectation was that Wyatt would be back soon, especially with SummerSlam set for Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on August 21.

Instead, WWE decided to part ways with Wyatt despite his popularity and that of his Fiend character.

Given how aggressive AEW has been in signing former WWE stars, it is likely that speculation will ramp up regarding Wyatt possibly signing there soon.

If AEW is able to land Punk, Bryan and Wyatt, it may be difficult for WWE to ignore the buzz its main competitor will receive.

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