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WWE Rumors on Edge's Return, Jeff Jarrett in Ric Flair Match; Claudio Talks AEW Deal

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 19, 2022

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe and All Elite Wrestling.


Edge Reportedly May Return on July 25 Raw

WWE Hall of Famer Edge has been out of action since his Judgment Day stablemates turned on him several weeks ago, but his return to WWE programming may be imminent.

According to Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc's Ross Berman), Edge is set to return "soon," and all signs point toward him resurfacing on next week's episode of Raw, which will emanate from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

For the past few weeks, WWE has been airing mysterious vignettes, which are almost certainly for Edge since they feature references to many of his greatest rivals and allies over the years.

Monday's vignette indicated that the figure in the videos is "coming" soon, which could indicate that the Rated-R Superstar could be back next week.

It would be a logical time for Edge to return since Judgment Day members Finn Balor and Damian Priest have been antagonizing Rey and Dominik Mysterio in recent weeks—even trying to force Dominik to join Judgment Day.

Next week's Raw will feature a celebration of Rey's 20-year anniversary with WWE, which is likely to be crashed by Balor and Priest.

Edge making the save would make sense because of his issues with Judgment Day and the fact that he was formerly tag team partners with Mysterio, holding the WWE Tag Team Championships once.

Edge and Mysterio are both bona fide WWE legends, making them the perfect duo to contest an up-and-coming faction like Judgment Day.

WWE tends to bust out the big guns when it holds events at MSG, and an Edge return would undoubtedly fit the bill.


Why Jarrett is Allowed to Wrestle Flair During SummerSlam Weekend

Despite being a WWE executive, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett will be part of the final match of Ric Flair's career during SummerSlam weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jarrett is set to team with Jay Lethal against Flair and Andrade El Idolo, leaving many fans and observers to wonder how it came to be.

While Jarrett is WWE's senior vice president of live events, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t WrestlingInc's Matthew Wilkinson) reported that Jarrett does not have a talent contract with WWE, freeing him up to take outside bookings provided there aren't any conflicts.

Despite the reported absence of a WWE talent contract, Jarrett will be used in an on-screen capacity at SummerSlam as the special guest referee for the undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match between The Usos and The Street Profits.

Jarrett was likely chosen because he was born in nearby Hendersonville, making the 55-year-old a fan favorite.

While SummerSlam will take place at the Tennessee Titans' Nissan Stadium on July 30, Flair's last match will be at Nashville Municipal Auditorium the following night.

The match had originally been scheduled for the Nashville Fairgrounds, but because of high ticket demand and possibly boosted by the presence of SummerSlam, it was moved to a bigger venue.

Jarrett and Flair have wrestled each other quite a few times over the years, making him a sensible foil for The Nature Boy and someone who can protect the 73-year-old in the ring.


Claudio Talks Decision to Sign with AEW

Claudio Castagnoli made his surprise AEW debut at last month's AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view as the surprise opponent for Zack Sabre Jr.

He has since opened up about his decision to sign with AEW after a long and successful run in WWE under the name Cesaro.

Appearing this week on NBC Sports Boston's Ten Count Wrestling Podcast (h/t WrestlingInc's Eric Mutter), Claudio discussed why he made the choice:

"I've been following AEW for a while. And when it came time for me to just kind of take a step back and look, I felt that I was a better fit at AEW, and there was a lot more for me to do with AEW when it comes to challenges, when it came to people I want to work with. There are just so many people there that I haven't wrestled either at all or in a very, very long time. So, I was kind of like, 'That's what I want to do. That's what I'll have fun doing.'"

The Swiss star also suggested that it was best for him to move on and take on a new and different challenge, saying:

"I always kind of felt that whenever it was time to move, I've moved on. It was the same before when I was in Ring of Honor. I felt like, 'Now, it's time to take the step towards WWE.' That's what I did, and now, I was like, 'Okay, now I feel like it's time to make the next step,' and I did, and I'm very happy I did."

Claudio aligned himself with the Blackpool Combat Club and competed in a Blood & Guts match against the Jericho Appreciation Society, and now he is going back to his roots, as he will face Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Championship at ROH Death Before Dishonor under the AEW umbrella this weekend.

After a strong run in ROH, Claudio signed with WWE in 2011, made his debut on the main roster in 2012 and remained there until early this year.

Claudio never reached and remained at the top of the card in WWE, but he was a seven-time tag team champion, one-time United States champion and won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30.

He finally got his first WrestleMania singles match on the main card at WrestleMania 37 last year and beat Seth Rollins, and he parlayed into a Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns.

Claudio had a ton of momentum going into that match, but he was seemingly pushed aside after losing to Reigns and never returned to that level.

Now, in AEW and the ROH subsidiary, Claudio perhaps has a chance to reach heights he never did in WWE.

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