Roman Reigns Returns and Ric Flair Celebrates; Preview for Feb. 25 WWE Raw

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2019


The February 24 episode of WWE Raw promises to be one of the biggest, most noteworthy broadcasts in the company's recent history.

Ric Flair will celebrate his 70th birthday in Atlanta, a city in which he spent a majority of his in-ring career. With his daughter, Charlotte, sure to be part of the festivities, and her intensifying rivalry with both Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch taking center stage on the Road to WrestleMania, do not expect the festivities to go on without a hitch.

It is the return of Roman Reigns and the update on his health following a leukemia diagnosis that could be the most significant moment of Monday's Raw.

The Big Dog has been out of action since October 22 and will look to keep fans in the loop regarding his recovery, though something much bigger cannot be ruled out.


Happy Birthday, Naitch

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Flair is celebrating his birthday in Atlanta, and Lynch is totally going to interrupt it.

After everything that has happenedand everything that is expected to happenit only makes sense that The Man would interrupt Monday's proceedings like a wrecking ball destroying everything Charlotte holds dear.

This comes after The Queen weaseled her way into the coveted opportunity to challenge Rousey. What better way to stick it to the second-generation star than by besmirching her acclaimed daddy on live TV?

We have seen The Nature Boy go above and beyond over the course of his career to put wrestling over and create new stars, to the point that one has to wonder if he would not bump for Lynch to really get whatever angle WWE Creative has over.

The question becomes whether management can book an angle like that without fans turning on Lynch, given how popular the Flair family is in Atlanta. It was Ric who was the face of Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW when those promotions routinely ran the Omni and other Atlanta-based venues.

It was in that city where he earned the reputation of the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots. Putting him at odds with Lynch could have undesirable consequences.


Roman Reigns' Medical Update

Vince McMahon announced on Twitter Saturday that Roman Reigns will return Monday night to update the WWE Universe on his medical status just four months after announcing a leukemia diagnosis that shook the industry to its core.

There is no way of knowing exactly what Reigns' update will be, and it feels far too premature to suggest he is returning to the squared circle in time for WrestleMania 35 on April 7. With that said, it would only make sense to have the former universal champion on the show for a positive announcement of sorts.

One can hope that is the case.

The Raw brand has noticeably lacked star power in Reigns' absence and the spark of energy his matches and segments brought to each show.

While the brand has been forced to look elsewhere for lead babyfaces, benefiting guys such as Seth Rollins and Finn Balor the most, the show very much could benefit from the return of its franchise performer.


What's Up NXT for Call-Ups?

Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet and NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa left a considerable mark on last week's television product, appearing on both Raw and SmackDown as a new talent initiative of sorts appears to be underway.

Gargano and Ciampa spoiled The Revival's first night as Raw tag team champions, defeating Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson in a non-title match.

While nothing has been officially announced, one would imagine The Top Guys would be seeking revenge against a team with an explosive past and a partnership fused together with C-4.

Black defeated Elias, but everyone does that, and Ricochet partnered with Balor to defeat Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley.

It will be interesting to see what Monday's show has in store for those four Superstars, as WWE officials look to brighten their stars before assigning them to a brand in April's Superstar Shake-Up


A New Look, Feel for the Flagship?

Mike Johnson of reported Saturday that "Bruce Prichard is returning full-time to the company to work in a top position on the creative team and will start back at WWE TV this Monday in Atlanta, GA." He would go on to label the position, "as important as possible."

Prichard was a key member of Vince McMahon's inner circle beginning in 1987, lasting through 1992, and returning until his departure in 2008.

His podcast, Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, became an enormous success and led to a WWE Network show appropriately titled, Something Else to Wrestle With Bruce Prichard.

The decision to rehire the 55-year-old can be seen as an opportunity to capitalize on his popularity and try something different than the monotony the show has fallen into of late.

It can also be viewed as a panic move aimed at re-establishing momentum ahead of WrestleMania while the upstart All Elite Wrestling continues to acquire talent ahead of its May 25 Double or Nothing event.

Whatever the case may be, expect the direction of the company to change from a creative standpoint sometime in the near future under the guidance of Prichard, perhaps as soon as Monday night.