Ric Flair to Have Surgery, Arn Anderson Talks WWE Release, More in WWE Roundup

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Rick Flair during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers on September 29, 2018 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

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

    

Ric Flair to Undergo Surgery

During the TNT NBA halftime show on Thursday night, Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley wished "Nature Boy" Ric Flair well ahead of surgery Friday.

Barkley, who is a close friend of Flair's, did not disclose what type of surgery Flair is having.

In 2017, Flair underwent a surgical procedure and spent time in the hospital. Flair said that he was only given a 20 percent chance to live at one point.

The 16-time world champion has since bounced back, and he celebrated his 70th birthday on Feb. 25. Flair appeared on Raw on his birthday and even got involved in an angle with Batista returning to drag him along the ground in an effort to get Triple H's attention.

Barkley was among those in attendance at Flair's surprise 70th birthday party in Atlanta, and he is one of many wishing Flair well.

   

Arn Anderson Speaks After WWE Release

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WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since getting released from his role as an agent with WWE last month.

While Anderson didn't address exactly what led to his release, he spoke to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated about his time with the company: "I was fortunate enough to work with WWE for 18 years. Certainly that provided my family and myself with a nice living, and I have no regrets. A lot of my best friends still work there. Everything has a shelf life, and I guess mine ran out."

Anderson also talked about being part of Starrcast, which is a convention with a loose affiliation to All Elite Wrestling's Double or Nothing event, which is taking place in Las Vegas in May.

The former Four Horseman member said, "It used to be a dangerous setting when they handed me a live mic, so we'll see if it will be again."

There will be plenty of intrigue surrounding Anderson's Starrcast appearance with fans hoping he will spill the beans regarding what led to his WWE departure.

Nothing has been confirmed, but Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com reported this month that his release had to do with an incident at a WWE live event. Anderson reportedly allowed Alicia Fox to compete despite Fox showing up to the arena intoxicated.

With his participation in Starrcast, The Enforcer may have an opportunity to tell his side of the story.

   

Update on Asuka's WrestleMania Plans

The WrestleMania 35 plans for SmackDown Women's champion Asuka have reportedly undergone some changes.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com), Asuka was slated at one point to defend the title against Lacey Evans, but WWE has reportedly decided to go in a different direction with Evans feuding against Natalya instead.

It was speculated that Asuka could defend the title in a Triple Threat against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville at WrestleMania. Asuka beat Rose at Fastlane when Deville's interference went awry, and Asuka then beat Deville on SmackDown Live when Rose botched her interference.

Asuka has been the SmackDown Women's champion since beating Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a TLC match at the TLC pay-per-view with help from Ronda Rousey. The Empress of Tomorrow then beat Lynch by submission at the Royal Rumble.

Despite her impressive string of wins, Asuka hasn't been heavily featured on SmackDown in recent weeks, and there is no obvious WrestleMania opponent for her.

Because of that, it is fair to wonder if WWE might have Asuka defend the title against a multitude of female Superstars in the second-annual WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal.

  

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