Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Flair Says He's 'Cleared' on After the Bell
Ahead of his appearance at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair suggested that he could potentially get involved physically.
During an interview with Corey Graves on the new WWE podcast After the Bell (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), The Nature Boy said he has been medically cleared: "I've been cleared, by the way Corey. That's a secret, I've been cleared. I've got a medical release. So, never, ever forget who the dirtiest player in the game is, man. I'll be equipped and ready, in the words of Pedro Morales, for any kind of action!"
It comes as something of a surprise that the 70-year-old Flair has been cleared for any level of physicality given his recent medical history.
In 2017, Flair was placed in a medically induced coma for 11 days to treat a ruptured intestine. Flair later said that doctors had given him only a 20 percent chance to live during that stint in the hospital. Earlier this year, Flair was hospitalized with what Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported to be heart issues.
Flair and Hogan teased getting physical a few weeks ago on Raw to a big pop, and there is little doubt that the live crowd in Saudi Arabia will love it if they end up throwing hands.
Rollins Discusses How He's Regarded By Fans
Like Flair, Universal champion Seth Rollins also appeared on the first episode of After the Bell (h/t Middleton) to discuss his upcoming Falls Count Anywhere match against "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt at Crown Jewel.
Rollins was also asked about the way fans react to him and wrestling in general on social media:
"Yeah, I mean, controversial ... I mean, it's kind of one of those things that, you know, where do you go? Like what's the answer ... Why? Why? It's sort of like, people just ... if they don't get what they want, they whine about it on Twitter, right? That's kind of what happens nowadays and that happens with everything, it's not just our industry. If you do something and it strikes a chord, then it's almost like you're doing the right thing. I don't even know anymore, it's a weird industry, dude. It's 2019 and I don't know what wrestling looks like anymore. It's a weird place, dude."
Graves also touched on the fact that Rollins' was once beloved by the internet crowd, and The Architect acknowledged that it is somewhat hurtful that some have seemingly turned on him:
"Well, you mentioned internet darling, the funny thing is, you could go all the way back six months, you could go back a year ago from Hell In a Cell. I was everybody's favorite. Those same people that are panning Hell In a Cell, and talking about how Seth Rollins is not cool, are those same people that were clamoring for me to be the guy to face Brock Lesnar going into WrestleMania.
"I don't know what changed as far as the fact that, except for the fact that I became the person that they wanted me to be, and then they hated me for it. It's a very fickle audience. It is what it is. To answer your question directly, it feels awful. You know, it's not a good feeling to go out there and put your body on the line and not just at Hell In a Cell, but every single night, for the past how many ever years I've been doing it. I go out and compete at an extremely high level, and dare I say I'm one of the very best at my job, and I do what I have to do when I have to do it, and look, it's not always pretty, but you go out there and you do your job, and you do it well, and people don't like it, and they kind of forget that it is what it is. And so it hurts your feelings. You're a human being. You go out there and you work hard, and it's fine, it's art, you can have your opinion on it, but man, it's a tough pill to swallow sometimes."
Rollins theorized that he is simply going through what many top stars have in WWE over the years, including John Cena and his close friend, Roman Reigns.
Fans tend to turn on top babyfaces when they are on top for an extended period of time, especially if they aren't presented as a cool antihero in the same vein as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Despite his best efforts, Rollins has garnered backlash for his on-screen work as well as his comments related to All Elite Wrestling, Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay.
Rollins said that he is merely trying to keep things interesting in interviews and on social media, but some fans misinterpret his intentions as him taking shots at others.
Whatever the case, Rollins said he is focused on his match against Wyatt at Crown Jewel and seems determined to put the controversial Hell in a Cell ending behind him.
Natalya and Evans Comment on Crown Jewel Match
WWE made a historic announcement Wednesday in the form of adding Lacey Evans vs. Natalya to the Crown Jewel card, marking the first WWE women's match to ever take place in Saudi Arabia.
Following the announcement, both Nattie and Evans took to Twitter to express how honored they are to be part of the groundbreaking match:
WWE has slowly but surely made headway since agreeing to a multiyear deal to hold shows in Saudi Arabia. After no women were initially involved in the first show, Renee Young began providing commentary, and both Natalya and Alexa Bliss made the trip to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown earlier this year.
While a match between Nattie and Bliss didn't materialize, The Queen of Harts will now have an opportunity to make history against Evans.
Natalya and Evans showed over the past couple of months that they have strong in-ring chemistry, and that may have played a role in the decision to choose them as the representatives for the WWE women's division in Saudi Arabia.
A women's match in a country known to limit women's rights is a step forward.
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