Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Charlotte Flair, Saudi Arabia and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2021

Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Charlotte Flair, Saudi Arabia and More

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Charlotte Flair continues to be one of the most buzzed-about Superstars in WWE for a plethora of reasons, and The Queen dominates the headlines in this week's collection of wrestling rumors.

    The former women's champion is poised for another on-screen absence, but for how long? And just how peachy is her relationship with WWE in the wake of the release of her fiance, Andrade?

    Both of those answers lie within, as does an update on WWE returning to Saudi Arabia and news on Natalya's role in getting a WrestleMania match on the card.

WWE Returning to Saudi Arabia?

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    WrestleVotes reported the end of 2021 could bring with it the one thing no one asked for: WWE's return to Saudi Arabia.

    Yes, the business partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Vince McMahon's pro wrestling empire appears to be as strong as ever, especially if WWE is potentially planning a trip to the country before it even begins touring the States again.

    Previous trips to the country have seen big-money matchups like John Cena vs. Triple H, the in-ring return of Shawn Michaels and The Greatest Royal Rumble. They have also featured head-scratching title changes, such as Goldberg defeating The Fiend and ruining his momentum in February 2020.

    The wrestling is rarely more than passable, there is always the potential for a hold-up brought about by payment issues and the optics of the relationship are hardly positive.

    Thus, questions arise about the value of the trips beyond the paycheck, especially when they draw the publicly traded company more criticism than praise.

Update on Charlotte Flair

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    Charlotte Flair's suspension storyline is the result of The Queen taking time off to get some minor dental surgery done, and she will not miss a long period of time, per TalkSport's Alex McCarthy on Wednesday's Wrestling Daily.

    Flair has already missed considerable amounts of time, dating back to her departure last summer. Her recent return has brought with it a three-way rivalry over the Raw Women's Championship with Asuka and new titleholder Rhea Ripley.

    While things appear, on the surface, to be OK between Flair and WWE, longtime Spanish commentator Hugo Savinovich is not convinced, telling Wrestling Inc's Nick Hausman:

    "Somebody that is a queen of wrestling, and you don't have her on the card? Yet you bring her in the next night at RAW? How the heck do you explain that creative process? She's good for RAW, but maybe we'll send a message that because you favor your Latino fiance, maybe it would send a message to the other people, "Hey, anybody steps out of line, we don't care if you're The Queen Charlotte or you are Andrade or whatever. We're going to take you out of the card.'

    "It is tough when you're a couple and you work for the same boss because anything can happen, even if they don't want to admit it. You're going to pay the price. Her price, Charlotte, was to miss WrestleMania, and then the next day, it was like nothing happened. She kicked everybody's ass, and wow, this is very strange."

    Savinovich was married to former WWE women's champion Wendi Richter and had expressed his concerns to WWE CEO Vince McMahon about the potential backlash if one member of the relationship gets on his bad side.

    It remains to be seen what goes on with Flair, but the idea that she has been so prominently featured and is poised to win yet another women's title sooner rather than later suggests management still has big plans for her.

    Whether she is OK with her employers and everything that has unfolded in recent months is the real question.

Who Was Behind the Tag Team Turmoil Match at WrestleMania?

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    The absence of the women's Battle Royal on the WrestleMania kickoff show, and the prospect of several women missing out on a WrestleMania opportunity for the second year in a row, led to Natalya fighting passionately to have the Tag Team Turmoil match, originally scheduled for the go-home episode of SmackDown, added to the main card on Night 1, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported.

    Anyone who has followed Natalya's career with WWE should not be surprised. She has long been one of the great ambassadors for women's wrestling and an unsung hero in the women's revolution.

    A product of arguably the greatest wrestling family of all time, it only makes sense that she would fight for women to have the same opportunities her uncles Bret and Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and father Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart had.

    While the match was rushed, it still provided a platform for talented women to perform on a stage they long ago earned the right to compete on.

    It also made Night 2's title match, which saw Natalya and Tamina fall to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, more meaningful than it otherwise would have been.

    Not only was it the right call, but also, more importantly, it is super cool to see a veteran of the locker room stand up and fight for the talent to have an opportunity.