Ric Flair is expected to be signing a new deal with WWE in the next week or two where he will return in a similar role he had when he left the company around ten months ago reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Many in the company always expected a return of Flair to WWE in some kind of capacity with many feeling the novelty of getting huge money autograph bookings, shoot interviews and other appearances wouldn’t have very long staying power.
One undoubtely huge factor in Flair needing a continuing flow of money is the reported $20,000 per month in alimony payments for his second wife Beth along with legal bills and an undisclosed alimony payment to his third wife Tiffany. The WWE had previously tried to prevent Flair from taking on many lucrative deals he was being offered, which is why he left the company last August.
Although nothing has been confirmed, the belief at this point is that Flair’s new deal with WWE would not include any wrestling as Vince McMahon wants his retirement at WrestleMania 24 to stick. Flair was brought in for a return in May at the Judgment Day PPV to help boost a lack of star power on Raw with Triple H out seling a storyline injury and Shawn Michaels out for what expects to be a lengthy period of time. The company recently ran an angle on this past Monday’s Raw where Randy Orton punted Flair in the head so it would appear he will be off TV for a while.
There was said to be some lack of communication between WWE and Flair as the company had hoped to have him signed earlier, but the distraction of the “Denver Dabacle” had Vince McMahon worrying about other things had everything put on hold. The company did initially want Flair under contract when they brought him back at the Judgment Day PPV on May 17 in Chicago. He was asked to not appear at the recent Ring of Honor TV tapings for HDNet, but no one at ROH was told about this until at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the tapings. ROH was then forced to rewrite three hours of television that they were filming just a few hours later.
WWE forcing Flair to be pulled by ROH was said to be a big disappointment among ROH officials and wrestlers as they liked the idea of being on the same show as Flair. It also created a good deal of unhappiness between ROH officials and HDNet officials as the network had been largely promoting ROH using Flair. One important point here was that HDNet had plans to syndicate the show into foreign countries and planned to use Flair’s name as a regular to make a huge difference in whether a deal would go down or not. Flair has stated in interviews recently that if he does come out of retirement that he would do so overseas. Whether or not he still intends to do this is up in the air with a new deal from WWE now on the table. He is still at this point scheduled to make many appearances overseas at events in Europe, South Africa, China and Egypt, although it would appear any plans to wrestle on those events before may not be the case anymore. It appears Flair’s intentions of returning to the ring will rely on his new status with WWE and if he ends up signing a new deal with the company.