A couple of familiar names who have been in and out of the WWE in recent years are making news. A new report indicates that former world champions Chris Jericho and Ric Flair will be on opposite sides of the television this year at WrestleMania with Flair participating and Jericho watching.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Dave Meltzer breaks down the latest talent news in the current edition of the Wrestling Observer. Meltzer reports that Flair has finally signed a contract with the WWE. While most expected this to happen, nobody ever thought it would take this long. Chris Jericho on the other hand is not as lucky.
Meltzer doesn’t give much in the financials or details of Flair’s latest WWE deal. Meltzer does report that all deals for Flair to appear at autograph signings or independent pro wrestling shows now go through the WWE. Meltzer reports that the downside here is that Flair could get pulled at any time by the WWE. I think the upside here is that promoters should have some kind of assurance now that they are working with the organization as opposed to worrying about Flair showing up.
The deal was expected to go down a few months back in the summer. Most believe that the deal fell apart after Flair’s now legendary appearance on a panel to promote the WWE 2K14 videogame. The now legendary appearance is also newsworthy as the catalyst to the WWE severing their relationship with longtime employee, announcer Jim Ross. I also have to wonder whether Flair preferred a per-appearance deal to avoid his ex-wife garnishing his wages. This probably indicates that an expected deal with Flair and Coca Cola to endorse an energy drink is likely off the table.
What Flair’s role will be is anyone’s guess. I would have to hope that they would make better use of him than managing The Miz. For awhile it appeared that the company had no interest in giving Flair any kind of a serious push. Now that he is under contract maybe that changes? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the opposite side of the Authority, maybe even managing Big Dave.
Chris Jericho wasn’t so lucky. Meltzer reports that the WWE passed on bringing Jericho back for WrestleMania 30. According to the report, there were plans to bring Jericho back in 2013 that have fallen through. Meltzer reports that the company didn’t necessarily have a place for him right now. I could see those annual short-Mania stays becoming a thing of the past should Mania remain on the WWE Network.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]It’s a shame because it would have been nice to see Jericho play a part of such a big event. At the same time it is the risk that these guys take. Generally it has worked out for Jericho when he took breaks between Mania. However, the stakes are different this year and I think the business model has changed due to the Network.
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