Ric Flair Clarifies WWE Return; Kevin Owens Injury Rumor; Mandy Rose Eyes Main Roster (2024)

Ric Flair Clarifies WWE Return; Kevin Owens Injury Rumor; Mandy Rose Eyes Main Roster (1)

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

Ric Flair Clarifies Royal Rumble Status

WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair went back on recent comments he made this week, noting that he has not been invited to appear at the 2023 Royal Rumble in San Antonio.

Appearing on his To Be The Man podcast (h/t WrestlingInc's Kellie Haulotte), Flair clarified his status for the Rumble, saying:

"I'm still looking forward to the 30th anniversary [of WWE Raw]. By the way, of course, social media screwed that up, I have not been invited to the Rumble. I am going to San Antonio to sign autographs separately, on the day of the Rumble. I was not invited to the Rumble. However, if they want me to put my gear on, like at Last Match, that's fine."

On last week's episode of To Be The Man (h/t Sunil Joseph of Ringside News), Flair said "I'm gonna be there," when discussing the Royal Rumble, but he apparently meant he would be in San Antonio during Rumble weekend, independent of WWE.

Flair went on to say he was invited to the 30th anniversary episode of Raw one week earlier in January 2023, and that he would be present for that event.

Assuming Flair makes an appearance on the 30th anniversary episode of Raw, it will mark his return to the company after departing in August 2021.

Ric Flair Clarifies WWE Return; Kevin Owens Injury Rumor; Mandy Rose Eyes Main Roster (2)

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WWE released him from his contract at that time, and Flair noted that while he was on good terms with the company, he had requested his release due to having a different vision of his future than WWE.

Leaving WWE allowed the 73-year-old Flair to have a final match, teaming with Andrade El Idolo against Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett in July.

WWE almost certainly won't let Flair wrestle again due to his age and recent history of health issues, but given his status as a legendary wrestler and 16-time world champion, his presence would add a great deal to one of the biggest episodes of Raw ever.

Owens Reportedly Working Through Knee Injury

Kevin Owens competed at Survivor Series WarGames despite rumors of a knee injury, but that reportedly doesn't mean he is out of the woods when it comes to the ailment.

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Shivangini Rawat of Ringside News), Owens is "still hurt," but the injury isn't serious enough to keep him out of in-ring action.

In the weeks leading up to Survivor Series WarGames, Meltzer (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News) reported that Owens had suffered a sprained MCL in a house show match, putting his status in doubt.

The expectation was that Owens was planned to team with Drew McIntyre and The Brawling Brutes in a WarGames match against The Bloodline, but it was unclear if Owens would be healthy enough to compete.

KO was ultimately revealed as the final member of the babyface team and did not appear to be hampered, as he played a big role in the finish of the WarGames match, which was won by The Bloodline.

Owens even faced Jey Uso in a singles match in the main event of Raw this week, which suggests he isn't dealing with anything serious.

All signs point toward Owens possibly challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble and then potentially joining forces with Sami Zayn again at some point after that, meaning WWE will need KO to be as healthy as possible so he can be available for those big moments.

Mandy Rose Wants Another Run on WWE Main Roster

Mandy Rose has dominated NXT, holding the NXT Women's Championship for over a year, but she has her sights set on a return to the WWE main roster in the not-too-distant future.

Appearing on Insight with Chris VanVliet (h/t Joseph), Rose said she believes it is "time" for her to go back to the main roster since she has essentially already faced and defeated every top contender in NXT.

Rose also discussed her desire to remain with Toxic Attraction stablemates Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne whenever the call-up occurs: "I want Gigi and Jacy to be able to experience the main roster, I think being up on Raw or SmackDown. I've already proven [myself], but I want to be able to showcase myself with my girls, Toxic Attraction. I think that's going to be really cool."

WWE originally called Mandy up to the main roster in 2017 as part of a stable called Absolution with Paige and Sonya Deville. Paige got injured shortly thereafter, which led to Rose and Deville essentially becoming a tag team called Fire and Desire.

They remained a team until 2020 when Deville turned heel on Rose, and after a short-lived partnership with Dana Brooke, Rose was somewhat surprisingly sent back to NXT in July 2021.

She quickly formed Toxic Attraction with Dolin and Jayne, and it turned out to be the best possible move for Mandy's career, as she has established herself as a top heel and a long-running champion in NXT.

Now, Rose has positioned herself to be a potential title contender whenever she gets called back up, and Toxic Attraction as a whole could be among the biggest parts of the women's division.

Mandy's assessment that she and Toxic Attraction have done all they can in NXT is accurate, meaning it may not be much longer before they bring their villainous personas to Raw or SmackDown.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

Ric Flair Clarifies WWE Return; Kevin Owens Injury Rumor; Mandy Rose Eyes Main Roster (2024)
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