Ric Flair sweaty and smiling WWE

The WWE has been culling talent from its roster at a relatively fast clip lately, dropping a lot of names that fans haven't expected. Ric Flair is arguably the most iconic pro wrestling vet to be released yet, but unlike Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, and many others, Flair specifically requested to exit his WWE deal. Now that his contract is officially a thing of the past, the wrestler has broken his silence on the release.

The Nature Boy took to social media to confirm the reports that he did indeed request a release from the WWE, and to clear the air regarding some of the other rumors floating around about his relationship with the company. In a short statement, Ric Flair made a couple of things clear so that fans would know more about why he left the organization.

I am officially able to respond to all the press related to my requested release from WWE, which they have given me. I want to make it really clear with everyone that I'm not upset with WWE at all. They solely are responsible for putting me in the position of life that I'm in right now where I'm seen in the brightest light ever. We have a different vision for the future. I wish them nothing but continued success! Thank you for everything! Nothing but respect!

While maintaining that there isn't any overarching bad blood, Ric Flair's statement does seemingly still indicate that the rumors about him being disgruntled by the WWE's creative decisions were true. Flair was part of a storyline in early 2021 in which he played the love interest of superstar Lacey Evans, who is about four decades younger than Flair and 4 years younger than his own daughter and WWE superstar Charlotte Flair. Flair tried to advocate against his role in the storyline, but said he was unable to ever get a direct conversation with Vince McMahon, so he weathered the storm until the arc circumstantially ended with Evans' real-life pregnancy.

Other rumors alleged that Ric Flair was upset with how Charlotte Flair's storyline has been handled, though that feels more like a questionable claim as far as how it relates to his release request. Charlotte only recently lost her women's title in a surprise loss to Nikki A.S.H., and it's looking like the two will soon face-off in a title match at SummerSlam 2021. Even before that, the younger Flair has remained one of the top women in the WWE organization, so it would seem doubtful that her situation was a major factor. Charlotte Flair has not publicly commented on her father's release from the WWE, but given his positive statement, it's hard to imagine she will have anything different to say if she does.

As far as what's next for Ric Flair, it sounds like he still has creative decisions in mind and other things he wants to do in the wrestling world. This could be good news for rival organizations like AEW, who would undoubtedly appreciate a legend like Flair offering input or making television appearances. We'll just have to wait and see what his next move is and see if the wrestling legend has something up his furry, sequin-covered sleeve for fans.

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