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WWE has officially commented on the Reid Flair angle during the main event segment of Monday’s Raw.
WWE’s statement issued to the Wrestling Observer reads: “Subject matter this personal is only approved as a result of the strong advocacy of the talent themselves. Notwithstanding that, WWE is ultimately responsible for what airs in its programming.”
Reid, the deceased son of Ric Flair and brother of Divas champion Charlotte, was initially referenced by Charlotte in the promo. Paige, playing the heel, retorted that Reid “must not have had much fight in him,” which set up a show-closing pull-apart brawl leading into their title match at Survivor Series on Sunday.
The statement suggests that Charlotte “strongly advocated” for the line.
Ric Flair said on his podcast this week that he was not given a heads-up on the subject material, nor would he have been okay with the content. Charlotte and Reid’s mother, Elizabeth, was also hot about the angle.
Reid died of a drug overdose two years ago. Flair said on his podcast that he and his family are still coping with Reid’s death on a daily basis.
Caldwell’s Analysis: There isn’t much WWE can say other than “we collectively made a mistake, we apologize to Ric, Elizabeth, and fans who were upset about the angle.” The first sentence tried to nudge Charlotte into the spotlight, which is unfortunate because Charlotte is young and new to the business, obviously wanting to make her own mark not living in Ric’s shadow, so she’s willing to go through with the angle perhaps without exercising proper judgment wanting her brother’s name to be part of something significant in wrestling. The adults in-charge of the segment did not step in and nix the line, which would have shown they understood it was not in good taste for viewers and would hurt the parents of Reid Flair. In this statement, WWE was unwilling to outright say a mistake was made, so they left it at “WWE is ultimately responsible for what airs in its programming.”