– I was told that the plan is for Shawn Michaels to defeat Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV in the match that will retire him. Flair is then scheduled to leave the company for awhile to do the new CBS television reality series called Secret Talents of the Stars that we reported on last week. All indications are that Flair will return to WWE television later on down the road but in a non-wrestling role in the company. Flair has stated in numerous interviews that he hopes to have a Mick Foley or Steve Austin role in the company after he retires.
– I have not heard anything about The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak ending at WrestleMania XXIV tonight. Since the match was announced the overwhelming majority of the workers backstage feel like he will be booked over Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship. I am unable to confirm that outcome although I was told several weeks ago that was the plan that they were going with. I have heard that WWE wants to give Undertaker one more lengthy run with the World Heavyweight Championship before he retires.
– The original plan was for Chris Jericho’s feud with JBL to conclude at WrestleMania, however, there was a lack of confidence in their matches and the feeling was that it would be better if both had new opponents for the flagship pay-per-view later this month. The lack of confidence was not blamed on Jericho or JBL in particular as it was more because of a difference in their styles. As a result, JBL was given the program with Finlay and Chris Jericho was inserted into the Money in the Bank ladder match. The long-term plan was for Jericho and Jeff Hardy to have a post-WrestleMania feud, however, that was scrapped when Hardy was suspended. I am told that Jericho remains a favorite to win the Money in the Bank ladder match but there are still a number of outcomes being considered.
– As of right now there are plans to move Umaga to SmackDown after WrestleMania. Whether or not this will play a factor in his upcoming Raw vs. SmackDown match at WrestleMania against Batista remains to be seen. I was told the reason that WWE wants to move him is just to give him some new people to work with. Umaga is said to be very popular amongst the wrestlers backstage and gets along with pretty much everyone.
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