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Nature Boy leaves WWE
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


First, he retired. Now, The Nature Boy ... The Dirtiest Player in the Game ... is gone from WWE.

Ric Flair left to pursue other opportunities.

Flair is saying no to media interviews, but issued the following statement through his agent, Elaine Gillespie:

"WWE and I parted on the best of terms. This gives me the chance to pursue new opportunities -- corporate speaking engagements, product sponsorships, autograph shows for my loyal fans (who made me what I am today) and film and television roles. My agent and I are very excited about what the future holds."

Flair is taking bookings at bookric@thegillespieagency.com.

Flair was obviously distraught during Wrestlemania, grudgingly agreeing to stop wrestling after losing to Shawn Michaels. A dynamic on-air presence, Flair rarely showed up on screen in recent weeks.

TAG TURMOIL

An interesting turn of events has Batista and John Cena wearing the WWE tag straps. They beat Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes on RAW. The hook is Batista and Cena are opponents at next Sunday's SummerSlam. Also at SummerSlam are: Edge vs. Undertaker; CM Punk vs. JBL; Triple H vs. Great Khali; Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy; MVP vs. Jeff Hardy; and Kofi Kingston and Mickie James vs. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix (both the intercontinental and women's belts are on the line).

PUNKED

WWE world champ CM Punk predicts a bright future for himself. "I'm only 29. One of my goals was to be champion before I was 30. I don't think I've reached my prime yet. I've got a lofty goal of catching up with Triple H and Ric Flair (with number of championships won).

AROUND THE RING

WWE released Braden Walker (Chris Harris) ... Mr. Kennedy has a dislocated shoulder ... Unhappy with the way his announcing job is working out, Mick Foley could be gone from WWE when his contract expires on Sept. 1.