When you’re the daughter of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, there’s a large shadow to overcome and big shoes to fill. Yet, Charlotte is doing just that.
The four-time WWE women’s champion is carving out her own path while leading the way for the women’s division.
Over the past few years, Charlotte has shown to be an athletic freak of nature and has taken a backseat to no one. Whether it was battling it out in NXT or knocking off Nikki Bella for the Divas championship or stealing the show at WrestleMania 32, she has always shined bright when the spotlight was on and she has done it with style and confidence that mirrors that of her famous father.
Now, after coming out on top over Sasha Banks in a lengthy rivalry, the “Queen” looks to solidify her position as the champion heading into yet another WrestleMania season when she faces Bayley on Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
CraveOnline: At the Royal Rumble this Sunday, you, the ultimate heel, are defending your championship against the ultimate babyface in Bayley. What are your thoughts heading into this Sunday?
Charlotte: I’m just really excited. The story itself and being able to use real life aspects to add to the build has been a lot of fun. On Raw a couple of weeks ago, when we showed the real photos of her with superstars, that was actually really her journal. It has been a lot of fun for each of us to play our parts of good guy and bad guy and having a definitive line between the two.
CraveOnline: You brought up making it personal in the build. Are you or her ever uncomfortable when you bring real life aspects into promos?
Charlotte: If I was I her, to be able to know that she’s able to share her passion of WWE to the world, that’s who Bayley is. For me, sometimes I feel so weird saying this and I’ll apologize a million times before I walk out of gorilla. But my lines are to make the audience feel a certain way and that makes the audience love her that much more. As long as it is in good taste because that’s my job.
Leading The Way
CraveOnline: If you retain your title this Sunday, you will head into WrestleMania season for the second consecutive year as the champion. What’s it like to carry the load? What does that responsibility mean to you?
Charlotte: I feel as if the pressure makes me stay on my toes. Whether it’s a sit down interview or it’s backstage whether it’s match or I have an opportunity to do media, it’s just one more opportunity to get better.
In terms of the weight on my shoulders, if it wasn’t, I would be mad so it’s one of those things you just go with it and I’m so grateful and it has been an amazing year. My pressure is because I’ve been consecutive every PPV, how am I going to outdo that one? How am I going to make this story better? I love it though. This is my life right now.
The Queen Of The PPV
CraveOnline: You’re the “queen of WWE PPVs” due to being undefeated at PPVs. Was that something that occurred organically and at what point did you realize you had never lost at a PPV?
Charlotte: It definitely organically happened. I didn’t even know about it until one of the ESPN guys said that I was undefeated and I was like ‘what?’ Then it just turned into a thing. It was never something we ever talked about it or hoped for.
With this particular rivalry with Bayley, I’ve used it a lot more but prior to that I wasn’t counting them. For me, I’m more stressed about how am I going to top the last PPV and wanting another PPV. In my opinion, you think it would get easier because you’ve been more exposed and have more repetition but for me, it just gets harder.
“I wish I were more like Charlotte in my personal life.”
CraveOnline: Were you as good at trash talking while playing volleyball at Appalachian State as you are in WWE? Your mic skills are on fire.
Charlotte: Absolutely not [laughs]. I wish I were more like Charlotte in my personal life [laughs]. I just knew I could do better. When I first debuted and things weren’t clicking and I was frustrated and felt I was never meant to be a babyface. I still have leaps and bounds to go but at least I’m making progress. Because I’ve progressed on the mic, it has taken my character that much further.
Growing up as Ric Flair’s daughter
CraveOnline: Do you have any funny stories growing up as Ric Flair’s daughter?
Charlotte: When I was going into ninth grade, I was trying out for the varsity team. I just wanted to be cool and hangout with the senior girls. My dad had me with a personal trainer since I was 6 years old. So when it came time for us to run the mile on the last day of tryouts, my dad had been at every single practice and he was lined up on the fence and I knew he was going to be super excited to see me probably beat everyone.
So when our coach blew the whistle to start, a couple of the girls took off and I was in the back hanging with the seniors leisurely jogging. When it came time to run past the straightaway where he was standing in the bleachers, he was screaming, “Get your ass going!” This is going into my freshmen year of high school.
I had never been more humiliated in m entire life. Then he starts talking along the fence and pointing and telling me to run. That’s just how he raised me but I’ll never forget that moment or forgive him [laughs].
CraveOnline: How do you feel about finishing your long rivalry and title changes with Sasha Banks?
Charlotte: The title changes were never really a thought in the back of my mind. It’s funny to say I’m a four-time women’s champion because I don’t really think four times, I just think I’m a women’s champion. But if there were ever a talent that made me want to be the best; it’s her.
Queen vs. Queen
CraveOnline: Who would be your dream match?
Charlotte: My dream match would be “Queen vs. Queen” Stephanie McMahon. But who’s going to be the good guy [laughs]. It will be evil vs. evil.
Continuing The Flair Legacy
CraveOnline: How do you want to be remembered when it’s all said and done?
Charlotte: That I carried my father’s legacy and continued it and that I made a change in women’s wrestling and gave it my all.
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline, a hockey fanatic, a pro wrestling connoisseur and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.
Photos courtesy of WWE