Wrestler Retrospect: Charlotte Flair

For as long as I can remember I've never been a big fan of Ric Flair.

Fully getting back into wrestling at the end of the 90's the Monday Night Wars were in full swing. Flair was one of the big names in WCW at the time.  His super long promos (Let's face it. Everyone in WCW around that time cut super long promos.) and over excitement got really annoying to me.  I never hated Flair.  You can't deny the man is a legend.  His technical abilities set the bar for future wrestlers.  In the old days his I'm richer than you type character was something to hate, and he did it better than anyone.  He just never captured me as a fan.

So when I heard his daughter was wrestling in NXT I wasn't that excited.

So when I watched NXT Takeover, one of the matches was for the vacant Women's title.  That match was between Natalya and Charlotte and changed, not only what a women's match could be, but my opinion of Charlotte Flair.

The match went a significant amount of time and was a pure wrestling match.  Up to that point women's matches were either super short or all about showcasing women's bodies.  Since the PG era it was more of the former.  It was sad.  Charlotte and Natalya's match was a show stealer.  Two generational wrestlers putting on a wrestling clinic.  And they were both women.  It was not only refreshing, but much needed.

Charlotte and Natalya's match arguably ushered in the Women's revolution.  An era where women were in longer matches.  Full of wrestling holds and actual storylines.  Main events and specialty matches like cage matches and iron man matches soon followed.  Matches women weren't usually a part of.  And Charlotte was at the forefront of most of it.

Charlotte won the NXT women's title and went on to have a memorable title run.  Shortly after losing it she moved up to the main roster.  It wasn't long before she won the WWE Divas title.  She ended up turning heel and adopting a gimmick reminiscent of her father.  She talked about how she was genetically superior to her opponents.  How she was royalty and began to refer to herself as the Queen.

If you've read any of my previous wrestler retrospects you know how much I love a good heel.  The ability to turn a crowd against you and incite people appeals to me.  I think it says a lot about a performer to be able to create a memorable heel.

Charlotte did just that.

She started wearing robes like her dad.  She adopted the figure four, her dad's move, but modified it and made it her own.  It wasn't just those things though.  She held herself like she was above everyone else.  She would speak to everyone slowly like they were too dumb to understand.  She would frequently tell all how good she was because of her pedigree.  The best part is she then would back it up in the ring.  I love that about her.  The smugness she comes across with is just pure entertainment.  She's that villain that you want to see get that superior look knocked off her face, but it just doesn't happen because she's just that good.

She would go on to be one of the first women to main event a Pay per view.  She'd be one of the first women to be in a Hell in a Cell match.  She'd main even Raw.  Only ever done once before. It was during her Divas title run that the title was renamed to the Women's Title again, showing how much she and others had changed the division for the better.  She helped Women be taken seriously in WWE.

Outside the ring she seems like one of the nicest people.  She frequently retweets her fans tweets. There's always pictures of her taking pictures with those fans.  Stopping in the middle of the airports to get shots with her fans.

It's also awesome to see her dedication in the gym.  She always is posting pictures of her lifting weights in the gym showing how much dedication she has to her fitness and her craft.

Make no mistake.  There were other women in the division to help usher in this era of women being held in the same regard as men, but Charlotte had a large role to play.  I don't know if there's such a thing as being genetically superior, but Charlotte is definitely making a strong case for it.

At this point Charlotte is more decorated than a lot of the women that came before here.  I'm not sure there's much more she needs to prove or any more accolades to gain, but it will sure be fun to see where she goes from here.


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