Charlotte Flair says she was blown away by the fans' reaction to her return.
Flair returned on the December 30 episode of WWE SmackDown and shockingly defeated Ronda Rousey to win the SmackDown Women's Championship. Flair had been absent since she lost the title to Rousey at WrestleMania Backlash in May. With her win on Friday, Flair won her fourteenth title, as she continued to build her impressive list of accolades. Many fans cheered for her when she beat Rousey, and this reception is a far cry from the boos Flair had gotten used to.
Speaking on WWE's The Bump, Flair discussed her return and noted that it has been surreal. She went on to describe how much the crowd's reaction meant to her on Friday, as she was floored by their cheers. Flair stated that the reception was rewarding, given the journey she has been on throughout her career.
“It’s kind of surreal. I mean I was gone for eight months, and then to be back, here I am in my office, holding the title, it feels like I never left, really. I was sincerely so touched by the fan reaction on Friday. I done a lot of things in my career, but to see the smiles and the cheers, and the reception that I received when I came back, I was just thinking to myself, any time I’ve ever thought negative or ‘Do I still have it,’ I know I always have it, but it was just very rewarding after this journey that I’ve had for ten years. Being in the audience, which I’ve never done before, like I’ve been in the audience, but I’m usually kicking someone’s butt, but here I was holding the title in Tampa, where my career started full circle, and being back after eight months, it really made me emotional," Flair said.
Flair continued by noting that she doesn't worry about the same things as she used to. She stated that her legacy is cemented now. Flair also emphasized that the fans' response to her return meant a lot to her. She also made it clear that she never rests or coasts, even with her new mindset.
"I think after being gone for eight months, the things that I worried about before, I don’t worry about as much. My legacy is cemented now, and I think moving forward, I’ve always been so serious. I’m very serious about the champion, about [having] the title and progressing, and never resting or coasting or being complacent, but it let me know that everyone had appreciated what I’ve done leading up to being back after eight months. It meant a lot to me," Flair said.
"The Queen" was also asked whether she had any nerves ahead of her return. She responded by describing how she was enjoying the moment, as she was stunned with the way the fans were excited to see her. Flair explained that she's not used to being in a role where fans cheer for her, and she described how she felt like she was taken for granted due to her consistency. She then stated that she liked how she was able to simply be herself on Friday night.
"It’s not that I was nervous. I was just enjoying the moment of the fans being excited to have me back. Seeing everyone cheer, I was just blown away. I’m usually not in that role to where everyone is just so excited to see me because I’ve never [been] away, I’ve never had a break. I’ve always [been] just go, go, go, consistency, dedication, passion. I feel like because I was so consistent [with] my skill, my talent, my presence, was kind of taken for granted. To come back and be in the audience and just see so many faces, and not just so many happy faces, and not just boos or having to be arrogant, just being me, I was enjoying the moment as not feeling like I had to put on my armor and be arrogant or bossy about what I’ve done. I was just literally in the moment," Flair said.
Flair previously offered her initial reaction to her return following SmackDown on Friday. Check out her comments here.
Ric Flair recently revealed that he didn't know Charlotte was returning, and he left the arena before she won the title on SmackDown. Click here to see what he had to say.
Check out the card for this week's episode of WWE SmackDown here.
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