Former three time WWE Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair spoke with The Orlando Sentinel before she unsuccessfully defended her title against Sasha Banks on last week's Raw. She spoke about her beginnings in WWE, about turning heel, and about deciding to use her father's name.
Back when Charlotte first came into the WWE, the "Divas" era was still in full effect. But there were some doubters that said Charlotte wasn't "Diva Material."
"Before I debuted, there was a lot of media saying Charlotte wasn't diva material, she had a different look. But the same people who now [praise me as] the 3-time women's champion were the same people who said, 'Does she have the diva look?' So you can't get caught up in people's opinions. What is the diva look? You know? I'm 5-10 and I'm blonde! How much more diva (can you get)?… I took that [criticism] to heart."
Perhaps Charlotte used this as motivation when she turned heel a few months into her first title reign. "I didn't even think about good guy, bad guy when I started," she said. "I was that unfamiliar with the business. I never wrestled, I'd never done the [independent circuit], never dreamed about it. I just knew my dad was Ric Flair and I really loved watching him. At my size, it was easier to be a heel. What I learned was, 'OK, people already think you're that way, might as well go ahead and act that way.' That way, being a heel became easier -- because it was very hard for me to deal with the criticism of being his daughter. Once I realized I could own it, I was like, all right, guys."
Charlotte famously turned heel on her own father as well, but that didn't stop her from adding her father's last name to her own ring moniker several weeks ago. Whereas she was always known simply as "Charlotte," now she would be known as "Charlotte Flair."
"Obviously we haven't shied away from being my dad's daughter, but I think it was the company's way of saying she can do it and she can own it. And that's pretty cool. It's weird to have two names now. It makes for a longer [autograph] signing. My hand's cramping more. [laughs] But I think it was cool the company was putting that much thought into my growth and my character. It really does make a difference."
Last night on Raw, Charlotte tricked her father into coming to the ring so she could apologize for banishing him from her life back in May, but instead she slapped him across the face. She has just accepted a challenge from Sasha Banks to have an "Ironman Match" at Roadblock: End of the Line on Dec 18 in Pittsburgh. This would be the first ever main roster Women's Iron Man Match.