At WrestleMania, I knew this is where I want to be and should be, acknowledges 10-time WWE champion Charlotte Flair

  • Charlotte Flair was part of the trio, also featuring Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch, which headlined WrestleMania earlier in the year

  • Charlotte hopes to be part of the women's match in the future in Saudi Arabia

  • Flair is Hall of Famer Ric Flair's daughter which comes with its own share of 'distractions'

Charlotte Flair (alongside Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch) was formally introduced to WWE on 13 July, 2015 on Raw, heralding a switch in the WWE universe. The term 'Women's Revolution' was born — even if as a marketing strategy — and it marked an improvement in the Divas division. From being mere 'trophies' to the male wrestlers and/or being involved in matches that presented them as objects, female wrestlers had their own marquee clashes. There were women's Hell in a Cell, main events on Raw and Iron Woman match with Charlotte versus Banks being the main rivalry.

 At WrestleMania, I knew this is where I want to be and should be, acknowledges 10-time WWE champion Charlotte Flair

WWE superstar Charlotte Flair on her arrival in India. Image: Sony

Earlier this year, the biggest accolade of them all came in the form of a first-ever Women's match headlining WrestleMania. The main event featured Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Ronda Rousey. "In our industry, it is the greatest achievement. While it wasn't the best match I have ever had, when I was walking up to Kurt (Angle), I knew that this is where I want to be and where I should be. And, that is a very powerful feeling," said Charlotte recalling the moment while on a trip to India.

The attempt is to draw parity in WWE between male and female wrestlers — or that's what Charlotte claims. "WWE sent me for this India Tour talking about WWE as a brand when they could’ve sent male superstar, what they initially used to do it. They sent me. That is not only a message to how company has invested in me and how they trust me but also universally motivating the women to be the head of the company. So pay wise, that’s also how we are treated. 100%."

As per a report on Mirror which revealed salaries of athletes from mid-2018, Charlotte earned $550,000 — second-most among the women — but worryingly stood behind 21 of her male counterparts. Lynch, one of the biggest draws in the recent past, would take home just $250,000 — one-sixth of Rousey who earns the most among the women.

In the ring, though, things bear a different look. Women continue to get good matches and another revolution of sorts happened in Saudi Arabia. In the fourth pay-per-view event in the Middle East, Natalya took on Lacey Evans in what turned out to be the first-ever women's match in Saudi Arabia. This was a far cry from the early edition where only men were allowed in attendance. "Just the beginning for bigger things and I hope I am part of it the next time!", said Flair on the women's match.

10-time WWE women's champion Charlotte Flair made an appearance in Mumbai as part of a promotional tour. Image: Sony

10-time WWE women's champion Charlotte Flair made an appearance in Mumbai as part of a promotional tour. Image: Sony

Charlotte sees no difference in what women need to do in comparison to male wrestlers to continue to dominate the shows. "I think unlike men, women can’t slack off. Just because we are in the main event in WrestleMania that doesn’t mean that we are going to WrestleMania main event again. Last year's all women’s pay-per-view event (WWE Evolution) was where people were watching and seeing so many different types of women that you could watch the show and everyone would have their person that they could connect to. So just a matter of not slacking off and taking every opportunity, that we are given," she stated.

More than her first name, the 33-year-old is more famous for her second name. If on one level it is seen as nepotism which opened doors for her, there is also the caveat of it adding pressure on her and more importantly, being identified as 'Ric Flair's daughter' than Charlotte. Pre-WrestleMania, Charlotte ripped into ESPN for introducing her as "daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair" instead of listing her achievements.

Flair, a 10-time WWE champion, is more measured when queried about the impact he's had on her career. "I always was very hard on my father. I just wish that I had tried to understand him more when I was in high school. I should have understood why he couldn’t give up wrestling and retire because now that I am in the same business, I know how hard that decision can be. I just couldn’t acknowledge the pain he would feel to walk away from something that he had put in 40 years of his life doing."

"He was just as normal father as you’d imagine him to be. Being his daughter is also a mixed blessing. There is a constant chip on my shoulder for always wanting to be recognised for my talent and not just for being his daughter. But honouring his legacy is very important to me and has always been one of the factors that keeps me motivated," she said.

Watch Charlotte Flair live only on SONY TEN 1 (English) and SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) every Tuesday and Saturdays.

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Updated Date: Nov 22, 2019 16:02:58 IST