Charlotte Flair talks WWE return, title win, wanting to main event WrestleMania


Charlotte Flair talks WWE sale to Endeavor
Charlotte Flair (art credit Joel Teach © PWTorch)


Charlotte Flair says that returning to the WWE and winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship on the same night felt “refreshing.”

In an interview with the Daytona Beach News Journal, Flair talked about her return to the company after a long hiatus, how the crowd reaction impacted her, and more.

I was feeling refreshed,” Flair said of her return. “I also have never had a natural comeback moment. I’ve had many amazing emotional moments, but it was the first time that I had been away since 2015. To come back and hear the reception — especially being in Tampa where my career started, the whole process coming full circle and to see how excited people were to see me — I was sincerely touched.

“The next week, we were in Memphis, and there was a group of kids just standing there and screaming my name after the show. Before, it was like, “How do I be bad? How do I get people to boo me? How can I be most hated? I’m naturally unlikable.” Just seeing how excited to kids are to see me, reaching for me and wanting to touch me and the smiles, it’s really softened me a lot. No matter the critics, no matter response — boos, cheers, ‘Woos’ — it’s just for them, being a role model for them.”

Charlotte Flair will face Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania 39 in April with her Smackdown Women’s Championship on the line. Ripley won the 2023 women’s Royal Rumble Match to earn a shot at a championship match and chose Flair as the champion she wanted to face. Flair says she wants that match to be the main event.

“I always find it so odd when people say, ‘Why does Charlotte always want to main-event?’ Isn’t that what you want as a performer,” Flair asked regarding wanting a main event slot on the biggest show of the year. “If you’re a football team, you want to be at the Super Bowl, right? I don’t understand the criticism over that. Why wouldn’t you want to be a champion?

“With Rhea, we’re not starting from scratch. We have so much history. We have our first face-off Friday. I’m not planning anything in my head creatively because I want to feel the energy. I want to feel what the audience thinks of how far she’s come, and where I’m at now. Will it be a different vibe? Are they going to want to see her beat me, or do they know she’s not ready? I have to feel it out there, depending on my mind, what direction to go.

“At the same time, I feel how Rhea feels will be much different. I beat her for the NXT title, I beat her for the Raw title. That’s something, in her heart: “I know I can beat Charlotte. I have to beat Charlotte.” I feel like she has something to prove to herself. … And we naturally have such great chemistry. I know she’s going to bring it, and she knows I’m going to bring it.”

WrestleMania 39 airs live on Peacock on April 1 and April 2. Other announced matches for the show include Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship and Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship.

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