Charlotte Flair

Charlotte Flair

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Charlotte Flair
Charlotte WrestleMania Axxess 31 (cropped).jpg

Flair in March 2015
Birth name Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr [1]
Born (1986-04-05) April 5, 1986 (age 32)[2]
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States[2]
Residence Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater North Carolina State University[2]
Spouse(s) Riki Johnson (m. 2010; div. 2011)
Thomas Lattimer (m. 2013; div. 2015)
Parent(s) Ric Flair
Elizabeth Harrell
Relatives David Flair (half-brother)[3]
Reid Flair (brother)[4]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Ashley Flair[3][5]
Charlotte[6]
Charlotte Flair[7]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[7]
Billed weight 144 lb (65 kg)
Billed from The Queen City[7]
Trained by Lodi[8]
Sara Del Rey[9]
Debut July 3, 2013[10]

Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr[11][12] (born April 5, 1986) is an American professional wrestler, author, and actress currently signed to WWE, where she performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Charlotte Flair and is the current and longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion in her first reign.[7] A second generation professional wrestler, she is the daughter of two time Hall of Famer Ric Flair.[7][3][4]

As a teenager, Flair appeared alongside her father in World Championship Wrestling. In 2012, she began training with WWE, debuting in its developmental brand NXT in 2013.[10] In 2014, she won the NXT Women’s Championship[13] and was named “Rookie of the Year” by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.[14]

Flair was promoted to WWE’s main roster in 2015, quickly winning the WWE Divas Championship. In 2016, she was crowned the inaugural WWE (Raw) Women’s Champion.[15][16] Her match against Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell in October 2016 was the first match featuring women to headline a WWE pay-per-view event.[17] Together in 2016, they also main evented Raw in a singles match in October and November 2016, the first for a women’s match since 2004,[18][19] and became the first women to win the PWI award for “Feud of the Year“.[20] They also set the new record for a WWE women’s match at Roadblock: End of the Line in December 2016 at over 34 minutes.[21] Pro Wrestling Illustrated named Flair both “Woman of the Year” and the world’s top female professional wrestler for 2016.[22] Flair is an overall six-time champion since making her main roster debut, and is the only wrestler to have held the three currently active WWE women’s titles, the NXT Women’s, Raw Women’s, and SmackDown Women’s championships, as well as the retired Divas Championship.[23]

Early life[edit]

Flair was born in Charlotte, North Carolina to Ric Flair and his then-wife Elizabeth.[24] She has an older half-sister, Megan, and an older half-brother, David, while her younger brother Reid died in March 2013.[4] Flair holds two NCHSAA 4 A-State championships for volleyball during her time at Providence High School, including being a team captain and player of the year from 2004–2005.[25] She attended Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, playing volleyball in the 2005 and 2006 seasons,[26] before transferring to North Carolina State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in public relations in Spring 2008, while also being a certified personal trainer prior to becoming a wrestler.[2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Championship Wrestling (2000)[edit]

Flair made her first appearances in professional wrestling at the age of 13, appearing with her father in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as “Ashley Flair” during his feud with Vince Russo and her half-brother David. On the May 15, 2000 episode of Monday Nitro, Flair appeared in a vignette in which Russo, David and Daffney invaded the Flair family home until being confronted by Flair, her mother Beth, and her brother Reid.[27] At The Great American Bash on June 11, 2000, Flair was at ringside for a retirement match between Ric and David. After Russo attempted to interfere in the match on David’s behalf, she and her brother Reid attacked him and handcuffed him, enabling their father to go on to defeat David.[3] On the following evening’s episode of Monday Nitro, David and Russo faced Ric in a handicap match with the Flair family once again at ringside. Flair attempted to interfere on her father’s behalf, but was restrained by R&B Security, Russo’s henchmen, allowing David and Russo to defeat Ric and partially shave his head.[5]

WWE[edit]

NXT (2012–2015)[edit]

On May 17, 2012, Flair signed a developmental contract with WWE. She trained under Lodi in North Carolina before joining NXT, the WWE developmental territory, in Tampa, Florida.[8][28] Her trainers in NXT included Sara Del Rey.[9] Fliehr adopted the ring name Charlotte, and had her first televised singles match on the July 17, 2013 episode of NXT, where she defeated Bayley.[10]

In late 2013, Charlotte formed a tag team with Bayley, and the two defeated Aksana and Alicia Fox on the September 4 episode of NXT.[29] On the October 10 episode of NXT, Bayley accompanied Charlotte to a match against Santana Garrett, which she won, and during the match, “The BFFs (Beautiful, Fierce Females” (Sasha Banks and Summer Rae) came to the ring and attempted to convince Bayley to join them, to Charlotte’s annoyance.[30] However, on the November 13 episode of NXT, Charlotte attacked Bayley and joined the BFFs, establishing herself as a villainess in the process.[31][32]

Flair in April 2014

After a two-month absence due to a legit injury, Charlotte returned on the January 8, 2014, episode of NXT, and began accompanying Rae and Banks to their matches.[33][34][35] In February, Charlotte confronted and challenged NXT Women’s Champion Paige during an interview with Renee Young.[36][37] Following Rae’s elevation to WWE’s main roster, Charlotte and Banks went on to feud with Bayley, who formed an alliance with Natalya, who defeated Charlotte by disqualification after Banks interfered on the March 27 episode of NXT.[38] On April 6, at WrestleMania 30, she appeared alongside Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss in Triple H’s entrance in his match against Daniel Bryan. The feud between Charlotte and Paige ended on the April 24 episode of NXT, when Charlotte and Banks defeated Emma and Paige, with Charlotte scoring the pinfall over Paige.[39]

In early May, Charlotte competed in the tournament for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship, defeating Emma in the first round, Alexa Bliss in the semi–finals,[40] and Natalya in the final at NXT TakeOver on May 29, to win the NXT Women’s Championship for the first time.[41] After a four-month absence from the show, Summer Rae returned on the June 6 episode of NXT, distracting Bayley and allowing Charlotte to defeat her, after which the BFFs attempted to attack Bayley, only to be chased away by Emma and the returning Paige.[42] The altercation prompted a six-woman tag team match on the June 12 episode of NXT, which the BFFs lost after Bayley pinned Charlotte.[43] On the July 3 episode of NXT, Charlotte got a measure of retribution over Bayley in a tag team match, where she and Banks defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch, only for Charlotte to leave Banks after the match to get attacked by Bayley, with Banks officially disbanding the BFFs in a backstage segment later that night.[44]

Flair wrestling Sasha Banks during a live event in March 2015

On the July 24 episode of NXT, Charlotte successfully defended the women’s championship against Summer Rae.[45] Charlotte then went on to defeat Bayley on at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way on September 11 to retain the championship, after which she stopped Banks from attacking Bayley afterwards,[46] and after defeating Bayley in a rematch on October 2 episode of NXT, she raised Bayley’s arm before they shared a hug and shook hands, thus turning Charlotte back into a fan favorite character.[47] Following this, Charlotte and Bayley feuded with Banks and her partner Becky Lynch throughout the following several weeks.[48] Charlotte made her first appearance on WWE’s main roster on the Slammy Awards special episode of Raw on December 8, where she lost to Natalya in a non-title match.[49] Charlotte retained the NXT Women’s Championship against Banks at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution on December 11,[50] and in rematches that took place on the December 25[51] and the January 21, 2015 episodes of NXT, respectively.[52] At NXT TakeOver: Rival on February 11, Charlotte dropped the championship to Banks in a fatal four-way match that also involved Bayley and Becky Lynch, ending her reign at 258 days.[53] She failed to regain the championship in a rematch against Banks that took place on the March 4 episode of NXT.[54]

At NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable on May 20, Charlotte teamed up with Bayley to defeat Emma and Dana Brooke.[55] After defeating Emma and Brooke again on the July 8 episode of NXT, this time teaming with her rival Sasha Banks, Charlotte challenged Banks to an NXT Women’s Championship match, which Banks accepted.[56] They had their championship match the following week on the July 15 episode of NXT, in which Banks retained the championship, and afterwards the two shared a hug and Banks raised Charlotte’s hand as a sign of respect.[57]

Women’s Revolution (2015–2016)[edit]

On the July 13 episode of Raw, Stephanie McMahon called for a “revolution” in the Divas division, subsequently introducing Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks as members of the main roster. Charlotte and Lynch allied with Paige, who was engaged in a feud with Team Bella (Alicia Fox and The Bella Twins), while Banks allied with Tamina and Naomi, starting a rivalry between the three teams.[58] The trio of Charlotte, Lynch, and Paige was dubbed Team PCB after the first name initials of each wrestler.[59] On July 19 at Battleground, Charlotte defeated Banks and Brie Bella in a triple threat match in her WWE pay-per-view debut.[60][61][62] The three teams would ultimately face off at SummerSlam in a three team elimination match, which Charlotte’s team won after Lynch pinned Brie Bella.[63] On the August 31 episode of Raw, Charlotte overcame fellow Team PCB members’ records in the first ever Divas Beat the Clock challenge, and was named the new number one contender to Nikki Bella‘s Divas Championship.[64] Her title match against Nikki Bella, initially advertised for Night of Champions,[65] took place on the September 14 episode of Raw, so Charlotte could stop Bella from surpassing AJ Lee‘s record and becoming the longest-reigning Divas Champion.[66] Charlotte won the match by disqualification after she pinned Brie due to the twins switching places, causing Nikki to retain her title.[67] On September 20 at Night of Champions, Charlotte defeated Nikki in a rematch to win the Divas Championship for the first time.[68] During Charlotte’s celebration the following night on Raw, Paige cut a worked shoot promo and turned on her Charlotte and Lynch, berating them and the Divas division.[69] Throughout October, Paige appeared to have reconciled with Lynch and Charlotte.[70][71] Paige cemented her departure from the team by attacking both Charlotte and Lynch the night after Charlotte successfully retained her championship against Nikki at Hell in a Cell.[72][73] Charlotte successfully defended her title against Paige on three different occasions, at Survivor Series on November 22,[74][75][76][77][78] in a rematch the following night on Raw,[79] and at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13.[80]

On the November 30 episode of Raw, Charlotte began displaying villainous traits after defeating Lynch by feigning a leg injury, followed by a distraction provided by her father.[81] Throughout December, the relationship between Charlotte and Lynch continued to strain,[82][83][84][85][86] and after losing to her on the January 4, 2016 episode Raw, Charlotte attacked Lynch and solidified her villainous turn in the process.[87][88] Charlotte successfully retained the Divas Championship against Lynch with help from her father three days later on SmackDown,[89] and at the Royal Rumble on January 24.[90] On the February 1 episode of Raw, Charlotte lost to Brie Bella in a non-title match.[91] The two later competed in title match at Fastlane on February 21, where Charlotte successfully retained the title.[92] She also retained the title against Natalya at Roadblock on March 12.[93] On March 3, Charlotte caused a number one contender’s match between Lynch and Banks to end in a no contest after Charlotte attacked both competitors.[94] As a result, a triple threat match between Charlotte, Banks and Lynch for the Divas Championship was scheduled for WrestleMania 32.[95][96] At the event on April 3, it was announced that the three women would compete for the new WWE Women’s Championship, which replaced the Divas Championship.[97] Later that night, Charlotte defeated Banks and Lynch to become the inaugural champion in her WrestleMania debut.[98][99]

Raw Women’s Champion (2016–2017)[edit]

Flair with the then-WWE Women’s Championship the night after WrestleMania at Raw in April 2016

Following WrestleMania 32, Charlotte began a feud with Natalya, successfully defending the title against her on the April 11 episode of Raw.[100][101] Due the disqualification ending, a rematch took place at Payback on May 1,[102] where she defeated Natalya after referee Charles Robinson ended the match as Charlotte held Natalya in the Sharpshooter, even though Natalya had not submitted, making reference to the infamous “shoot screwjob” the Montreal Screwjob.[103] After the match, both Natalya and Bret Hart, who was in Natalya’s corner, applied the Sharpshooter on Charlotte and Ric Flair.[104] At Extreme Rules on May 22, Charlotte retained her title against Natalya in a submission match after a distraction provided by Dana Brooke dressed as Flair.[105] The following night on Raw, Charlotte turned on her father by claiming she no longer needed him, further aligning herself with Brooke.[106] At Money in the Bank on June 19, Charlotte and Brooke defeated Natalya and Lynch in a tag team match.[107] On the June 20 episode of Raw, Charlotte retained her title over Paige with help of Brooke, with the two attacking Paige after the match, which ended with Banks making the save.[108] This led to a tag team match the following week, where Banks and Paige scored the victory.[109] On July 24 at Battleground,[110] Charlotte and Brooke were defeated by Banks and the debuting Bayley.[111]

After being drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2016 WWE draft on July 19,[112][113] Charlotte made her first appearance for the brand on the July 25 episode of Raw, where she lost the WWE Women’s Championship to Sasha Banks, ending her reign at 113 days.[114] On August 21 at SummerSlam, Charlotte competed against Banks in a rematch for the title, in which Flair was victorious, thus becoming a two-time champion.[115][116] At Clash of Champions on September 25, Charlotte retained the title – which had been renamed Raw Women’s Championship after the creation of the SmackDown Women’s Championship[16][117] – in a triple threat match against Banks and Bayley.[118] However, Charlotte dropped the title to Banks once again in the main event of the October 3 episode of Raw.[119] Around this time, Charlotte began going by the ring name Charlotte Flair.[120] At Hell in a Cell on October 30, Flair regained the title from Banks in the first women’s Hell in a Cell match to become a three-time champion.[17] This was also the first time a women’s match was the last match on a WWE pay-per-view.[121] The following night on Raw, Flair was revealed as captain of Team Raw for Survivor Series on November 20, where Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown with Flair and Bayley being the survivors for Team Raw.[122] On the November 28 episode of Raw, Flair competed against Banks in a Falls Count Anywhere match, where Banks defeated Flair for the title, after which Ric Flair came out and celebrated with Banks.[123] A 30-minute Iron Man match between the two was scheduled for Roadblock: End of the Line on December 18,[124] which resulted in a 2–2 draw, but Flair defeated Banks 3–2 in sudden death overtime, becoming a record four-time Raw Women’s Champion as well as ending their long-time feud since it was stipulated that Banks could not invoke her rematch clause.[125][126]

At Royal Rumble on January 29, 2017, Flair successfully retained the title over Bayley in singles competition.[127][128] On the February 13 episode of Raw, Flair dropped the title to Bayley in the main event.[129] She later failed to regain the title in a rematch against Bayley at Fastlane on March 5,[130] marking her first pay-per-view singles match loss after 16 singles victories.[131][132][133] At WrestleMania 33 on April 2, Flair competed in a four-way elimination match against Bayley, Banks and Nia Jax, where Bayley retained the title.[134] On the April 10 episode of Raw, Flair was defeated by Jax in her final match for the brand.[135]

SmackDown Women’s Champion (2017–present)[edit]

On April 11, Flair made her debut on SmackDown Live after she was traded to the SmackDown brand as part of the Superstar Shake-up.[136] The following week on SmackDown Live, after defeating Naomi in a non-title match[137] she was granted a match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, which ended in a no contest after an interference by Natalya, Carmella and Tamina.[138] This match made Flair the first woman in WWE history to compete in the main events of Raw, SmackDown Live and a pay-per-view.[139] On the May 2 episode of SmackDown Live, Flair began to transition into a fan favorite after she was attacked backstage by Carmella, Natalya and Tamina, later unsuccessfully competing against the former two alongside Naomi in a tag team match.[140] Flair cemented her change of character on May 21 at Backlash, where she teamed with Naomi and Becky Lynch in a losing effort against Natalya, Tamina and Carmella.[141] On June 18 at Money in the Bank, Flair competed in the inaugural women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by Carmella, due to outside interference by James Ellsworth.[142] On July 23 at Battleground, Flair competed in a five–way elimination match to determine the number one contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, in which she was pinned by Natalya, who won the match as a result.[143]

After an almost two–month hiatus due to her father’s legitimate health condition, Flair returned on the September 19 episode SmackDown Live, thanking the WWE Universe for her family’s support and later that night in the main event defeating Lynch, Naomi and Tamina in a fatal four-way match to become the number one contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship on October 8 at Hell in a Cell,[144] where she defeated Natalya by disqualification and thus did not win the title.[145] However, Flair received her rematch and defeated Natalya to win the championship in her hometown on the November 14 episode of SmackDown Live, becoming the first ever wrestler to win the Divas, NXT, Raw and SmackDown Women’s titles.[146] With the win, Flair replaced Natalya in the interbrand champion vs. champion match against Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss on November 19 at Survivor Series which Flair won.[147] At Clash of Champions, Flair retained her championship against Natalya in a lumberjack match. At Fastlane, Charlotte retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Ruby Riott. After the match, inaugural women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka came to confront her and pointed towards the WrestleMania sign, confirming their match at WrestleMania 34 for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. At the event, Flair would submit Asuka to retain her championship, thus ending Asuka’s undefeated streak at 914 days. After the match, Flair was endorsed by Asuka.

Other media[edit]

Flair appeared in the January 2016 issue of Muscle & Fitness.[148]

Flair appeared in two games, her video game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K17, and WWE 2K18.[149]

On July 5, 2017, Charlotte announced that she would be in Psych: The Movie as Heather Rockrear.[150]

In September 2017, Charlotte published Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, which she co-wrote with her father and Brian Shields, author of the WWE Encyclopedia.

Flair ranked 29th out of 50 in the 2017 Sports Illustrated fittest woman athletes of the year.[151]

Personal life[edit]

Flair was arrested on September 5, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for assaulting a police officer after a fight involving Flair, her then-boyfriend, and her father. She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which was suspended to supervised probation and a $200 fine.[152]

She married Riki Johnson in May 2010 and they divorced in 2011.[153][154] In Second Nature, a joint biography of her and her father released in late 2017, she revealed that she left Johnson after having been the victim of multiple domestic assaults.[155] In 2013, Flair was married a second time to Thomas Latimer, better known by his ring name Bram.[156][unreliable source?] Their divorce was finalized on October 29, 2015, in the state of Florida.[157]

Flair has multiple tattoos, including two hearts above her waistline, a heart on her left wrist, a quote from the Bible on the left side of her torso, that reads “guard your heart above all else, for it will determine the course of your life”, a cross on the right side of her torso, and a quote on her right forearm, reading “a little patience…”, from the Guns N’ Roses song “Patience“. The latter two are tributes to her late brother, Reid Flair.[158]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2017 Psych: The Movie Heather Rockrear Television Movie

In wrestling[edit]

Charlotte being accompanied by her father at WrestleMania 32

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Flair is a seven-time champion in WWE, holding the Divas Championship once (left), the Raw Women’s Championship four times (right), and the SmackDown Women’s Championship once

1 Charlotte Flair’s first reign was when the championship was called the WWE Women’s Championship.[188] As a result of the 2016 brand extension draft, which happened during her first reign, the title became exclusive to Raw.[113] It was renamed to Raw Women’s Championship during her second reign after SmackDown created the SmackDown Women’s Championship.[16]

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