Charlotte shows flair for WWE history
– Mike Mooneyham
World Wrestling Entertainment history will be made Sunday night.
Not only will it mark the first time two women have met in a Hell in a Cell match, more significantly it will mark the first time two women have ever appeared in a main event of a WWE pay-per-view.
And would anyone be surprised that one of the participants will be the daughter of the man regarded by many historians as the greatest performer of all time?
Charlotte, aka Ashley Fliehr and daughter of 16-time world heavyweight champion Ric Flair (Richard Fliehr), will do battle with Sasha Banks (Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado) in one of three main events at TD Garden in Boston.
If ever there was a total package in the WWE women’s division, Charlotte is it. She combines athleticism, ability and looks coupled, of course, with pedigree. She is the proverbial chip off the old block. And she has done it all on her own. She has already established her legacy well beyond being Ric Flair’s daughter.
“I’m Ric Flair’s daughter, but I’m not just Ric Flair’s daughter,” says Charlotte, who was voted Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year in 2015.
I think she’s the greatest female (wrestler) of all time right now, and I don’t think that’s being biased,” Flair told ESPN. “I don’t know what the argument would be for anyone else.”
Charlotte, along with other NXT products such as Banks, Becky Lynch (Rebecca Quin) and Bayley (Pamela Martinez), helped usher in the “Divas Revolution” in 2015. The movement had started in NXT, but WWE executive Stephanie McMahon made it official when she announced a new championship at last year’s Wrestlemania by rebranding the divas title as the women’s championship.
“Our female performers are world-class athletes, actors, public speakers and philanthropists,” McMahon told the Players Tribune website. “They’re role models, inspiring and empowering women and girls to be confident and strong. They dedicate themselves to WWE, achieve great success and earn the same respect as their male counterparts. Therefore, from this point forward, all of our performers — male and female — will be known as ‘Superstars.’”
The move spoke volumes about the changing state of women’s competition in WWE and its new place in social media.
McMahon told ESPN’s Hannah Storm that “our fans want to see our female athletes positioned the same as our men.”
Charlotte and Sasha are featured exclusively on the Hell in a Cell event’s poster, which hangs in the main lobby of WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn., the first to ever solely promote a women’s match.
While it hasn’t been announced who will close the show, it’s more than likely Charlotte and Sasha will steal the show. They’re both looking to have a match that will have fans holding their breath.
“I am so happy for Sasha, for Charlotte, for all the women who paved the way, and all those who aspire to follow in their footsteps. It is no exaggeration to say that looking at that poster gave me chills … and they were multiplying,” said Raw general manager Mick Foley.
“Is there any reason that WWE should not place the Charlotte vs Sasha HIAC women’s title match on last at the event in Boston?” asked Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross. “I can’t find any issues with that concept as it would be a good, additional hook to the show that has a chance to land a significant amount of viewers on the WWE Network.”
One of the few naysayers is former WCW boss Eric Bischoff.
For photos and the rest of the story, go to
– Mike Mooneyham