Flair joined WWE in 2012 with no experience in wrestling. However, she has become one of the best female performers to ever compete in a WWE ring. Her life outside the ring has also seen many changes. She quit a job she loved, got married and divorced more than once, and lost some loved ones.
In her book Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, the SmackDown Women's Champion revealed a few incidents that changed her life. If not for these incidents, Flair might never have become the woman she is today.
Here are five incidents that changed Charlotte Flair's life.
#5. Charlotte Flair's dinner with John Laurinaitis
Growing up, Charlotte Flair never thought about becoming a WWE Superstar. Although she was the daughter of the legendary Ric Flair and an athlete in her own right, the current SmackDown Women's Champion was not interested in competing inside the squared circle. Instead, the 35-year-old worked as a personal trainer and was very successful.
Despite this, a dinner that she was initially not invited to changed Flair's life. Ric and his son, Reid, were going to dinner with WWE Executive John Laurinaitis when Flair decided to join them. Ric and his son initially met with Laurinaitis to discuss Reid's chances of getting a WWE tryout. Nonetheless, the conversation took an unexpected turn:
"John told Reider that he needed to gain more experience so that WWE could see more of his work. After that, they’d take a look at everything and talk about returning for a tryout. Then John looked at me and said, 'So why aren’t you doing this?' At first, I thought he was talking to someone else. When I realized that was directed at me, I didn’t know what to say. I thought he was joking or that he just wanted to be polite and bring me into the conversation. As he continued to talk, I thought, Me?"
The current SmackDown Women's Champion did not expect Laurinaitis to offer her a WWE contract. At the time, she was going through a rough patch in her first marriage. On the contrary, her career as a personal trainer was thriving. Flair was also in the process of buying a new house in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although she was confused, The Queen knew that joining WWE was a chance that could save her life:
"What could I do in WWE? All I knew was that this could be my chance. In the back of my mind and in my most private thoughts, it was the chance I had been waiting for. The opportunity that in my most heartfelt prayers I had asked God for. The chance that could save my life."
Shortly after that night, Flair quit her job and joined FCW to kick off her wrestling career. For the first time in her life, she left Charlotte to live in Tampa, Florida. In the following years, The Queen became one of WWE's biggest stars.
#4. Charlotte Flair's first divorce
Charlotte Flair married Riki Johnson in 2010. Nonetheless, their marriage ended in divorce a few years later. In her book Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, Flair revealed many details about her first marriage, describing her relationship with Johnson as toxic.
According to the SmackDown Women's Champion, her first husband had addiction problems and had physically abused her a few times. Although they lived in different states after Flair joined WWE, they went together to Dallas to attend a college football game in which Johnson's brother played. There, an incident happened that changed Flair's life:
"He started drinking and became belligerent. We went to a fast food restaurant after the game and Riki caused a scene while we were inside, and then took a taxi back to the hotel. In the hotel room, he became hostile and destructive, and he started breaking things (...) I realized that even though I left Charlotte, I hadn’t escaped. At that moment, in the hallway, something clicked. I’d had enough (...) I got on a plane and flew back to Tampa. When we talked on the phone, I said something to Riki I should’ve told him a long time ago. It’s one of the most important things I ever said in my life: 'I want a divorce.' I wanted to be free from this darkness. I wanted my life back. I was stronger than I realized."
Flair and Johnson divorced in 2013. The SmackDown Women's Champion was still taking her first steps in WWE back then. Her decision to leave Johnson allowed her to focus on herself and her new career:
"I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, like I could actually focus on me. I could focus on being healthy in every aspect of my life and pursue this new career with a clear mind."
Later in 2013, Flair tied the knot for the second time with current National Wrestling Alliance star Bram. Nonetheless, they divorced two years later. The 35-year-old is currently engaged to AEW star Andrade El Idolo.
#3. Charlotte Flair's emotional segment in promo class
Charlotte Flair's first days in WWE were tough. At the time, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes taught WWE's recruits a promo class, where they worked solely on interviews. The Queen was intimidated by it. It took her a long time to get comfortable speaking in front of people.
Despite this, Flair would cheer on her colleagues in practice since she was used to being a team leader in every sport she played:
"Before one of our classes, some of the guys were working out in the ring. I heard them call out some cheer phrases I’d say in practice and give high fives in an overly animated way. Maybe I was being too sensitive, but I thought it was obviously being done in a mocking way."
Flair felt offended by the way her colleagues mocked her. She used that real emotion to get rid of her discomfort in the promo class. That day, she cut one of her best promos, and it changed her life:
"I used that real emotion and opened up. I used that as an opportunity to explain who I was, where I came from, and why I was doing what I was doing. I brought up the incident and said, 'Maybe I am masking what I feel when I walk through the doors of the Performance Center every morning. The smile on my face and the high fives to my fellow coworkers are much harder to do because of the pain I feel and what I am going through every day. None of you could handle that on your best day. You couldn’t walk ten feet in my shoes, let alone a day in my life with what I’ve been through. I will continue to be me, continue to cheer on my class, because that’s who I am and where I come from.'"
According to The Queen, that promo was a turning point in the development of her character. Her colleagues also stopped mocking her. Today, Flair is one of the best WWE Superstars on the mic.
#2. Charlotte Flair's participation in Triple H's entrance at WrestleMania 30
Triple H has helped Charlotte Flair a lot since she joined WWE. Nonetheless, he asked her for her help in 2014. The Game wanted Flair to participate in his entrance at WrestleMania 30 before his match against Daniel Bryan.
In her book Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, The Queen recalled how her participation in The King of King's entrance impacted her life and career:
"Sasha, Alexa Bliss, and I were under gold masks. We were goddesses who took off the King of Kings’ battle gear before he went to war. The feeling I had of walking out on that stage to Hunter’s music was exhilarating. The energy, the enormity, and the pageantry of his entrance made me want to be a member of WWE’s main roster even more than ever before. That night, I decided what my ultimate goal would be: to perform in a match at next year’s WrestleMania."
When Flair returned to Florida, she was consumed by the thought of getting to the main roster. All she thought about was improving on all levels. According to the current SmackDown Women's Champion, her character development and learning curve dramatically increased to go at a much faster rate.
Although she did not have a match at WrestleMania 31, Flair made her main roster debut a few months later. In September 2015, she won her first title on the main roster after defeating Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship.
#1. Paige's main roster debut changed Charlotte Flair's life
Following her participation in Triple H's entrance at WrestleMania 30, Charlotte Flair worked hard on her character development. According to her, she became obsessed with perfecting every aspect of her character.
Meanwhile, the then-NXT Women's Champion Paige debuted on RAW the night after WrestleMania 30. On her first night on the Red Brand, she defeated AJ Lee to capture the Divas Championship. As a result, the NXT Women's Title was vacated:
"I didn’t realize it then, but the timing was perfect because I earned an opportunity that changed the trajectory of my career and my life," Flair wrote in her book Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte.
WWE held a tournament to crown a new NXT Women's Champion. Flair defeated Emma in the first round and eliminated Alexa Bliss in the semi-finals. She then squared off against Natalya in the finals. In the presence of Ric Flair and Natalya's uncle Bret Hart, The Opportunity defeated The Queen of Harts to capture her first-ever title in WWE:
"Being announced as the new NXT Women’s Champion was surreal (...) I celebrated with my dad. It was like we were the only two people in the arena (...) For that night, I was walking on sunshine in legendary footsteps, ready to blaze my own trail."
The NXT Women's Championship was the first of many titles Charlotte Flair went on to win in WWE. She is now a multi-time Women's Champion and a former Women's Tag Team Champion. The Queen currently holds the SmackDown Women's Title.
Poll : Who should defeat Roman Reigns after his reign of terror?