WWE Hall of Famer thinks Bret Hart and Ric Flair were not needed in women's storyline

Bret Hart accompanied Natalya at WWE Payback 2016
Bret Hart accompanied Natalya at WWE Payback 2016
Danny Hart

Arn Anderson believes Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya at WWE Payback 2016 did not benefit from having Ric Flair and Bret Hart at ringside.

The match ended with referee Charles Robinson calling for the bell after Charlotte Flair locked in the Sharpshooter, even though Natalya did not submit. The controversial moment was a recreation of the Montreal Screwjob incident, which saw Bret Hart lose against Shawn Michaels despite never tapping out.

Anderson, a WWE producer from 2001 to 2019, reviewed WWE Payback 2016 on his ARN podcast. He said Charlotte Flair and Natalya could have had a good match without the story revolving around their famous family members.

“What is the theme of the company starting that night? Beginning of a new era. So, we go back 20 years and have a 20-year-old finish? Number one, they didn’t need Ric or Bret out there. I don’t know why someone feels that Charlotte can’t get over or Nattie can’t go out there with all the experience she’s got and tear the joint down on their own merits, ‘cause that’s what they did before this scr*wed-up finish.”

Although Charlotte Flair retained the WWE Women’s Championship, Natalya ultimately stood tall after the match. The Queen of Harts joined forces with her uncle to lock Charlotte and Ric Flair in Sharpshooters at the same time.

Arn Anderson also thinks the WWE Payback 2016 referee angle was flawed

Charles Robinson (a.k.a. Little Naitch) was Ric Flair's personal referee in WCW
Charles Robinson (a.k.a. Little Naitch) was Ric Flair's personal referee in WCW

WWE Payback 2016 ended with Roman Reigns retaining the WWE Championship against AJ Styles in the main event. The match was restarted twice and given new stipulations by RAW General Managers Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon.

Arn Anderson thinks Charles Robinson’s questionable refereeing decision in the WWE Women’s Championship match did not make any sense. If WWE really wanted to treat women the same as men, he believes WWE’s authority figures should also have restarted Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya.

Charles Robinson played the role of Earl Hebner in the finish to the Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya match. At WWE Survivor Series 1997, Hebner incorrectly ruled that Bret Hart had submitted to Shawn Michaels. In reality, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon altered the match finish without letting Hart know.

Please credit ARN and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

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Edited by Ryan Droste
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