– WWE NXT Diva Charlotte recently spoke with Donald Wood and the Ring Rust Radio crew.
Donny: Wrestling fans get to watch you on NXT every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the WWE Network, and now they get to see you live on the NXT Tour which is making a stop at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby on Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15. How do you feel about being one of the key stars in NXT’s first real tour of the United States and do you feel any additional pressure being an ambassador for the NXT Divas?
Oh wow. I am honored, I could not be more proud of where NXT is today. Obviously I am solely a product of NXT, I didn’t have any prior work, and I started at OVW before the performance center was a thing. Before we were even on the network we were with UK, Skysports, I am honored and it’s a big deal. NXT is going places and I couldn’t be more proud to be representing them and the female division right now. Especially with all the buzz around it it’s amazing.
Joe: The NXT Women’s Division has been one of the best parts of the weekly program. What do you think separates the NXT Women’s Division from the Divas Division and what are your thoughts on the grassroots Give Divas A Chance movement from the fans?
I can’t speak for the Divas on the main roster, but for the women down in NXT including: Bailey, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Dana Brook, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, I have never met a bigger group of women who are so patient about what they do. We just mold and gel together so well. Triple H hired Sara Del Ray to work with us. She fights for us every single day, they trust us, they give us storylines, and time. We just run with it. With all those elements combined that’s why we are taking off right now and it’s an exciting time for women’s wrestling.
Donny: You have stepped into the ring with some of the best women in the wrestling industry during your career. Who has pushed you the hardest in the ring thus far and which Diva on the main roster are you most looking forward to squaring off against?
Well first I just want to say, Natalia help put me on the map. When I had my Takeover match and I won the NXT Women’s championship, I didn’t have that much experience at the time. She brought out something in the character Charlotte that I didn’t know I had and I ran with it. I can’t say one specific girl is harder than the other. Obviously when I work Sasha Banks, she’s the baddest. She is probably one of the best heels in the company today. So how I am with her is different than how I am with Bailey. Bailey is every single persons best friend. Then you have a new comer like Becky Lynch who is the number one contender. Other girls like Alexa Bliss, Dana Brook, Carmella, for Charlotte she just tries to tell the best story with each character. Natty, Sasha, Bailey, and me have had these Takeover matches and there was the fatal four way, but I like to work with everybody so I can’t just say there is one person. When I make the main roster, I would really like one more go with Natty. I beat her at Takeover, she beat me on Raw, its 1 for 1, so that’s who I would like forward to working.
Joe: You’ve earned a lot of high praise and awards in the early stages of your career. What was it like being named Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year in 2014 and how does it feel to be the longest reigning Women’s Champion in NXT history?
I’m just so honored. For me it’s more less that I’m a generation kid and want to carry on my Dad’s legacy and represent the Flair name. For me that’s what it is all about. I want to work hard and especially for the women I work with. I’m just honored and shocked and I want to keep getting better. I want to keep outdoing every other match I have ever had. I had no idea about the Rookie of the Year until someone, Joe I think, said, “hey you won Rookie of the Year” and then my Dad being it, I’m just so honored and blown away by everything. All the credit has to do with the group of women, Sara Del Ray, Triple H, and it makes me excited for the future.
Donny: While you have dominated in NXT, you will have a clean slate when you eventually make the jump to the main roster. What are your ultimate goals in the WWE and how high do you see your ceiling in the Divas Division?
The skies the limit. I want to main event a PPV, be the Divas champion, I mean gosh when I started, I didn’t know I would be where I am today. I want to see where my hard work takes me, but I want to main event Raw, I want to main event a PPV, and be the Divas champion. I want to see the entire female NXT roster on Raw at one point.
Joe: You haven’t been in the wrestling industry for very long but you’ve already made a big impact in the WWE. How has being the daughter of legend Ric Flair influenced your in-ring style and is there a story behind how you came up with the Figure 8 variation on the Figure 4?
Well when I first started, I was just learning how to lock up and hit the ropes. I really stayed away from what my Dad did, like the figure four, the chops, the woo. When I had my match with Natty though, that’s when I started to incorporate some of my Dad’s signature move set. Shout out to Simon Gotch of the Vaudevillians, helped me come up with the figure eight. He said, “hey its twice as good as your Dad’s”. We were just playing around with it, and it came from a combination of everyone at school helping me. Its kinds like the figure four headlock I do. Sara Del Ray was the one that helped me do the snap mare where I flip over the person. I just want to take his move set and add my own twist to it. Its gradually coming along thanks to my coaches and co-workers.
Donny: You have said in the past that you are trying to carve a name for yourself in the wrestling industry. With that said, has it been difficult working in the business as Ric Flair’s daughter and how has your relation to a legend impacted the expectations for your career?
It was very hard in the beginning. Any generation kid has a hard time, but because I didn’t come from a wrestling background I felt the pressure right away. “She isn’t any good, she has no personality, she’s this, she’s just Flair’s daughter”. I knew if they would just be patient and give me time they would see. I have literally been in sports since I could walk so I knew once I could figure out the psychology, understand what’s important within the match, my character, and got comfortable within Charlotte I could show people how athletic I really am. That is what gravitates them to me now. Obviously its cool that I am Ric Flair’s daughter. I think my athleticism adds a lot to Charlotte instead of just being the daughter of the Nature Boy. Now that I am comfortable within my own skin, I have no problem going out there and wooing 75 times. My Dad is the best wrestler of all time in my eyes, but he wasn’t known for his leap frogs or being the dirtiest player in the game. So it’s been a journey figuring out who Charlotte is while not just being his daughter.
Joe: WWE and NXT fans have been waiting for you to make your debut on the main roster. With the success of other NXT superstars on the main roster what are your hopes for when you’re finally called up and how does it feel being, hopefully, on the verge of making your debut?
When I do debut, I just want to run with it. I don’t want anything to hold me back and I just want to shine and not be timid or scared. NXT is getting bigger and bigger but it still doesn’t have the fan base of the WWE Universe has. I want to take my NXT fan base with me to the main roster and show what I can do on a larger scale. That is what I am most excited about.