WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair responds to the critics.
For the majority of her time on the WWE main roster, Flair portrayed a heel, and she has garnered plenty of negativity from critics that seemingly went beyond the reactions villains are supposed to receive. Still, Flair has been featured as a top star in the company, as she is a 14-time champion. Upon her return on the December 30 episode of WWE SmackDown, Flair turned face by defeating Ronda Rousey to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Given this sudden shift, some fans have argued that the change hasn’t felt organic.
Speaking with Graham GSM Matthews of Bleacher Report, Flair described how it has been rewarding to get positive reactions from the crowd. She revealed how she previously thought people actually didn’t like her because she played a heel for so long.
“Having that mindset for so long where you think people actually don’t like you, you start to believe it, kind of,” Flair said. “Whereas toward the end of my last run, where people just didn’t know whether to cheer or boo because they respected me to a certain degree. Now I’ve just committed to playing that role as the good guy no matter what without getting in my own head, it’s been really rewarding.”
“The Queen” also detailed how fans can now see how much the business and her career means to her. Flair went on to address the criticism she has often faced from critics online. She wondered why fans seemingly struggle to disconnect her character from the real person.
“It’s affected me my whole career, I think,” Flair said. “I’m like, why am I the one character no one can disconnect from and see that there’s a person there? Like I’m in charge of my storylines? My biological father is Ric Flair, so I think that’s hard for them to push aside as well and a lot of assumption, being the bad guy for so many years.”
Flair then described how she tries not to read about what people are saying online, and she noted that she wished she hadn’t let the online negativity affect her so much over the years. She also stated that while some critics may say that her face turn doesn’t feel natural, she’s just being herself, and not all of the pieces have fallen into place yet.
“I try really hard not to read online because maybe I’ll open my Twitter and I’m like, ‘I’m putting that down,” Flair said. “They’re saying I’m doing a bad job being a good guy. Then I go to these [house] shows or even SmackDown and I’m like, ‘Hey, are you guys hearing what I’m hearing?’ I wish I hadn’t let it affect me so much through the years.
“I don’t think I’ve had an opportunity on screen to really let this phase of my career being the good guy let all of the pieces fall into place. “I know people will say, ‘She doesn’t feel natural,'” the champ continued. “No, that’s just me being me out there. Right now, I’m just me for the most part. Amped up, obviously, but Charlotte Flair is not good or bad. She’s just entertaining.”
Flair will defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Rhea Ripley at WWE WrestleMania 39.