Charlotte Flair: From Volleyball Player to Wrestler, The Amazing Journey of a WWE Diva

Estimated read time 7 min read

Charlotte Flair is one of the most accomplished and influential female wrestlers in WWE history. She has been a 13-time women’s world champion, holding the WWE Divas Championship once, the WWE (Raw) Women’s Championship six times, the SmackDown Women’s Championship seven times, and the NXT Women’s Championship twice. She has also been the first woman to headline a WWE pay-per-view event, and the first woman to main event WrestleMania. She is the daughter of the legendary Ric Flair, but she has carved her own legacy in the wrestling industry. This is the story of Charlotte Flair, from volleyball player to wrestler, and how she became a WWE diva.

Early Life and Volleyball Career

Charlotte Flair was born as Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr on April 5, 1986, in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was the youngest and only daughter of Ric Flair and his then-wife Elizabeth. She has an older half-sister, Megan, an older half-brother, David, and a younger brother, Reid, who passed away in 2013.

Charlotte Flair was athletic since childhood and played volleyball for Providence High School in North Carolina. She was team captain and player of the year in 2004-2005, and won two NCHSAA 4 A-State championships. She also played volleyball for Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, in 2005 and 2006.

Charlotte Flair later transferred to North Carolina State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations in 2008. She also became a certified personal trainer and worked as an instructor at several gyms.

Wrestling Debut and NXT Run

Charlotte Flair did not have any interest in wrestling until 2012, when she decided to follow her father’s footsteps and signed a contract with WWE. She was sent to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, to train as a professional wrestler. She adopted the ring name Charlotte and dyed her hair blonde to resemble her father.

Charlotte Flair made her in-ring debut on NXT in July 2013, defeating Bayley. She quickly established herself as one of the top female wrestlers on the brand, forming an alliance with Sasha Banks called The BFFs (Beautiful Fierce Females). She also feuded with Paige, Natalya, Becky Lynch, Emma, and others.

Charlotte Flair won her first championship on NXT in May 2014, when she defeated Natalya in the finals of a tournament to crown the new NXT Women’s Champion. She held the title for 258 days, until she lost it to Sasha Banks in February 2015. She then moved on to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship again, as well as the NXT Championship held by Kevin Owens.

Main Roster Debut and Divas Revolution

Charlotte Flair was promoted to the main roster on Raw in July 2015, along with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. They were part of a movement called the Divas Revolution, which aimed to give more opportunities and exposure to the female wrestlers in WWE. Charlotte Flair joined forces with Paige and Becky Lynch as Team PCB (Paige-Charlotte-Becky), while Sasha Banks aligned with Naomi and Tamina as Team B.A.D (Beautiful And Dangerous), and Nikki Bella led Brie Bella and Alicia Fox as Team Bella.

Charlotte Flair quickly rose to prominence on the main roster, winning her first match on Raw against Brie Bella. She then challenged Nikki Bella for the WWE Divas Championship at Night of Champions in September 2015. She defeated Nikki Bella by submission and became the new Divas Champion.

Charlotte Flair held the Divas Championship for 196 days, until she lost it to Sasha Banks on Raw in March 2016. During her reign, she turned heel and betrayed her friends Paige and Becky Lynch. She also aligned herself with her father Ric Flair as her manager and mentor.

Women’s Championship Reigns and Historic Matches

Charlotte Flair regained the Divas Championship from Sasha Banks on Raw in April 2016, but the title was retired the same night and replaced by the new WWE Women’s Championship. Charlotte Flair became the inaugural holder of the new title, and also dropped her last name to be known simply as Charlotte.

Charlotte Flair held the Women’s Championship for 113 days, until she lost it to Sasha Banks on Raw in July 2016. She then entered a long and intense rivalry with Sasha Banks over the title, trading it back and forth several times. They also made history by becoming the first women to compete in a Hell in a Cell match, a Falls Count Anywhere match, and an Iron Man match on WWE pay-per-view events.

Charlotte Flair won her fourth Women’s Championship from Sasha Banks at Roadblock: End of the Line in December 2016, ending their feud. She then moved on to feud with Bayley, who defeated her for the title on Raw in February 2017. Charlotte Flair failed to regain the title from Bayley at Fastlane and WrestleMania 33, ending her undefeated streak on pay-per-view events.

SmackDown Run and Return to Raw

Charlotte Flair was drafted to the SmackDown brand in April 2017, as part of the Superstar Shake-up. She turned face and formed an alliance with Becky Lynch and Naomi, while feuding with Natalya, Carmella, Tamina, and Lana. She also had a brief feud with her father’s old rival, James Ellsworth.

Charlotte Flair won her first SmackDown Women’s Championship from Natalya at SmackDown Live in November 2017. She held the title for 147 days, until she lost it to Carmella in April 2018. During her reign, she had memorable matches with Alexa Bliss at Survivor Series, Natalya in a Ladder match at Clash of Champions, and Asuka at WrestleMania 34.

Charlotte Flair regained the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Carmella at SummerSlam in August 2018, but lost it to Becky Lynch at Hell in a Cell in September 2018. She then entered a heated rivalry with Becky Lynch over the title, which also involved Ronda Rousey, the Raw Women’s Champion.

Charlotte Flair won her third SmackDown Women’s Championship from Asuka on SmackDown Live in March 2019, but lost it to Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35 in April 2019. The match was a Winner Takes All triple threat match that also involved Ronda Rousey and her Raw Women’s Championship. The match was also the first women’s main event in WrestleMania history.

Charlotte Flair was drafted back to the Raw brand in October 2019, as part of the WWE Draft. She formed a tag team with Asuka and won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship from Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December 2020. However, she lost the title back to Baszler and Jax on Raw in January 2021.

NXT Return and Current Status

Charlotte Flair returned to NXT in January 2020, after winning the women’s Royal Rumble match. She challenged Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 36 in April 2020. She defeated Ripley by submission and became a two-time NXT Women’s Champion.

Charlotte Flair held the NXT Women’s Championship for 63 days, until she lost it to Io Shirai in a triple threat match that also involved Rhea Ripley at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in June 2020. She then moved back to the main roster and continued to compete on both Raw and SmackDown.

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