Charlotte Flair is an American professional wrestler, author, and actor, who is the current ‘SmackDown Women’s Champion.’ She is a second-generation wrestler in her family. Her father, Ric Flair, is known as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Ric and his then-wife, Elizabeth. Having a famous wrestler as her father had no special influence on the way she wanted her career to shape up. She was good at sports and excelled in basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. However, while in university, she studied to become a personal trainer and then arrived in the ring as a wrestler. She signed with ‘World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.’ (WWE) in May 2012 and appeared on her first televised fight a year later, on ‘NXT,’ which saw her defeat Bayley. In July 2015, Charlotte was introduced to the ‘WWE’ main roster and had her first stint with ‘Raw.’ She then became the ‘WWE Divas Champion.’ From the very beginning, she exhibited her talent to become the most-feared female superstar on ‘Raw.’ In 2016, ‘Pro Wrestling Illustrated’ named her the ‘Woman of the Year’ and regarded her as the world’s top female professional wrestler. Since the beginning of her career, she has held six championship belts.
Childhood & Early Life
Charlotte Flair was born Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr, on April 5, 1986, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Ric Flair, a widely popular professional wrestler and his then-wife, Elizabeth. She had a younger brother, Reid, who died tragically in 2013. She has two older half-siblings, David and Megan.
Ric was absent during most of Charlotte’s childhood years, and as a result, she grew significantly distant from him. A few years after she was born, her parents got divorced. This affected Charlotte, and she had a troubled childhood. However, Ric did whatever he could to compensate for his absence. He visited her whenever he was in town.
When Charlotte told her classmates in school that she was the daughter of Ric Flair, many of them did not believe her. She used her father’s connections to help her bring Randy Savage, the famous wrestler, to her school to make her classmates believe her stories.
Charlotte did not initially like being part of her illustrious wrestling family. Her interest in fitness and sports led her to prepare to become a personal trainer. She was once a promising volleyball player. She graduated from ‘Providence High School’ and was the school volleyball team’s captain and the player of the year from 2004 to 2005. She was also part of the school team that won two ‘NCHSSA 4-A State Championships.’
She attended the ‘Appalachian State University’ (ASU) in North Carolina, where she played volleyball for two seasons. After two years at ‘ASU,’ she was transferred to ‘North Carolina State University,’ from where she finished her Bachelor of Science degree in public relations. Meanwhile, she also became a certified personal trainer.
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Before being professionally associated with ‘WWE,’ Charlotte had already made an appearance in the ring with her father. She was 13 years old when she appeared in the ring alongside Ric during his on-going feud with Vince Russo and David at a ‘World Championship Wrestling’ (WCW) event. In June 2000, at ‘The Great American Bash,’ she was at ringside along with her brother, Reid, while her father fought David in the ring. When Russo interfered, Charlotte and her brother attacked and handcuffed him.
Charlotte signed her first official developmental contract with ‘WWE’ in May 2012. She trained for a year and made her official in-ring debut in July 2013 in a singles match, which saw her defeat Bayley. A few months later, she formed a “tag team” with Bayley and successfully won many “tag team” matches. However, in November, she attacked Bayley and established herself as a villainess on ‘NXT.’
In May 2014, she earned her first championship title when she defeated Natalya in the finals of ‘NXT TakeOver.’ For the following few months, she continued with her feuds with Bayley, Summer Rae, and Paige. She managed to successfully defend her title in a one-on-one match against Summer Rae in July. In September, she defended her title again, against her arch-rival Bayley. However, she surprised the audiences when after defeating Bayley in an October rematch, she raised Bayley’s arm, hugged her, and shook hands with her.
In February 2015, she finally lost her title to Sasha Banks, in a fatal four-way match. Her other two opponents in the match were Becky Lynch and Bayley. In July 2015, she challenged Banks for a title match which was accepted by Banks. Banks easily defeated Charlotte to retain the title and raised Charlotte’s hand as a sign of respect. This ended the long feud between the two female wrestlers.
On the July 13 episode of ‘Raw,’ Lynch, Banks, and Charlotte were introduced to the main roster. In her pay-per-view debut, she participated in a triple threat match against Brie Bella and Sasha Banks. Charlotte won the match and became an instant fan favorite.
In a September match at ‘Night of Champions,’ Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella to win the ‘Divas Championship.’ Charlotte then defended her title three times against Paige in the following few months. Charlotte’s streak of being a fan favorite came to a halt when she faked a leg injury to defeat Lynch. Ric Flair also provided a distraction. This move was met with booing from the audiences.
Soon, a triple threat match was set up for ‘WrestleMania 32’ and included Charlotte, Banks, and Lynch, An announcement during the event declared that the ‘Divas Championship’ had been converted into the ‘WWE Women’s Championship.’ After an intense match, Charlotte won in her ‘WrestleMania’ debut.
Following her ‘WrestleMania’ victory, Charlotte began a rivalry with Natalya and successfully defended her title against her in April. In May, when her father interrupted one of her matches, she thrashed him publicly and said that she did not need him. In July, she lost her title to Sasha Banks.
However, in October, she snatched the title back from Banks during the first women’s ‘Hell in a Cell’ match. It was named as ‘Raw’s Women Championship’ when ‘SmackDown’ announced their version of the championship. She successfully defended the title many times before eventually losing it to Bayley in February 2017. She failed to regain it in March.
In April, Charlotte made her debut on ‘SmackDown.’ She initially confused the audiences by transforming herself from being villainous to heroic. In November 2017, she successfully won the ‘SmackDown Women’s Championship’ after defeating Natalya in a one-on-one match.
Charlotte Flair was in trouble with the law for allegedly assaulting a police officer on duty in 2008. Her then-boyfriend and her father were also involved in the matter. She was sentenced to 45 days in jail in September 2008. The sentence was later reduced to a supervised probation and a fine.
Charlotte married Riki Johnson in 2010 and got divorced a year later. She later revealed in her autobiography that Riki had physically assaulted her. In 2013, she married Thomas Lattimer. However, the couple divorced in 2015.
She had a younger brother, Reid, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2013.