WWE Backstage returns with The Queen!
Charlotte Flair joins Renee and Paige in discussing her path back to WrestleMania. Looking back at last year, what are some lasting moments from that historic Women’s Triple Threat Winner Takes All, the first women’s main event of a WrestleMania? Charlotte says it’s crazy that it’s already been a year. The one thing going through her mind all day was, “This is what it feels like to say you’re going to do something and do it.” Thinking of the performance, she stuck to her game plan that got her there. The pressure of the main event might make someone else do more, but Charlotte knows who she is and just sets out to do things her way. The moment was bigger than just Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey, it sent a message worldwide. That is Charlotte’s main takeaway.
Paige says she has chills just listening to Charlotte right now. She is so proud of the Queen, because of how they both came up in FCW, and how Charlotte mistook eye cream for foundation. They’ve come so far. But WrestleMania was big last year, but that wasn’t Charlotte’s only Mania Moment. What would Charlotte say is her biggest Mania Moment so far? Her first one? The one where she realized eye cream isn’t foundation? Charlotte says her match with Asuka was probably even bigger. Sure, WrestleMania 32 was a success, and WrestleMania 33 was special because it was the same stadium that Ric Flair retired in. But WM34, title VS streak, that was something Charlotte had to prove. Asuka is accomplished around the world, and Charlotte was “a good performer,” but that night put her on that next level.
Renee talks about performances and brings up the promos with no crowds. How does that lack of crowd change Charlotte’s approach? Charlotte agrees with Henry from earlier that it’s about playing to the home audience. If you can’t feed off an audience, you have to take the opportunity to show everyone that you have that reserve. If you can’t pull from your own emotions, that’s a problem. Paige agrees and loves it. Paige also turns the topic to how WrestleMania really is a weekend, never been done before! Does Charlotte think that changes Mania much?
Charlotte admits that sometimes Mania feels like two days anyway. But this will be a great opportunity, too. More people will be able to be on the main card, and it might just give the talent more time for their matches. There’s more room to breathe as opposed to cramming story and match. There are stories that need to be told, ended or even new ones started, and giving Mania two days only helps everyone. And it shows how big Mania has become because it has to be two days. Unbelievable and historic, indeed, and every exciting to see how WWE adapts to the times.
Speaking of adapting, the rise of NXT that Charlotte helped build has reached even greater heights! The NXT Women’s Championship on Mania, Rhea Ripley defending against Charlotte, what can we expect? Charlotte says that thinking of NXT, she thinks back to watching the first ever TakeOver, and watching Paige VS Emma. She remembers wanting to pick up from that match and taking the lead. Charlotte feels like Rhea challenging Charlotte to challenge her is a way of saying, “Hey, NXT is THE third brand and we’re all equal.” Credit where credit is due, that takes a lot of confidence to do. This is a huge opportunity for NXT. NXT took Survivor Series so this is another opportunity for NXT to show how big it really is and show it deserves the same respect.
Charlotte coming full circle to compete for the NXT Women’s Championship blows her mind, and Paige’s. Plus, the NXT Women’s Championship on Mania is made even more historic because it involves the Women’s Rumble winner in Charlotte Flair. That’s the real mind-blowing part, because for decades, a Rumble winner has chosen Raw or SmackDown. Now it’s NXT. That just shows how big WWE has gotten, and how big the brand that was once FCW has become. Renee notes the magnitude of how big that is, for the company, the brand, the title and for Rhea and Charlotte themselves, it’s no wonder those two are going to “beat the hell out of each other.” Paige can’t even fathom how to prepare for that. Rhea is a star but Charlotte will elevate her even higher.
Charlotte says this is how crazy it is for Rhea. When NXT UK opened up just last year, Charlotte went there to speak to the talent. It was Charlotte, Finn Balor and Triple H who visited. Rhea was in the crowd and Charlotte called her out when she said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” And here Rhea is a year later, walking into Mania as the NXT Women’s Champion. Charlotte went back and looked over Rhea’s career. The Mae Young Classic, the NXT UK Women’s Championship and now the NXT Women’s Championship, Rhea performs very well under pressure. And that pressure is something Rhea should want, just as Charlotte does. That pressure is what pushed Charlotte to the next level, so hopefully the pressure propels Rhea, too. Renee wishes Charlotte best of luck, but will Charlotte become 11-time women’s champion when she rides the Riptide?
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