Recently, Charlotte, Natalya, and Tamina sat down for the WWE Network's Table for 3. On this episode, entitled Divas Generation, Charlotte talked about getting her start with WWE. Also, Charlotte and Natalya discussed their trailblazing NXT TakeOver match. Plus, Charlotte expressed her frustration over being compared to her legendary father, Ric Flair.
Unlike Natalya and Tamina, apparently, Charlotte never thought professional wrestling was a career option for her. Specifically, Charlotte did not think she had the looks or the wrestling knowledge to make it in WWE.
"I just looked at [the WWE Divas] as these beautiful women who were in Playboy [Magazine]," Charlotte admitted. "I mean, I couldn't even put on makeup, so I wasn't like, 'oh, I want to be a Diva' or I didn't know anything about wrestling."
Charlotte stated that she decided to give professional wrestling a try at her brother Reid's insistence. Former WWE Vice President of Talent Operations, John Laurinaitis approached her about getting into the professional wrestling business in 2012 when Charlotte was in Miami, Florida to attend the WWE Hall of Fame induction of the Four Horsemen.
"Reid had been working the indies and I was in a bad marriage at the time. And me, Reid, my dad, Laurinaitis, and a couple of other people were at dinner at the hotel and they were like, 'why don't you do it?' and I was like, I had nothing else going on and Reid just begged and begged and begged. And he was like, 'we can be there together. You're just personal training! We can wrestle together and get an apartment in Tampa [Florida].' I was like, 'okay, I'm a little old for this' just because I had already graduated [from] college! But I ended up in Tampa three months later."
During the conversation, Charlotte got emotional because Reid, who passed away in 2013, never got to see her wrestle after setting her on the path to get into the professional wrestling business. Natalya claimed that she cried during her NXT TakeOver match with Charlotte because she felt like she was playing a role in bringing the Flair family together in honor of Reid.
"I actually felt like this match was bringing [Charlotte] and [Ric Flair] together in honor of [Reid Flair], so when we were in the holds in the ring and I had tears streaming down my face and I was showing the world my pain, it was actually me crying tears of joy because I was thinking about the way [Charlotte] and [Ric Flair] were coming together and honoring Reid."
Charlotte was complementary of Natalya, saying that she would not be in the position she is in today if it was not for Natalya.
"I wouldn't be here today or even on the main roster, probably, because I didn't believe in myself until [Natalya] just showed up and said, 'just listen to me out there. I know you can do it.' [Natalya's] a leader. [Natalya's] a general and you can't have matches like that unless you have women that know how to create stories and emotions".
Natalya indicated that Stephanie McMahon came away pleased with the match as well.
"After our TakeOver match, Stephanie sent me a text. She was like, 'Aurora [McMahon's daughter] and I watched that match and it was just so beautiful and so inspiring and it was just the kind of stuff that makes my daughter want to do what you girls do.'"
Charlotte admitted that being compared to her father, Ric Flair, is something that she struggles with constantly.
"I find the struggles for me is, like, always being compared. It's like, 'oh, she looks like her dad'. Well, yeah, he's my dad! Like, I'm so tired of being criticized. 'Well, gosh, she looks like Ric Flair.' Well, no s--t. Do you look like your dad or do you look like someone else's dad? Or it's like, 'gosh, she's trying to be Ric Flair.' Well, my last name is Flair. It's almost like, well, if [WWE] didn't acknowledge who my dad was, [the fans] would be like, 'oh my God! They're trying to hide who she really is!' It's like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't."
Charlotte stated that she was jealous of other professional wrestlers starting out at NXT, who she perceived as having more freedom to develop their own characters.
"It's more of less like the constant struggle of trying to stay true to who you are and then feeling like you have to please or prove who you are to all these people. Like, sometimes I was jealous when I first started because no matter what, my dad's Ric Flair. I just can't be any kind of wrestler." Charlotte continued, "when other girls walk on the scene, they can be like, 'I can be this or I can be that' because they have a blank slate. When you come from a wrestling background, you don't have a blank slate. Everyone will compare you no matter if you imitate or don't imitate."
Despite struggling to carve out her own identity in WWE, Charlotte indicated that she was originally told not to use any of the Nature Boy's signature moves or gimmicks.
"I didn't woo ever, the entire time at NXT till my match with [Natalya at NXT TakeOver] when I won the NXT Women's Championship. I never wooed [and] I didn't do the Figure Four [leglock]. Actually, by my head coach at the time, I was told not to do any of that."
In addition to these topics, Natalya discussed her journey to WWE and Tamina talked about her relationship with her father, Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka. To check out the entire show, subscribe to the WWE Network. New subscribers can sign up for the Network by clicking here and get their first month for free, which includes this month's WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Table for 3 with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.