As previously noted, 10-time WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon joined host Tara Slone on the debut episode of SPORTSNET’s Top Of Her Game series. Among many topics, Flair talked about what she admires most about Stephanie, growing up as the daughter of the legendary Ric Flair, learning later in life about her passion for professional wrestling, and whether there was any resistance backstage to the women’s revolution.
According to Flair, she has viewed Steph as a mentor to her during her time with WWE so far, as McMahon is a successful woman in professional wrestling that comes from a famous pro wrestling family. Moreover, Flair looks at McMahon as proof that women can have it all.
“So, for one, I don’t want to call the business [of pro wrestling] ‘male dominated,’ but WWE is known to be ‘male dominated’. And having Stephanie, not that I necessary said, ‘Hey, will you be my mentor,’ but seeing this woman who not only has a legacy to continue – her father is Vince McMahon, her husband, her brother, everyone surrounding her, blood related, is in the business,” Charlotte said. “And she had to make a name for herself, whether that’s as Chief Brand Officer or inside the ring as a talent, that’s extremely hard to do, and stay true to yourself, and be one of the top figures as a female.
“With someone having a father like Vince, or a husband like [Triple H], or a brother like Shane, or a mother like Linda, and she has done it all on her own. And on top of all that, she is a mother. And you know that if you ever see her with her three little girls, there’s nothing more she loves than her three little girls.” Flair acknowleged, “So, she’s living proof that you can be a mother, a wife, and run a global company.”
During the episode, McMahon recalled telling her father, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, that she wanted a career in the family business. Flair revealed that she had a similar experience to the extent that Ric assumed his sons would be interested in getting into professional wrestling, but Charlotte would not be.
“When Stephanie said her dad just assumed her brother, that was very much the same for me and my two brothers,” Flair said. “My dad had me heavily in sports to where I just felt comfortable. And I didn’t grow up, really, around the [pro wrestling] business. I always went to my dad’s events, and I loved bringing my friends, and showing my dad off in his job because it was super cool. But I just didn’t see myself in that light. And Stephanie saying she felt always comfortable around men, the one thing that my dad did teach or instill in me was there was nothing that I couldn’t do athletically that a man [could].”
Flair, who could be out of action for the remainder of the calendar year, divulged that she realized she was meant to wrestle a little later on in life.
“When I did start wrestling, I felt like, for the first time, I found where I truly belonged in this world,” Flair admitted. “It was along the way I found out who I was, and what I was meant to do, and gain more confidence. And when I started to realize, like, ‘Hey, I can do what these guys can do’. And then I had a group of girls I started with and we all just said, ‘We want change the game.’ My whole life changed. I found where I was supposed to be. I just wished it wasn’t so late in life, but I guess that’s my journey.”
When asked by Slone whether there was total support from everyone in WWE for the women’s revolution, Flair responded that there is no resistance from the men in the locker room because the male WWE Superstars could see how hard the women were working. ‘The Queen’ stated that she wants to be seen as a viable threat to steal the show every night, even from the men.
“From everybody [there was support] because the men could see us putting in the work,” Flair explained. “And also, when you’re a man who has a little girl, who would you want your little girls to look up to than the females you work beside? I’m not saying it was just handed to us. It really took a culmination of years before me. And then, in 2015, when the #GiveDivasAChance trended, and the fans were fighting for us, and the company going, ‘Hey, we’re going to give it a shot.’ It was just the right place at the right time.
“And I don’t want to say it was just our group, but it took years of fighting and fighting for more than just secondary storylines. We had our all women’s pay-per-view. The men were in the audience watching us and supporting us. There’s no resentment,” Charlotte added. “If anything, for me, I want to go out there and I’m looking at the guys going, ‘I’m going to have the best match tonight.’ I want them to feel more of a competition, like a competitive, ‘They’re not going to have the best match tonight – we’re going to have the best match!’ It makes everyone work harder. That’s how I want to be taken by the men.”
Check out the show here or in the video above. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit SPORTSNET’s Top Of Her Game with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.