I’m getting tired of people who keep saying how Charlotte is “one of, if not the best” female in-ring performers of this generation. The compliment is mitigated by the designation of Charlotte as a female. The talent depth in terms of first class in-ring performers is at an all-time high in World Wrestling Entertainment, and few can match Charlotte’s ability. And here’s something scary to think about … she’s only going to get (much, much) better. The second-generation superstar obviously has the bloodline, but one could make the case Charlotte’s pedigree has been a challenge for her to overcome. That’s not a knock on Ric Flair. It’s a fact that all children of a legendary parent have to face.
In her controversial and brutally honest autobiography, Jane Fonda exclaimed, “I grew up in the shadow of a national monument.” How could anyone judge Ms. Fonda (or, in this case, Charlotte) by the same standards others are judged? The same criterion cannot possibly apply. How can someone who grew up in a household under the blazing hot spotlight of being “Ric Flair (or Henry Fonda’s) daughter” be judged by the same methodology one rates, ranks or assesses someone who grew up in a … I don’t know … just an ordinary dysfunctional f’d-up family of their own? The pressure to equal the greatness, the obligation to carry on a family tradition, the expectations from the audience that on day one, you are just as good, just as charismatic, just as ready for the main event as your legend-for-a-parent must be a crushing weight to carry around.
I must submit to you, my cherished Hustle Blog reader, Charlotte does that with ease, and she does it with a grace unmatched by anyone on either the RAW or SmackDown roster.
A lot of publications and websites around the world picked up the headline last week when I appeared on the Fox Sports podcast and opined how great it would be if Ronda Rousey were to do something substantive (that means be in at least one match) with WWE. I think it would be great for WWE, great for Rousey, great for the female empowerment movement and best for the fanbase known as the “WWE Universe.” Rousey’s success in UFC provides a natural avenue into WWE (cough cough, Brock Lesnar, cough cough).
“Rowdy” Ronda will need someone with whom to wrestle, and at that point you can have your pick. Whether it’s Nia Jax (which would be bad ass, wouldn’t it?), Alexa Bliss, Natalya (old school Hart Hook-n-Shoot dungeon training vs. new school judo and MMA training), Sasha Banks, Nikki Bella or even Stephanie McMahon. A properly promoted Rousey vs. Madame X can generate enough interest to carry the top of the card.
With no disrespect to any of the women mentioned on that list, there is one female in WWE ready to carry the top without the celebrity involvement, for her star power is at such a level, she’s just as much a living, breathing demonstration of that intangible “it factor” as even her father, “The Nature Boy” himself.
Charlotte can be, and ultimately one day should be, the first female WrestleMania main eventer in WWE history.
The next time you look at the WWE roster and ask yourself, “whose participation in a match would entice me to subscribe to the WWE Network?” or “whose presence in the main event would compel me to purchase the pay-per-view?” or “if they ever put (fill in wrestler name here) in the main event, I have to see that in person … it’s a bucket list moment!” Consider how few and far between the names are that serve as the answer to all of those questions.
And then come back to your Humble Advocate, lesson learned, knowledge imparted.
For ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman, and the answer to all those questions is Charlotte!