We are in the middle of the most pivotal era of women’s professional wrestling. The Women’s Revolution has changed the game for WWE, and there is no turning back. There are dozen’s of women who made this revolution, or evolution, possible throughout the years.
The Four Horsewomen, made up of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, helped blow through these walls that were already beginning to crack. The forerunner of these women has been The Queen, Charlotte Flair.
Many may believe that Charlotte got her push because of her famous last name. Perhaps it helped her get her foot in the door, but her natural ability and athleticism are the reasons she has been a mainstay in the top of the women’s division since her debut.
Ashley Fliehr, grew up with a famous father but didn’t actually watch pro wrestling herself. It was her brother Reid and David that were the wrestling fans. Ashley was a natural born athlete and excelled in volleyball. She garnered numerous awards in high school and during her tenure as a NCAA Division I volleyball player. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina State and became a Certified Personal Trainer. Ashley was living a “normal life”, outside of the wrestling business, but all that changed when tragedy hit.
In 2013, Reid tragically passed away from a drug overdose, leaving Ashley lost without her brother, best friend, and inspiration. What would kill many, made her stronger and more determined. She strived to achieve all she could in the sport her brother loved, and to make him proud. She has said of her brother, “Reid pushed me to pursue a WWE career, and now I’m living his dream.”
Her love for her brother led her to begin the journey to become a professional wrestler. In 2012, she was signed to a developmental deal with WWE, and began to train and become who we now know as Charlotte Flair. At first, WWE didn’t want her to rely on her father’s legacy.
She had said, “Yes, I had the last name but I wasn’t allowed to woo, I wasn’t allowed to chop and I couldn’t do the Figure Four. I couldn’t do anything like my dad, and I think they were like, ‘Wow she’s got the it factor, maybe she can carry the name.'”
The rest, they say, is history. Charlotte is arguably the most successful home grown talent WWE has ever produced. Unlike the rest of the four horsewomen, Charlotte had no background in pro wrestling. She came in as a clean slate, but was genetically made to excel in this business. She spoke about training at the Performance Center, stating, “They’ve molded a professional wrestler from nothing, is how I look at it.”
Since her debut in 2013, she has held the NXT Women’s Championship once, the Divas Championship once, a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion and a four-time Raw Women’s Champion, with a total of 871 days as a champion. She etched her name in the history books as the inaugural winner of the Women’s Championship belt, when the Divas Championship was retired.
Charlotte has been in more pay-per-views matches and first-ever woman matches than any of the other women who has paved the way for the Women’s Revolution.
She appeared in the first-ever Women’s Hell in the Cell match against Banks. Was a participant in the first-ever Money In The Bank match in 2017, and in 2018, was in the first-ever triple-threat TLC match against Lynch and Asuka. On top of all those historical matches, she was also the one who defeated Asuka’s 914-day winning streak at WrestleMania 34.
The Women’s Revolution meets its biggest achievement to-date, when the women Main Event this year’s WrestleMania, with Flair booked as one of the headliners. In 2017, Charlotte spoke to ESPN and said her dream was to main event WrestleMania against Ronda Rousey. “That’s my dream. I hope we can make it happen. She really opened the doors for a lot of women. Having that opportunity would be huge.”
Her dream becomes a reality when she faces Rousey and Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship, at the main event of this April’s WreslteMania 35. Charlotte is not only the cornerstone of the Women Revolution, but a cornerstone for WWE.
She epitomizes what a WWE Superstar should be, in and outside of the ring. WWE has chosen her as one of their go-to talents to represent the company at many worldwide events. Most recently, the SXSW conference, the WrestleMania 36 press conference, and the opening of the London Performance Center.
Charlotte has been a pioneer and leader for this era of change in women’s wrestling in WWE. With only seven years of professional wrestling under her belt, she is arguably one of the best female wrestlers of all time.