Charlotte Flair made her surprise return on the last SmackDOwn of 2022. After Ronda Rousey retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Raquel Rodriguez, Flair made her entrance and challenged her former foe for the gold. The match took place and Flair became a 14-time women’s champion.
Flair was out for eight months, and during the time away she got married. She was on the most recent episode of WWE’s The Bump to discuss her return and how she felt the response was.
“It’s kind of surreal. I mean I was gone for eight months, and then to be back, here I am in my office, holding the title, it feels like I never left, really. I was sincerely so touched by the fan reaction on Friday. I done a lot of things in my career, but to see the smiles and the cheers, and the reception that I received when I came back, I was just thinking to myself, any time I’ve ever thought negative or ‘Do I still have it,’ I know I always have it, but it was just very rewarding after this journey that I’ve had for ten years. Being in the audience, which I’ve never done before, like I’ve been in the audience, but I’m usually kicking someone’s butt, but here I was holding the title in Tampa, where my career started full circle, and being back after eight months, it really made me emotional,” Flair said.
Flair continues, “I think after being gone for eight months, the things that I worried about before, I don’t worry about as much. My legacy is cemented now, and I think moving forward, I’ve always been so serious. I’m very serious about the champion, about [having] the title and progressing, and never resting or coasting or being complacent, but it let me know that everyone had appreciated what I’ve done leading up to being back after eight months. It meant a lot to me.“
“It’s not that I was nervous. I was just enjoying the moment of the fans being excited to have me back. Seeing everyone cheer, I was just blown away. I’m usually not in that role to where everyone is just so excited to see me because I’ve never [been] away, I’ve never had a break. I’ve always [been] just go, go, go, consistency, dedication, passion. I feel like because I was so consistent [with] my skill, my talent, my presence, was kind of taken for granted. To come back and be in the audience and just see so many faces, and not just so many happy faces, and not just boos or having to be arrogant, just being me, I was enjoying the moment as not feeling like I had to put on my armor and be arrogant or bossy about what I’ve done. I was just literally in the moment,” Flair said. (Fightful)
Flair also spoke about who her dream opponents would be. She commented that the current SmackDown roster has a lot of new people for her to wrestle with, but if she has to name dream opponents she had three legends in mind. Flair named Mickie James, Michelle McCool, and Lita.