There was a day, not too long ago in the WWE, during a time known as The Attitude Era, when women finally broke through from just being a sideshow match to being somewhere in between a minis match and a battle royal in terms of legitimacy. Of course, that came with a price. The women didn’t need to be good wrestlers; they just had to be hot.
Now, 15 or so years later, the tide has turned again. The girls who grew up watching wrestling during The Attitude Era went to wrestling school and actually learned how to perform as well as the men. Thankfully, they found a home at NXT, the Triple H invention that was the closest thing to a pure indy the WWE has ever started.
The centerpiece woman for the first many years at NXT had to be Charlotte Flair. The daughter of the legendary Ric Flair, she showed that if you have the right DNA, you don’t have to spend a decade working your way up through the indies. Once she made it to the main roster, she quickly grabbed the Divas title, and it morphed into the Women’s title.
The question begs itself, though... would she have done as well back in the Attitude Era? While she could wrestle circles around most of those girls, she honestly didn’t have the looks that many of them claimed and probably earned them their spots. Of course, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe saying Charlotte wasn’t as hot as those girls is wrong. We went looking and found 15 Hot Pics of WWE’s Not-So-Hot Charlotte.
15 The most athletic body of any of the women in WWE
Charlotte Flair may not have the prettiest face of all the WWE women -- of course, depending on what you like, she just may. What often goes overlooked by WWE fans is that she's a strong, tall woman. She was a top-notch high school and college volleyball player who also did well in basketball. You can only truly appreciate her body when she stands next to someone like Alexis Bliss or Bayley, who are normal by all standards. Standing just shy of six-feet tall, Charlotte is one of the best pure athletes in the women's’ division and probably could have succeeded in any sport. Prior to becoming a wrestler, she worked as a personal trainer, which makes a ton of sense. Our one complaint is that the outfit she wears with the diamond-shaped point that covers her midsection doesn’t do any favors in showing off her well-muscled body.
14 Best second generation wrestler ever?
It used to be a big deal when there was a second and third generation wrestler in the WWE, but now it seems like half the roster had a father in the business. From the Usos, to Randy Orton, to Curtis Axel, to Bo Dallas, to Natalya to... well you see where we’re going with this. It almost seems like you need to have a family connection if you’re going to make it in the WWE these days, and nobody has a stronger family connection than Charlotte Flair. If DNA matters, Ric Flair’s little girl has the best in the business, and her first several years on the main roster have shown just how dominant she’s going to be. Although she hasn’t had the success on the SmackDown roster than she did on Monday Night Raw, we expect it to be a temporary thing and for her to be a certain Hall of Famer like her dad.
13 Doing it for her brother's memory
Charlotte says she became a wrestler to be able to live out her brother Reid’s dream. She was extremely close to her baby brother who was also training to be a wrestler at the time he died of a drug overdose in 2013. Charlotte always tears up when talking about her brother and has several tattoos including a cross and the word “Reider” dedicated to him. While the WWE will never be accused of being the classiest show on television, many thought they reached a new low in 2015 when Paige -- who had a long feud with Charlotte before she went off to be Alberto Del Rio’s crazy girlfriend -- referenced Reid not being much of a fighter because of his failed battle against drug addiction. A lot of the audience responded negatively, as did Ric Flair, and the WWE never mentioned Reid again as part of the feud with Paige.
12 Her little-known pay-per-view debut
Here’s a crazy bit of trivia: at what pay-per-view did Charlotte Flair (along with Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss) make their debut? You might be quick to say it was WrestleMania 32, when Flair and Banks tangled with Becky Lynch in what is considered the greatest women’s match in the history of the big show, but Alexa Bliss was still toiling away down in NXT as the valet for the now defunct Blake and Murphy tag team. The trio made their debut all together as part of Triple H’s entourage at WrestleMania XXX in the opening match. He was doing his typical over-the-top “King of Kings” WrestleMania entrance with him sitting on a throne with three masked Egyptian concubines accompanying him. Hunter went on to lose to Daniel Bryan, who came back in the main event to capture the WWE Heavyweight Championship, but the most memorable piece of this pay-per-view is that it will always be remembered as the one when The Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak was stopped.
11 She's won plenty of awards
While she's certainly cooled off in 2017, there's no doubt that 2016 was Charlotte Flair’s year and perhaps the most dominant year for any woman ever in professional wrestling. All of those title reigns, exchanging the belt with Sasha Bliss and her amazing streak of pay-per-view victories not only caused Pro Wrestling Illustrated to name her as not only the best female wrestler of the year but also caused the fans to vote her as “Woman of the Year.” If you want to understand how wrestling has changed over the decades, there's no better barometer than Pro Wrestling Illustrated, which treated wrestling like a completely legitimate sport back when her father used to win Wrestler of the Year honors in the 1980s but now treats it as the entertainment spectacle that everyone in the audience knows it is. If you can ever get your hands on an issue of PWI from the 1980s, they’re quite amusing with how earnest they are in their coverage of the “sport.”
10 The first dominant woman of NXT
Everybody likes to talk about how Asuka is the most dominant woman to ever hold the NXT Women’s Championship, her reign lasting well over a year, but the woman in second place is Charlotte Flair, who held the title from mid-2014 through March of 2015. Keep in mind, when Charlotte was in NXT, you had people like Paige, Sasha Banks, Emma, Becky Lynch and Bayley all plying their trade. She won the title in a tournament after Paige had to relinquish it because of her main-roster call-up. Charlotte beat Natalya in the finals and went nine months on top, eventually losing to Sasha Banks in a fatal four-way match that Lynch and Bayley were a part of. Now, we can’t wait until Asuka gets called up, and we'll finally see the two longest-reigning champs go at it.
9 Making her acting debut in Psych: The Movie
While cable channels like AMC and FX have started putting out amazing original programming in the last decade, USA Network has never really been able to get that breakthrough hit or critically acclaimed show that the others have accomplished. Maybe it doesn’t matter when wrestling does well in the ratings, but with shows like Royal Pains and White Collar, they haven’t quite made it. Things are looking up with Mr. Robot and Queen of the South, but only time will tell if their early buzz can continue. One show that did well for years was Psych. It went off the air in 2014 but is returning with a TV movie in December 2017. Playing a villainous sidekick who goes by the name of Heather Rockrear, Charlotte Flair will make her acting debut on the show. A lot of WWE personalities appeared on Psych over the years, including John Cena, The Miz, Big Show, and even Mickie James.
8 She almost did some time in jail
Whether you think Charlotte is sexy or not, it’s probably best to just keep your mouth shut if you ever run into her in real life. She’s got a wrap sheet after all and almost did jail time. In 2009, she pled guilty to resisting arrest in connection with a real-life fight between her father and her boyfriend at the time. Flair was 22 years old when the Sept. 8, 2008 fight took place. Police were called after neighbors heard a lot of fighting. When they arrived, the fight was over, but they were able to follow a trail of blood to Ashley Flair’s apartment. The men were separated in the apartment, and when police wanted to take them all in for questioning, Ashley resisted. She was arrested and ultimately got a 45-day sentence that was suspended to probation and given a $200 fine. A charge of assaulting an officer was dropped.
7 A photo leak victim like so many others
Like so many other women who work in wrestling, Charlotte found time to take naked pictures of herself, and like so many other women who work in wrestling, Charlotte was a victim of a hacked iCloud account, sending a dozen or so naked photos of her out to the world. Thankfully for her, it was just naked pictures in front of the mirror and not the explicit sexual situations that were leaked of women like Victoria and Paige. Supposedly, she took them to monitor how her body changed when she was working out, but we find any excuse to take naked pictures of yourself 100% acceptable, so whatever. While we can debate the quality of her breast-enhancement surgery, the pictures proved that Charlotte has an amazingly muscular body that would take a detective to find an ounce of fat on. In other news, we’re applying for detective jobs.
6 Not the easiest person to live with
Sometimes, you hear about a beautiful woman who's famous and who's been married a bunch of times like Halle Berry, and you wonder what’s really going on behind closed doors. What makes them so difficult to live with? Well, we think that Charlotte Flair may fall into this category. She’s only 31 years old, but she’s already been married and divorced twice. We don’t know much about the first guy, but the second was to TNA mid-carder Bram. Of course, if you’re a nature-over-nurture believer, you can’t help but look at the DNA in the Flair family when it comes to marriage. Her father, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair just got married for the fifth time. Five times! Granted, he’s not a beautiful woman, but whatever makes him difficult to live with must be running through his daughter’s veins as well.
5 She's already made a lot of history
You have to wonder if Triple H and Vince McMahon’s love of Ric Flair has had anything to do with Charlotte making so much history in WWE since she arrived in NXT about five years ago. Charlotte was the first WWE Women’s Champion since Alundra Blayze threw her title in a trash on Monday Nitro almost 20 years ago and women were morphed into “divas”. She didn't lose in singles matches on pay-per-view for 16 pay-per-views in a row, and she won the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell match, dispatching Sasha Banks in Sasha’s hometown of Boston. Charlotte made it over to the SmackDown roster in time to be included in the first Money in the Bank match. Although she hasn’t won that title yet, she has had a woman’s title more times than any on either show’s roster. Would all of this had happened if her father weren’t a former 16-time world champion?
4 An early appearance in her life
Not many people remember Charlotte’s WCW days. That was probably because she was known as Ashley Flair (her real name is Ashley Fliehr for those scoring at home), and she was an awkward teenager who didn’t seem to want to be involved in any wrestling angles whatsoever. She first appeared in a May 2000 episode of Monday Nitro, where her half-brother, David, who had aligned with Vince Russo and Daphne, had broken into Ric Flair’s home. The payoff was a pay-per-view match between David and Ric. Ashley tried to interfere on behalf of her father but was held back by security and forced to watch as Ric’s hair was shaved. If you thought she was at all rough with her acting these days, she’s an Oscar winner compared to back in Y2K.
3 Already established a heck of a legacy
Where does Charlotte Flair rank among the all-time greats? Well, if her career were to end today, especially because of injury, we think she has a body of work that's strong enough to get into the Hall of Fame. If Sandy Koufax can be in the Baseball Hall of Fame having retired around 30, so can Charlotte for the WWE. She's won the championship a lot of times and had many memorable firsts listed elsewhere on this list. And, while people like Beth Phoenix and Jacqueline did have longer careers than Charlotte has had at this point, if they can get into the Hall of Fame, she certainly can as well. What really makes our mind race is thinking about her having another 10 years like her first few years in NXT and WWE have been. She'll surpass the likes of The Fabulous Moolah or Trish Stratus and cement the name of Flair as the most dominant family in the history of the business.
2 Unlike some, reaching her potential on the main roster
Charlotte was part of the famed Four Horsewomen of NXT. It’s obviously a play on the stable her father was a part of during his hot streak in the late 1980s in what was then NWA with Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, JJ Dillon and whoever the other guy was at the moment (Barry Windham, Sting, Lex Luger, and yes... Paul Roma.) Unlike her father’s clique, the Four Horsewomen of NXT wrestled each other and were arguably the four most dominant and skilled women in any North American professional wrestling company at a single point in time. Theoretically, since they're all in WWE, that’s still true, but with the exception of Charlotte, we just don’t think that Bayley or Becky Lynch have come anywhere close to the level they reached at NXT, and while Sasha has done well on the main roster, she’s still not the wrestler she was at Full Sail. Only Charlotte has reached her potential. It reminds us of the other Flair in the other Horse group. Wooooo!
1 It's nothing but upside for Charlotte Flair
So, what is the future going to be for Charlotte Flair? Her tenure on Smackdown has not been as exciting or dominant as we thought it would be, but that’s OK because she was THE woman to reckon with for almost three straight years in NXT and WWE. We think it’s good that women like Naomi, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, and Carmella are getting their chance to shine. You can only put on Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks so many times before people start getting bored. We’re guessing that toward the end of 2017, you’re going to see her start heading back into the limelight and be involved in some kind of storyline that ensures she has a prime spot at Wrestlemania in New Orleans in 2018. Beyond that, we’re guessing she won’t wrestle much past her late 30s since women wrestlers just don’t do that, but maybe she’ll buck the trend, not get married, and forget the whole kid thing. If her dad can wrestle into his early 60s, she can certainly stick around into her early 40s.
Sources: Wwe.com, wral.com, tvguide.com, wikipedia.org