It’s official, people: Charlotte Flair is back in the WWE, and “The Queen” is a champion once more after defeating Ronda Rousey in a one-minute match to begin her 14th reign with a main roster crown. When she stopped by The Bump to talk about her return to WWE, Flair admitted that it was “surreal” to be back in the ring, but the audience allayed any concerns about ring rust.
It’s somewhat surreal. It feels like I’ve never left, really. I mean, I was gone for eight months, and now that I’m back, I’m in my office, carrying the title. “I was genuinely moved by the Friday night fan response.
I’ve accomplished a lot in my career, but when I returned, I was greeted with applause, smiles, and a warm welcome that made me reflect on every bad opinion I’ve ever had—and I know I’ll always have them—but it was still extremely fulfilling after a ten-year journey.
When I was carrying the title in Tampa, where my career began full circle, and returning after eight months, it really made me emotional. I had never been in the audience before; when I am, I’m generally kicking someone’s butt.
“I believe that eight months of absence has made me less concerned about the things I previously worried about. Now that my legacy has been established, I believe I will continue to be taken seriously.
I’m very serious about being the champion, maintaining the title, moving forward, and never taking a break or becoming complacent, but it was comforting to know that everyone had recognized my efforts in the eight months leading up to my return. It greatly affected me.
Was Flair anxious to compete again after an eight-month absence, especially in what quickly turned into a title contest versus “The Baddest Woman on the Planet”?
“I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just relishing the moment of the fans’ enthusiasm at my return, Flair remarked. “I was completely floored when I heard everyone cheer. Because I’ve never been away or taken a break, I’m not normally in a position where everyone is just excited to see me.
I’ve always been relentlessly devoted, passionate, and consistent in my efforts. I think that because I was so reliable, people kind of took my talent and presence for granted. Coming back and seeing so many faces in the audience, not just happy faces, not just boos or needing to be arrogant, but just being me, I was enjoying the moment and didn’t feel the need to put on my armor and be bossy or conceited about what I’ve accomplished. Simply put, I was there in the moment.
It’s difficult to argue that WWE is worse off with the second-generation wrestler in the arena, despite some fans quibbling over the specific way Flair returned to the ring—dropping Rousey in under a minute 83 days into her championship reign was undoubtedly a choice.
Why? Because, as Flair herself noted, she is a true Hall of Fame performer who no longer needs to prove anything in order to advance in her career other than to match her father’s record of 16 championship reigns. That milestone feels remarkably tenable given that she has never had a WWE main roster title reign extend more than 200 days.
— WWE (@WWE) January 4, 2023
Ric Flair Missed His Daughter’s Return to WWE for A Very Ric Flair Activity
So, did Ric Flair, who resides in Florida, actually, witness his daughter Charlotte in the ring? It turns out that the answer is no, but Ric Flair gave a very Ric Flair-Esque explanation for why on his Be the Man podcast.
According to Flair via Wrestle Zone, “I was in the building and left without realizing it. “It had been a long time since nobody had known. It was the best time ever, and I truly felt like a member of the family once more when I went to see Roman (Reigns) and John (Cena). I was having a blast, but I was unaware of it.
After leaving, I proceeded to American Social, a sports bar in Tampa, Florida, where I found out she was. I enjoyed a few beverages with the hockey players. The Lightning’s hockey players enjoy drinking. I had no intention of returning to the building. They put it on every TV for me after I watched it. It was incredible. That was kayfabe from the past.