Charlotte Flair On Moving To NXT, Adapting To Empty Arena Shows

charlotte flair

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Charlotte Flair recently appeared on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated podcast and discussed the challenges of wrestling in the current circumstances caused by COVID-19. She also discussed her move to NXT. Here are some highlights:

On how empty arena shows have helped her grow :

Flair: “So what I think makes the company so special is our live event audience, like the passionate fans, especially since we’re global, but as a performer, I’ve really taken this no audience, I guess you could say ,dilemma or circumstance and I’ve just tried to grow as a performer. Like going into WrestleMania, I just go, how can I make myself stand out, how can I prove that I am that good, how can I make the audience forget that there is no audience, or the audience at home, that there is no audience, you know? At the PC, we’re not in a real arena or stadium, and just to try to up my game in every way possible, so for me, it’s been like wow, this has been such a learning lesson, like I feel like I’ve grown so much over these last few weeks. But I will say I am excited to go back to live events because it really is what makes our business so special and to be able to control the emotions of an audience live. Like I know I get to control the emotions with people at home, but I can’t see their reactions. There’s nothing better than an arena booing you.”

On whether the lack of fans makes wrestling matches more challenging:

Flair: “I think it’s more about can you as a performer deal with the silence? Like does it make you more nervous? Do you go too fast, do you go too slow,  or are you in your head? Like for me, whether there’s been an audience or not, because I’ve really had to learn as a performer when I’ve been put in roles that necessarily weren’t fitted for me. Like when I’m a good guy, I had to zone out, yes they’re booing me, but that doesn’t matter. I am playing my role as a good guy. Good, bad or indifferent, this is me as a performer. And I don’t know, it’s like the most confident I’ve been, I think, in a long time. Just because I can go out there, even before COVID, I can just go out there and be me. I don’t have to say, ‘Oh my gosh, do you like me, oh my gosh do you hate me?’ Whether you boo me or cheer me, this is me, and I’ve found that in my character now, which is the best part.”

On whether she was reluctant to move to NXT:

Flair: “I don’t look at anything as a demotion. I just look, here I am full circle in my career, like the fact that the NXT Title was defended at WrestleMania still kinda blows my mind. Because I went through those steps of going through FCW to NXT, from Tampa to Orlando, having those first TakeOvers, traveling outside of Florida to now you’re telling me the NXT Title is defended at WrestleMania? I took so much pride in that. For me, it was not looking at it as okay, you’re going to NXT, it’s like okay, NXT’s now on USA, this is legitimately a third brand, and we have to treat it as a third equal brand.”

On helping NXT talent:

Flair: “I don’t want to say that I’ve added more to NXT. I just hope the talent in that locker room at NXT go, ‘Okay, this girl is NXT,’ or excuse me, ‘this woman is NXT homegrown and look at what she’s done in her career.’ And that’s what I strive for. I don’t say, ‘Do I add to the show, do I add to the locker room, am I getting girls over?’ There’s no right answer for that. My answer is, I just hope the women in that locker room look at me and go, ‘Damn, she’s done it all and I want to do that too and she’s from NXT and what has it taken her to do that?’ And for me the one answer is consistency. Whether the storyline is for you or not for you and you’re a part of it, you shine no matter what.”

On which brand is her home:

Flair: ” I feel like my home is RAW, like I have been on RAW and when I’m on RAW, I get the chance to talk. Like, I haven’t really had the opportunity t talk after I won the title in NXT. So I do feel like on RAW and the audience who watches RAW, like I get to talk every week so even though I had the NXT title, I do feel like home is RAW.”

On how she’d feel if WWE became primarily a television business and house shows went away:

Flair: “Then I guess it’s just a matter of being grateful for what I was a part of with the house shows and getting to travel the world with them, and then realizing that the company is evolving and you have to evolve as well. And if it’s more of a televised product, I’m just as grateful to be able to do my craft in front of the audiences at home.”

The full podcast is available here:

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