What is the definition of a good wrestler? Someone who is has a wide ranging moveset? Or is it that excellent talker who is able to sell any match with just their words? Maybe it is just as simple as someone who is able to put asses in seats. I have always liked Bret Hart’s definition: A good professional wrestler is someone who is able to make it look as real as possible without hurting their opponents.
Whatever your opinion of wrestling, there is no disputing it takes a great deal of cooperation and professionalism to make the best matches happen. If someone goes in there with their own agenda and is only concerned about getting their s--t in, the entire bout is ruined. Even worse, a person with no regards for their opponent can cause some serious harm.
Some of wrestling’s most well known figures were disliked behind the scenes for their reckless attitude. Fans may have loved the Ultimate Warrior, but the rest of the boys hated working with him. There are horror stories about how Andre the Giant treated the people he did not get along with. Hardcore Holly took liberties with those lower on the card than him. In turn, he had few friends in the locker room.
Charlotte Flair never seemed like she would be one of those. When she first debuted in NXT, she was obviously very athletic. Sure, she was a little awkward, but she was light years ahead of others at the same stage in their careers. It was clear she was going to have a long and illustrious run. There was nothing to worry about regarding her ability; it was just a matter of whether WWE knew what they had.
Those fears were soon proven baseless as she became the focus of NXT. Charlotte followed her Full Sail run by dominating Raw and SmackDown when she was called up to the main roster. Along the way she had some great matches. She was very botchtastic, but when you can make fans care about a Nattie Neidhart match, you have something going for you.
It’s clear Vince McMahon and Triple H love Charlotte. She has won ten world titles in five years – a ridiculous number that some use to prove just how great she is. Right of the bat, winning a fake title in a fake sport means nothing and ten times zero is no different. Forgetting meaningless championships — judging Charlotte on more common criteria does not make her look much better.
“Workrate” is a word that gets thrown around a lot when judging wrestlers. Much like actors, some fans will use a wrestler’s performance to judge how good they are. Charlotte has great stamina and athleticism. When a match is carefully laid out and planned, she can do some excellent work. She relies a little too much on signature spots, but that is more an indictment on how the sport has evolved than any fault of her own. That being said, in a world where Manami Toyota was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Year (other winners include Daniel Bryan, Kurt Angle, and, yes, Ric Flair) it is a joke to call her the best female wrestler ever. She is not even the best on her own roster. In other words, she is better than average.
(This is where certain people whine about wrestling fans. Newsflash: if you have an opinion about wrestling matches outside of “I liked it” you are also inside the wrestling bubble.)
When it comes to promos, there really is not much to say about Charlotte. Today’s scripted wrestling world does not allow to fans to see a person’s true ability behind the mic. We can see how good they are at reciting an interview, but not how good they are at giving one. Again, this is not Charlotte’s fault, but she certainly lacks her father’s charisma. “The Nature Boy” is incredibly high bar, however. It is more fair to look at Charlotte’s contemporaries.
Even then, The Queen fails to impress. Kevin Owens blows her away and Roman Reigns has a natural charisma that seeps through all but the most awful interviews. Charlotte always comes off as someone trying to sound like a wrestler. She is one of those who is probably helped by having writers. Her heel promos are much better, but that is more because of the piss-poor attitude she exudes.
No one is a draw today. Becky Lynch will get a rise out of the crowd and The Fiend sells merch, but there is not one person you can point to on the roster and call a star. Whether you blame it on booking or the roster full of geeks, people just don’t pay to watch wrestling like they used to. Can you blame them? When she is not coming off as an entitled brat, Charlotte comes off as a wooden phony. No matter how many WrestleMania main events she has on her resume, no one is paying to see Charlotte Flair.
Which leads us to TLC. The worst of Charlotte comes out in this match. Granted, she may not have initially known of Kairi Sane’s condition. And yes, the WWE medical staff are the true heels here. But anyone who can sincerely defend Charlotte’s actions truly do not understand wrestling. I have no problem with the spear — I honestly do not think Charlotte was aware of the situation. The slap afterwards was completely uncalled for, however.
The powerbomb spot is even worse. Sane sandbags Charlotte who goes through with the move anyway. Sane’s head barely misses a ladder while Charlotte walks away, pleased to have gotten her spot in. It’s hard watching Asuka take Sane away from the wreckage. This is compounded by the fact that the obviously worried Lynch would tap Sane with Lance Storm level chair shot and checked on her many times in the aftermath.
I am more than willing to concede that Charlotte was clueless the entire time as to what Sane’s state was; however, this just further proves how wild and reckless she is. Professional wrestling is a sport that depends on near perfect cooperation. Any slip up can lead to long term consequences. Charlotte has proven she is careless but fun at best, and dangerously incompetent at worst.
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