The controversial angle that closed this past Monday night's episode of Raw in Greenville, South Carolina, featuring WWE using Charlotte's brother Reid, who died of a drug overdose in 2013, in an angle with Paige, just got more controversial.
That's because their father, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, says he wasn't told about it beforehand and cried while he was watching it.
Reid Flair reference reveals larger WWE problem
When WWE used Reid Flair's death for an angle to build to Charlotte's match with Paige, it was distasteful, sure, but it revealed a far larger problem within the company right now.
There's a lot more, and it's damning. From his latest podcast on CBS RADIO's Play.it:
"You know, here's the problem: I obviously have an opinion but I'm afraid to voice it. Because I don't want anything to affect Ashley's career. I would just say that I know that Hunter, and Stephanie, and Michael Hayes have her back. I think if anything that could be considered a negative, I don't think she feels like she's comfortable enough to say 'no' to anything yet. She's only been up there three months and it's a pressure cooker. It's a tough spot to be in. Even though she's the champion doesn't mean she goes 'hey, this is what I want to do and what I'm not going to do.' I think if they asked her to do something, that's pretty much the way things operate up there.
"I just spent 10 days in Europe with the Raw group, the red tour, which is half the guys and I just think that they're walking on pins and needles. Just because you're the champion doesn't mean that you have the right to say no. If somebody writes it down, one person approves everything. Does that make sense?
"So, I really don't have an opinion.
"I was very sensitive to it, obviously, because it's a very sensitive issue. It's still very new. I know her mom is on fire. But I'm not going to... I can't just go out on a limb and say what I think. For what it was and what it... I think it was intense. I think the pull apart was as good as Brock Lesnar and 'Taker considering it was women. I think Ashley's interview -- take some of the words out of context -- Ashley's interview may have been the best I've ever seen from a woman and a Diva of all time. She was on fire and she stayed in control. She dealt with the emotion of it. She, once again, demonstrated her physical skills as being second to none, man or woman, in the company."
When asked how he would feel if he wasn't personally involved in it:
"I wouldn't like it. Obviously it's... I mean, I got mad. I told this story on the show, I was upset when Jerry Lawler was verbally abusing Bret Hart's parents, much less touching on something as sensitive as that. You know, it's still new. It's not even three years old. It's something we deal with as a family on a daily basis. As you know, I share if I'm upset about something and it comes to mind. I'm doing 30 for 30 right now for ESPN and that's one of the things they wanted to talk about and it was a very emotional part of the interview. It's just something... Do I... If I was a fan I wouldn't like it, no. But I've seen a lot of things I didn't like before. I'm personally attached to this but let me reiterate that I know that Hunter, and Stephanie, and Michael Hayes have her back and they wouldn't go out of their way to hurt her or put her in a position to be hurt."
When asked if he was told about it:
"I never heard a word about it. I started crying while I was watching it. Nope, nobody called me and nobody has called me today. That would indicate that they just assumed that that's good. So I don't have an answer for that."
He if he trusts that Charlotte has good judgement and maybe he just wanted to have liked to have a heads up on it happening:
"No, because I don't think it would have made any difference. If they ask you to do something, what is she going to say, 'no, I quit'? I don't think that anybody has... I listened to a lot of the interviews with a lot of the kids. Forget anything personal, it doesn't mean I have to like the verbage of them. They've written down stuff for me that I wasn't comfortable with and I can go ask and they'll change it. It's nothing sensitive like that but they've brought stuff to me and I've said to Hunter 'this doesn't make sense' and Hunter goes 'well, write something down that does' or 'go talk to the writer' and I will. But it's never anything of that level of sensitivity.
"...I do know that she would never be comfortable rocking the boat right now. She's in a very unique and great position with them and she'll be there as long as she wants to be because they think that much of her, not only because of who she is but because of her skill set, her workrate, her work ethic; there are a thousand reasons why she'll be there forever. But I don't think she feels comfortable saying no to anybody about anything."
He goes on to say that by the time they get to Survivor Series, this will be old news and he'll be at the show. What's more, they clearly established a heel and a babyface and they'll have the match accordingly.