Let’s check in with a wrestler who’s riling up fans like 2015 - 2018 era Roman Reigns. Okay, maybe not quite that much yet, but you know who I’m talking about.
Charlotte Flair recently spoke to Sportskeeda’s Gary Cassidy about the whole “being on WWE television for what feels like two hours every week” thing. Her answers to his question about her role in the company and how she came to be on Raw, SmackDown, and NXT are sure to be reacted to in a calm, reasoned manner by fans everywhere.
“Oh, man. That’s a loaded question!
“I don’t know how that came about! I just... Like we talked about before, I really do think that my consistency is a detriment to people missing me. I feel like I am doing some of my best work of my career right now, promo-wise and in-ring-wise but, because people see me all the time, I think they’re used to it and the expectation is so high, and it’s so frustrating because it’s like, ‘Well, am I not supposed to be hungry? Am I not supposed to always want to be on top? Am I not supposed to be fighting to get better?’
“I don’t know. It’s like a Catch-22. I think the biggest thing for me is, yes, I’m on all three brands but, if you look at my storylines that I am a part of, I am a part of someone else’s storyline, it’s not like anything is a ‘Charlotte Flair’ push. Like, there’s nothing that... I’m just put [there] because I can basically do anything and everything they ask.
“Like, going to SmackDown was not for me. That’s not a push. That is ‘Charlotte Flair is a name and she’s coming to SmackDown.’ So, currently, I am just all over the place, brand-wise, because I am the hardest worker, and I will say that, for the women.
“I’ve been going straight for six years. And, you know, I don’t know, I like getting better, I like being at work, this is my job, I love it. I don’t want to go away.
”But it is frustrating because I think people take the growth and my work, you know, for granted because they see it all the time. It’s not like, “Oh, man...” It’s hard. I don’t know what the right answer is.”
It is a loaded question, and Flair does about as well navigating it as she can. The things people - and that could include people she shares the locker room with - will take exception to are saying being on all three shows isn’t a push, and proclaiming herself the hardest worker in the division. So let’s take those one at a time.
When she says being on SmackDown isn’t a “Charlotte Flair push”, I think she’s saying that she’s not there to win and become the focus on Friday nights. She’s there as part of a story designed to “push” Bayley & Sasha Banks. This is similar to the argument she & others make about her win/loss record. It’s a valid point. But it sidesteps the fact she is promoted just by being on-screen, having her lengthy resume recited, etc. I don’t have a doctorate in wrestling-speak, but for those of us on the outside looking in, that’s not not a way of pushing someone.
As for the “hardest working” claim, well, for one thing, I kind of assume she’s working a bit there. It’s what you’d expect an arrogant tweener character to say, right? If that’s the person behind the gimmick talking, it’s still okay as a way to motivate herself (something she’s absolutely correct to defend her right to do) and her co-workers. She has to know it’s gonna rub some people the wrong way though. But, work shoot or a bit of both, that may be by design.
The other thing is we don't know if others have been asked to work that hard. Would Natalya or Naomi say "no thanks" if the brass offered them the chance to pull double or triple duty?
Let us know what you think of Charlotte’s answer below. We know you will.