Charlotte Flair was off WWE TV for about seven months last year before she returned for this year’s road to WrestleMania.
Flair is now away from WWE again following her loss to Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania 39, but it sounds like she’ll be back any week now. In an interview with Boardroom, Flair described her current break from WWE as a very short-term thing, while acknowledging that last year’s longer absence had its benefits:
For me, I went from having never any off-days to getting injured last year after WrestleMania and being off for seven months, and then now off again for a couple weeks for something that I needed to take care of, so it’s a blessing and a curse. Like, no one wants to be injured, but having that first time off for that extended amount of time, I think was definitely healthy for my mindset.
Her response sort of reminds me of how CM Punk felt when he needed to take a break from WWE to heal up his battered body following WrestleMania 29 in 2013. Punk spent his time off going to a bunch of hockey games, getting a new summer vacation tattoo, and doing other fun things he didn’t previously have time for on WWE’s hectic schedule. I always felt like the benefits of that extended break were at least a partial factor in his decision to eventually walk away from the company altogether.
Flair’s current situation is quite different from Punk’s in 2013, of course, but it does sound like her time away helped her realize that she wants to explore more ventures outside WWE going forward:
I think now, it’s just getting to that next level. Like, I know that my name is popular within sports entertainment, but I wanna get to that male level of John Cena, The Rock, Batista still. I want to cross over like my dad has so gracefully, and I’ll continue to do that until I get to that point. I hate that I started so late in the game, but I’m here. I think that’s just a matter of time.
I’d say for the first time in 10 years, I feel like I’m in that spot now where I can look outside the box. I wanted to do all these things and nothing else mattered. Now, okay, I accomplished these. I’m more comfortable, so now, it’s putting myself in positions where I’m not as comfortable. Seeing what happens, what that will look like, whether that’s auditions, where do I fit in what roles, absolutely. Sports entertainment is my home, but [it’s] seeing what I can take from what I’ve learned in the ring elsewhere.
I just want to keep an open mind. It took time for all of them to get to that spot, so for me, it’s just what’s gonna come my way will come my way...I don’t want to limit. I’m up for all opportunities.
Honestly, I don’t have a dream. Like, I didn’t have a dream going into wrestling. I don’t have a dream making this transition, it’s just taking what I’ve learned and all these opportunities and seeing what else I can do if I just put my mind to it. I don’t know what’s next. I just know I wanna take what I’ve tried to do for women in this industry and help keep pushing forward with that.
In the short-term, Flair’s next move outside of WWE involves becoming the Queen of Cornhole. And she should be back in WWE very soon after this weekend’s Backlash event, given the fact that she was drafted in the first round on this week’s Raw and describes her current absence as being a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months.
But the fact that she’s openly discussing future opportunities outside of WWE and becoming a crossover star like The Rock is interesting, at least to me. After a decade of dealing with the non-stop grind, could Flair be the next top WWE star to be as intelligent as Roman Reigns and negotiate a lighter workload in the coming years?
Let us know what you make of Flair’s thoughts on her future in
sports entertainment, Cagesiders.