For the past few years now, Charlotte Flair (real name Ashley Fleihr) has been at the forefront of women’s wrestling in WWE. She has positively contributed to women’s wrestling being treated much more seriously than had it had been ever before. Charlotte is arguably one of the most talented female wrestlers currently in WWE, who can seemingly put on a good match with anyone she has stepped foot in the ring with.
Of course, pretty much any wrestling fan knows that Charlotte is the daughter of the legendary WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. He often accompanied Charlotte to the ring when she first started out on the main roster, and even helped Charlotte retain her championship on a few occasions. Their alliance only lasted a few months, and Charlotte left Ric to go about her business on her own. Even though this was all part of a storyline meant to introduce Charlotte to the WWE Universe in a meaningful way, it really did serve to set up Charlotte for success. In the past few years, Charlotte has stood out as her own person. Moreover, she has forged her own wrestling identity and her own distinct legacy separate from Ric’s.
While we all know about the way Ric goes about his personal life and the career he had, how much do we know about Charlotte’s? Continue reading to learn more about Charlotte’s personal life, as well as some little-known facts about her wrestling career.
15 Personal Life: Didn't Spend Much Time With Ric When She Was Young
WWE fans are aware of the strong bond that exists between Ric Flair and his daughter, Charlotte. Ric has often stated how proud he is of how far she has come in wrestling, and the excellent work and success she has had thus far. Similarly, Charlotte has said she is proud of the legacy Ric has created in wrestling and her hopes to continue building on the Flair legacy.
However, the relationship between the two wasn’t always as strong as it is now. This is largely because Charlotte did not get to spend much time with her father when she was growing up.
Ric was busy devoting most of his life to entertaining wrestling fans and travelling around the world for WCW and WWE. With such a hectic lifestyle that WWE has always had, it makes it very difficult for the wrestlers to spend time with their families back home.
Charlotte even referenced this particular difficult time in her life during a TV segment with her father in 2016. In her promo, she essentially called him out for not being there for her when she was a child and that she now wanted nothing to do with him (in kayfabe of course). She also spoke in larger detail about it in ESPN's 30 For 30 on Ric Flair's career.
14 Personal Life: Has Three Siblings From Ric's Previous Marriages
As many of you are probably well aware, Ric Flair was not exactly the most loyal wrestler. Even though he has mostly been loyal to the WWE, loyalty isn’t exactly his strong suit when it comes to his romantic relationships. Ric has been married four times, with marriages to Leslie Goodman (1971-1983), Elizabeth Harrell (1983-2006), Tiffany VanDemark (2006-2009), and Jackie Beems (2009-2014). Naturally, Ric has fathered four children among those women.
With his first wife, Leslie, Ric has two children: Megan and David. With his second wife, Elizabeth, Ric also has two children in Charlotte (Ashley) and Reid - seen in the photo above. This consequently gives Charlotte, whose real name is Ashley, three siblings. Megan and David are Charlotte’s older half-siblings, whilst Reid is her younger brother. It looks like Ric’s marriage to Elizabeth was the one that produced the children most intent on continuing his legacy in the wrestling world. Reid was a wrestler who wrestled mostly on the independent circuit until his tragic passing a few years ago, which we will discuss later on in this article. Then there is obviously Charlotte who has carried on the Flair wrestling legacy in WWE, who has gone on to do many great things in WWE – wrestling in honour of her late brother as well.
13 Career: Her First Wrestling Appearance Was In 2000
Charlotte’s wrestling skills are so genetically superior to her peers that she made her debut in 2000, at the young age of 13. We’re serious…well sort of. It is true that Charlotte made her first appearance on a wrestling show at age 13. She appeared in a May 2000 episode of Monday Nitro, as Ashley Flair, which was shown on the now-defunct WCW.
Charlotte was involved in a vignette that WCW was airing, which also featured Vince Russo, David Flair, and Daffney trying to invade their home to confront her father.
The clip is available on YouTube and, if you watch it, you will see that it is fairly obvious she had a future in wrestling. This is evidenced by the looks of attitude and pure disgust that she gave Russo during their argument in the segment. Watching her promos that she now gives on WWE programming, Charlotte exudes a similar manner of attitude that she had back then.
Of course, Charlotte would eventually go on to make her actual wrestling debut in July 2013 when she defeated Bayley on an episode of NXT. After a strong run of success in NXT, Charlotte was promoted to the main roster where she made her debut in July 2015, when Stephanie McMahon called for a ‘revolution’ in the then-Divas Division.
12 Personal Life: She Took Randy Savage To Show And Tell
Do you remember having those show and tell days in kindergarten and in elementary school? It was those fun days where a couple of students could bring in something, or someone, and talk about their importance to you in front of the class. Most children bring in relatives or neighbours with cool professions, but Charlotte easily won the title for coolest show and tell ever. She once brought WWE Hall of Famer Randy Savage to show and tell when she was in the first grade.
Charlotte was able to use the connections to WWE through her father, in order to be able to bring the famous wrestler to her school. It really is quite impressive that Charlotte and Ric were able to convince Randy Savage to come into her class for the day. Clearly, Charlotte never liked playing by the rules from an early age in choosing to bring in her favorite wrestler rather than her favourite toy from home. It’s borderline unfair that she was able to bring someone that famous simply because of her connections. That being said, it would be pretty awesome to have been in a classroom with a future WWE Women’s Champion who brought in a WWE legend.
11 Personal Life: Past Legal Issues
Charlotte did not have the easiest life growing up, despite her father’s wealth. The downside of wealth is that she is exposed to a lot more than normal children, and this can sometimes be a detriment to them. This unfortunately means that, just like her father, Charlotte has run in to some problems with the law over the years.
Charlotte was arrested back in 2008 on charges of assaulting a police officer, when she was involved in a big fight which also involved her father and her first husband, Riki. Charlotte took responsibility for her role in the fight, and she pleaded guilty to the assault. Since it was her first offense, Charlotte was leniently given a suspended jail sentence – meaning she didn’t need to serve any time – and had to pay a $200 fine and serve a term of probation. In some interviews since the incident, Charlotte has expressed her remorse for getting involved in the fight in the first place and has now become more focused on moving past that part of her life. As we will cover later on, Charlotte shared her account of the infamous fight in part of her auto-biography and how the incident was borne out of her first marriage to Riki Johnson.
10 Career: Ric Wasn't Her Trainer
This one might surprise quite a few people, but Ric Flair never trained Charlotte. One would have thought that growing up with a father who was a legend in the wrestling world, that he would be the one who would take his daughter under his wing and teach her the ins and outs of wrestling. Ric took a step back from all that and left the role of training Charlotte to become one of the best wrestlers to Lodi and Sara Del Ray.
When The Nottingham Post asked Ric about not having trained Charlotte, he revealed, “Wrestling is something we have to learn on our own. I don’t get too involved as I wouldn’t want to say something that goes against what her trainers tell her, even though I’ve got lots of opinion.”
In all honesty, this makes a lot of sense because Ric is allowing Charlotte to become her own wrestler and not just a younger, female version of Ric.
After all, Sara Del Ray and Lodi have become trainers for a reason and they are good at what they do.
This is not to say that Ric has not or would not give Charlotte some advice, suggestions, or words of encouragement. As arguably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Ric surely has a lot of knowledge and wisdom that he can pass down to Charlotte to help her become an even better wrestler.
9 Personal Life: Previously Worked As A Personal Trainer
If you didn’t know much about Charlotte’s life outside WWE, you would have assumed that she was destined to become a WWE superstar pretty much since birth. After all, Charlotte is “Genetically Superior”. Interestingly, Charlotte’s initial career pursuit was not in the wrestling industry at all. Instead, Charlotte pursued a career as a personal trainer. She went to college and then went on to become a certified trainer. Charlotte worked at Ciarla Fitness (which later closed down) in her hometown, and remained employed there until she eventually decided to enter the next phase of her career. Charlotte signed a WWE developmental contract in May 2012, leaving her personal trainer job behind.
Knowing who her father is, many people in the WWE Universe would say that it was only a matter of time before she stepped foot in the ring. Ric helped define wrestling and become one of the most famous wrestlers of all time. Through the first few years of her career, Charlotte seems to be following in her father’s footsteps in that regard. After all, Charlotte has been at the forefront of the Women’s Revolution in WWE and is one of their best female wrestlers who can seemingly put on a good match with anyone.
8 Personal Life: Her First Marriage To Riki Johnson
Charlotte has not had very much success with either of her marriages so far. Even though both marriages ended up in Charlotte filing for divorce, it is her first marriage that takes the cake as being a dark chapter in her lfie. Charlotte married Riki Johnson in May 2010, before divorcing him roughly a year later. Charlotte would later reveal that she filed for divorce on the grounds of him being two different people, leading to several ugly incidents.
In one of her sections of her 2017 auto-biography, co-written with her father, Charlotte wrote the following about her failed marriage to Riki, “Riki was Jekyll and Hyde. If he was happy things were great; he was the man of my dreams. If he was angry, everyone knew it, and it would be taken out on someone or something.”
Even more disturbingly, Charlotte went on to describe her side of the aforementioned 2008 altercation in Chapel Hill. She explained how Riki got violent and while Charlotte was able to defend herself to a certain extent, eventually Riki eventually left her gasping for air. We are certainly very glad that Charlotte left a relationship that was very toxic and becoming increasingly dangerous for her health and well-being.
7 Career: She Was Part Of Triple H's WrestleMania XXX Entrance
Some wrestling fans might have already been aware of this, but Charlotte Flair got her first experience at what it was like to be involved at WrestleMania during Triple H’s entrance at WrestleMania XXX. At the event, Triple H faced off against Daniel Bryan in the first match of the main card – which eventually saw Bryan not only defeat Triple H, but also go on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship over Randy Orton and Batista.
Triple H has become known for having some very iconic WrestleMania entrances, and WrestleMania XXX was no different.
As can be seen in the photo above, Triple H chose a “King of Kings” themed entrance where he was flanked by three women. Charlotte was one of the women Triple H chose to be part of his entrance, which also featured Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks.
This said a lot about how Triple H wanted to give some up and coming female stars a glimpse at the glamour and pageantry of WrestleMania, rather than just simply hiring models to be in his entrance.
Fast forward two years later, and Sasha Banks and Charlotte had their first WrestleMania match. Alexa Bliss had hers the following year, and now all three women are key parts of the rise in women’s wrestling for WWE.
6 Personal Life: Was Married To A Former NXT Star
We already talked about Charlotte’s first marriage to Riki Johnson, which ultimately ended in divorce in mid-2011. A little over two years later, and Charlotte was getting married again. This time her husband was Thomas Latimer, who is now best known for wrestling under the ring name “Bram” for TNA. Latimer actually spent some time with WWE between 2010 and 2012, having appeared on NXT in 2012 before getting released. For a few months time, Charlotte and Latimer were colleagues at NXT which is likely where their relationship first blossomed.
The couple were married in 2013, but it was not meant to be as Bram and Charlotte divorced in 2015. Bram would eventually run into some legal problems later on, so perhaps it was for the best that Charlotte is now able to just focus on her career. When asked about how he feels about Charlotte's success, Bram told Art of Wrestling he's happy for her and heaped a lot of praise on her:
"Without sounding bias, Charlotte Flair, (Ashley) is my ultimate favorite. She's the best in the world when it comes to women's wrestling. Hell, she's stepping on the dudes toes too! She has so much natural charisma, it's effortless to her. It´s like she's been doing it forever and she's only been doing it for a handful of years. I love watching her work."
5 Personal Life: Penned A Touching Tribute To Her Father In The Players' Tribune
The Players' Tribune is a site created by baseball legend Derek Jeter, after he retired a few years ago. It provides a space where athletes from many different sports can share their stores with their fans, in a way that they really couldn’t anywhere else. Last November, Charlotte penned a touching tribute to her father which was published on The Player’s Tribune.
In her post, Charlotte discussed the many ways in which Ric has influenced her life and her wrestling career.
Notably, she shared how she always knew Ric would approve of her choice to enter wrestling – she knew it would make him proud and that he would never second-guess her decisions.
Charlotte also shared how she started second-guessing herself and lost confidence in herself when the crowd started booing her early on in her career, but Ric told her to keep pushing and that the crowd can tell if she truly believes in herself or not. It was after a late-night phone call with Ric where he encouraged her to own who she is. After this, Charlotte said, “And right there, in that hotel room … I think that’s when I realized, for the first time, that I was truly ready. That I was truly my father’s daughter. That I was truly a Flair.”
4 Career: Only Wrestler To Have Held All The Women's Championships
WWE now has three women’s championships (WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown, NXT) which is more than WWE has ever had at any time in the company’s history. That in and of itself is an important indicator of how far WWE has come in women’s wrestling, since the women now have more championships to fight for than ever before. Even though the Women’s Revolution only started a few years ago, only one female wrestler has ever held all three championships – Charlotte. When you think about it, this makes a fair bit of sense because Charlotte is one of the wrestlers at the forefront of this revolution. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a WWE favourite because of who her father is.
Charlotte defeated Natalya to win the NXT Women’s Championship in May 2014, in a tournament which was the result of Paige being promoted to the main roster. Mere months after being promoted to the main roster, Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella to win the now-retired Divas Championship. At WrestleMania 32, Charlotte defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks in a triple threat to win the brand new Women’s Championship (now re-branded the RAW Women's Title). Finally, after being drafted to SmackDown, Charlotte won the SmackDown Women’s Championship in November 2017 on a episode in her hometown.
3 Personal Life: Charlotte Really Is A Natural Athlete
I know what you’re probably thinking. We know that Charlotte is a wrestler who is athletic and talented at what she does, so calling her an athlete isn’t a stretch. While all that is true, it turns out that Charlotte is genuinely a strong athlete who has excelled at many other sports while growing up.
As seen in the photograph shown above, Charlotte also participated in gymnastics during her youth. In her throwback Thursday post, Charlotte mentioned her gymnastics coach, who she also credited as being one of her role models growing up. Charlotte also says that she uses some of the gymnastic skills she learned in her wrestling matches.
Notably, Charlotte held two NCHSAA 4 A-State championships for volleyball, where she was the team captain for the women’s volleyball team at Providence High School.
As a result of leading her to school team to respectable success and to the State Championships, Charlotte was named player of the year from 2004-2005. Charlotte continued her success in volleyball at the college level, when she played for Appalachian State University and then the North Carolina State University.
2 Personal Life: Her Brother Reid Passed Away In 2013
As we previously mentioned, Charlotte had a younger brother named Reid. In what was an obviously distressing time for the entire Flair family, Reid suddenly passed away in 2013. The reports later revealed the cause of Reid’s death to have been from an accidental overdose.
Another unfortunate part of this story is that Reid’s prior problems could have been seen as a desperate cry for help, in hindsight. He had been arrested twice in March and April in 2009 on charges of driving while intoxicated and various substance-related charges. Despite his vices, his passing is a deep tragedy that clearly affected Charlotte. In a dual-autobiography, Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, written by Ric and Charlotte Flair, she wrote: “Reid pushed me to pursue a WWE career, and now I’m living his dream,” she writes. “I sense his presence most when I’m performing – walking to the ring, feeling the canvas underneath my boots and the ropes across my hands. WrestleMania week is when I get the strongest sense that Reid is by my side. I think it will be that way for the rest of my life.”
1 Career: Charlotte Has Two Dram Matches On Her Mind
In November 2017, Uproxx held a brief interview with Charlotte Flair during WWE’s press announcement and launch of ticket sales in New Orleans. Even though the interview was relatively brief, they managed to pick up some interesting quotes from Charlotte. One of the most interesting things Charlotte mentioned was that she actually has two dream matches.
Her number one dream match would be to headline WrestleMania against the other members of WWE’s Four Horsewomen: Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. Charlotte elaborated on this and said, “…fatal four-way, Four Horsewomen, I think that’s the main event match. I don’t really have a dream singles, I just dream of main eventing.” That match might be difficult to become a reality with the brand split, but there is no doubt it would be a big draw. Perhaps it could end in a post-match showdown with the Four Horsewomen of the UFC, leading to the two teams facing off at a later event.
As for her other dream match, Charlotte said that she would love to have a big WrestleMania moment against Stephanie McMahon. Charlotte thinks the two of them facing off would have the potential for some great storytelling, and that the ‘Queen vs Queen’ match would be a worthy main event for a future WrestleMania.