The Flair family’s one of the most prominent and successful families in wrestling history, mainly due to Ric Flair’s exploits, but now his daughter, Charlotte’s flying the flag for the family and has burst on the scene achieving a huge amount of success right away. Ever since Charlotte Flair arrived on our screens back in 2013, there’s been a huge amount of intrigue into this blonde bombshell’s life, and especially – as is always the case when a child follows in one of their parent’s footsteps – her relationship with her dad.
Daddy Flair needs no introduction. He cultivated a legacy over the course of a remarkable career that spanned four decades, and is regarded by many to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Not many people would argue with that. His four kids, three of whom have followed in his footsteps and have taken to the ring, therefore have big shoes to fill. Charlotte’s career’s still in its infancy, but so far she’s doing a sterling job trying to fill them; she knows it too, as does her dad who never tires of singing her praises and bragging about her accomplishments.
The father-daughter duo have had their ups and downs but have their names firmly cemented in wrestling history. But what about their personal lives - their relationship away from the cameras? These are 15 things you probably didn’t know about Ric Flair and Charlotte’s relationship.
15 Ric Puts Pressure On Charlotte To Achieve Success
You’ll read things in the article that makes you think that Ric takes a back seat when it comes to Charlotte’s wrestling and doesn’t really like to get involved, but nevertheless is always in her corner cheering her on. This may be true to an extent, but Ric has always pressured Charlotte – a good, dad type of pressure – to achieve success. It wasn’t all about wrestling either; Ric put pressure on his daughter to be successful in every aspect of her life – she’s had a few rocky patches, which I’ll get into, but on the whole, it hasn’t been bad.
I’m guessing every kid would like a man of Ric’s stature in their corner, spurring them on and pushing them to achieve success in whatever field they choose to go into. In that respect, Charlotte’s a lucky woman.
14 Charlotte Used Her Dad’s Contacts As A Kid
This one’s pretty funny, because despite not being into wrestling when she was young, she must have known something about the industry and who the biggest superstars were at the time; either that or she had a crush on ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage.
Imagine your teacher when you were younger, telling you about an upcoming class show and tell session. You’d probably think of bringing one of your toys, a pet, or something you’ve made. But Charlotte knew how to wow, and wow she did. When she was in first grade, she brought in something pretty big for show and tell – none other than Randy Savage. If the sight of the wrestling superstar didn’t wow her classmates, I don’t know what would have – she probably received more than a solid pass for that assignment.
13 The Doting Dad Singing His Daughter’s Praises
Everyone thinks their kids are good and talks about them doing this and that - it’s what you do as a parent – and Ric is no different. With Ric having enjoyed a highly successful wrestling career, it would have been easy for him to expect the world from Charlotte, that he’d perhaps be uber critical of her wrestling prowess and exploits in the industry. But Ric has nothing but good things to say about Charlotte, and it’d be hard not to – you can’t watch her performing those corkscrew moonsaults and aerial trademarks without being impressed! He’s a very happy dad and Charlotte’s given him plenty of reasons to be so far during her fledgling career. But her career is still in its infancy, so Ric’s statement about her being “the greatest of all time” is probably a little over-the-top.
12 The Family Dynamic
The Flairs are a wrestling family and a pretty successful one too. Add together David’s, Reid’s, Charlotte’s and of course Ric’s accomplishments, and they’ve amassed a huge number of titles; their trophy cabinet at the family home must be bursting at the brim!
Ric’s fathered four kids, two from his first marriage and two from his second. With his first wife, Leslie Goodman, Ric had a daughter, Megan, and son, David, the latter of whom followed his dad into the ring. He had some success here and there but didn’t really achieve anything noteworthy, and his wrestling career just fizzled out.
With his second wife, Elizabeth Harrell, who also made some appearance in WCW, Ric had two kids, a daughter, Ashley – who the world now knows as Charlotte - and son, Reid, who was also looking to establish himself in the wrestling business before he tragically passed away in 2013.
11 Charlotte Began To Appreciate What Wrestling Entailed
Like most kids of wrestlers, Charlotte didn’t get to see a whole lot of her dad during her childhood. Wrestling’s a tough gig; the events come thick and fast, then there’s training, appearances to make, etc. so you can be on the road for the majority of the year. It can be hard if there’re kids involved to make them understand, but now Charlotte’s in the industry, she can see first-hand the life her dad lived for those many decades, and understand why he was for all intents and purposes, an absent father.
She also began to appreciate her dad pushing her as a kid, pushing her to achieve success and be the best she could be. She realized what wrestling entailed, and it’s probably due to her dad’s support that she’s been able to handle it thus far.
10 Charlotte Wasn’t Into Wrestling
It’s pretty hard to believe, but despite growing up with Ric Flair as her dad, Charlotte was never really into wrestling. Perhaps it’s because she grew up in a wrestling household – being around wrestling constantly could’ve made her hate it – or because she saw what it meant in terms of commitment and lifestyle. Another reason she didn’t think professional wrestling was an option for her is because she felt she didn’t measure up to the standards – looks wise and skills wise – of the glamorous divas who were in the industry at the time. She just didn’t know much about the industry.
Ric never pushed her into wrestling either. In fact, she got into wrestling due to her brother, Reid’s insistence. He was wrestling on the indies at the time, and continuously begged her to give it a shot, which she did. Sadly he passed away before he could see her wrestle – everything she does in the ring now is in honor of Reid.
9 Ric Pushed Charlotte To Pursue Sports
Although Ric never pushed Charlotte to follow in his footsteps and enter the ring, he did push her to achieve success in other things, mainly sports. Theirs was a very sports-orientated family, and Ric wanted the young Charlotte – all of his kids for that matter – to find their sport, work hard at it and reach the top.
The reason Charlotte didn’t think about pursuing pro wrestling is that she didn’t know much about it. It certainly wasn’t because she wasn’t athletic enough. Before wrestling she was a major player in the world of volleyball – it’s a skill that got her a scholarship to study a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations at Appalachian State University. Here she also became a personal trainer – her profession before wrestling.
Charlotte was also into gymnastics and basketball, and attributes her love for sports to her dad bringing her to various sporting events when she was growing up – this sparked the interest which she pursued throughout high school and college, and now as a wrestler.
8 The Domestic Dispute
Charlotte’s hot-headed like her dad; both have been in trouble with the law – Ric for various reasons such as road rage and being held in contempt of court, and Charlotte for assaulting a police officer and her dad.
Yes, they seem all lovey-dovey now, but that domestic dispute in 2008 must have resulted in things being strained for some time. Charlotte wasn’t having a great time of it in 2008. Things were unravelling in her personal life, her relationship with her boyfriend wasn’t going well, and Ric was beginning to step in, as you would do as a dad – look after your daughter. Apparently, they all got into an altercation which resulted in Ric getting assaulted. Concerned neighbours notified the police, but things were still heated when they turned up, and Charlotte ended up kicking a police officer and subsequently getting arrested. Judging by the relationship they enjoy now, it’s pretty evident Ric and Charlotte have put that incident behind them.
7 Charlotte Felt Self-Conscious Being Paired With Her Dad
A lot of people, critics and fans, got on their backs for the way they split and ended their on-screen alliance. It wasn’t to everyone’s liking, but the people at the centre of it, the two who mattered, didn’t seem to mind much. In fact, they’re totally cool with it, so whilst others might have been trashing them and the WWE for the way things panned out, they’re just enjoying this phase in their careers – Charlotte especially who’s finally been able to break free from her dad’s shadow.
There’s no doubting the fact that Ric helped Charlotte tremendously as she was growing accustomed to life in the ring – just having him work segments with her, his influence and the clout he has in the business, must have helped Charlotte. But Charlotte has said she’s felt very self-conscious working with her dad, because it kind of meant her mic skills weren’t up to scratch. But now it’s time for her to break free and blossom – let’s see how things pan out.
6 Marriage Woes
Ric Flair is renowned in the wrestling world for being a bit of a man about town – he likes female company, let me put it that way. He’s been with a lot of different women, and is always alleged to be flitting around from one relationship to another. Four of these relationships actually got quite serious; he ended up tying the knot four times, but he’s also been divorced four times.
Charlotte probably wants to emulate her dad in a lot of ways, but not this aspect – the failed marriage aspect – of his life. Charlotte’s only 30, but she’s already been married and divorced twice. Her marriages to Riki Johnson and Bram were short-lived. It’s safe to say they don’t have much luck when it comes to marriage; she’s a two-time divorcee, Ric’s a four-time divorcee, and they both might add to that. Ric is now engaged to his girlfriend Wendy, while Charlotte may be looking to avoid a serious relationship as she focuses on her in-ring career.
5 Charlotte Didn't Know About Ric’s Stature In The Industry
This just goes to show how far removed Charlotte was, growing up as a kid, from all things wrestling. Again, it’s pretty amazing to think, that despite having Ric Flair as a dad, she never really knew what Ric got up to, what he was doing while he was on the road all the time and why he was such a major figure in the wrestling industry. It also shows that Ric didn’t ram wrestling, or the idea of his kids becoming wrestlers, down their throats, and let them take their own path while quietly encouraging them in their endeavors.
Charlotte didn’t know much about all the intricacies of the wrestling business when she was a kid, but she also didn’t know that her dad was such a big deal. It was only really when she began to wrestle did she realize how big a name Flair is in the world of wrestling, and that it was all down to the legacy that Ric created.
4 That Controversial Segment
WWE have put together some pretty controversial segments over the years, many of which people have felt have been taken a bit too far. But referring to someone’s death in a derogatory manner during a segment in front of that person’s sibling – I think everyone would agree it shouldn’t have happened.
In 2015, there was a contract signing between Charlotte and Paige. The segment began with Charlotte talking about her brother, Reid, who had died two years previously, but then Paige chimed in with; “your little baby brother, he didn’t have much fight in him, did he?” To say fans were shocked would be an understatement.
Charlotte and her parents were also, understandably very upset about Reid’s death being spoken about in that manner. Charlotte was most definitely pushed into it by those who pull the strings in WWE, but it was just far too personal.
3 Charlotte’s Ring Name Ideas
Getting into WWE gives you an opportunity to get creative and come up with ideas for ring names, but ultimately, it’ll be the company who makes the final decision on the matter.
Charlotte’s birth name is Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr, but she had a ton of ideas for ring names floating about in her head when she entered the industry. She pitched 10 names to WWE executives and in the end, they settled on her being called Charlotte.
Of the names she shortlisted, there was Miss Elizabeth – this was actually her number one choice for a ring name, but not having much knowledge about the industry, she had no clue there’d already been a superstar who went by that name. She came up with the name because it’s her mom’s name. She also wanted to incorporate Reid into her ring name, in honor of her brother who was responsible for pushing her towards a career in pro wrestling.
2 Charlotte's Wrestling Helped Ric Patch Up Old Grudges
When you get as far as Ric Flair did in the industry, you don't do it without making a few enemies. Flair's always been outspoken and that led to him and Bret Hart having a war of words well after Bret's career had ended. Ric took some jabs at Bret in his autobiography, claiming Hart was never a top draw in the United States and that he was bland. Hart in turn, said Flair was essentially wrestling the same match every night and performed in front of half-empty arenas.
Well, eventually the two former co-workers had to work together while Charlotte was taking on Bret's niece Natalya for the NXT Women's Championship. Flair and Hart were in each competitor's respective corners and the experience of working together gave them a chance to bury the hatchet. They formed a bond that they hold to this day. Flair and Hart now seem like old friends and that never would have happened had Charlotte never set foot in the squared circle.
1 Ric Hasn’t Had Any Involvement In Charlotte’s Training
Again, it’s pretty hard to believe that Ric didn’t help or push Charlotte when she became involved in the industry in some way or another. You’ve learned he didn’t push Charlotte into wrestling, that she didn’t even know much about the industry, but you’d at least think that he had some involvement in her training? Nope, that wasn’t the case. Instead of choosing to impart his wisdom and four decades of industry knowledge on his daughter, he decided to step back and let her go about things her own way, and that included getting trained and prepared for life in the industry. She ended up being trained by Lodi and Sara Del Rey, and they seem to have done a pretty fine job developing and harnessing her skills.