Top 10 Charlotte Flair matches

I think Charlotte Flair is the greatest female performer in WWE history. In-ring ability, promo skills, character playing, she’s the all round package. And, let’s be honest about it; she looks like a star. And right now of course she’s playing the bad guy in the main story going in to WrestleMANia, but she’s exhibiting her best work as a result. She’s great as a babyface, as a heel she’s absolutely unparalleled. When she’s on top form and she’s against somebody else who can really go, she’s really capable of putting on a classic. So in this blog as we head towards the biggest match of her career I look back and rundown her best ten matches from what has already been an incredible, Hall of Fame worthy career in WWE having only debuted just under 6 years ago on TV.

10. NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte (with Ric Flair) V Natalya (with Bret Hart) – NXT Takeover; 29/5/2014 = ****1/4 

This match is seen by many as a huge turning point in what became the current boom we are experiencing for women’s wrestling. It came about after the title was vacated from former champion Paige after she ascended to the main roster as the then Divas Champion. And so a tournament was set up to crown the new champion that culminated at the first NXT Takeover event. The finals of which would pit two descendants of a couple of the most famous families in wrestling as Natalya Neidhart (a veteran even at this point) took on Charlotte Flair (who was only into her 2nd year as an active wrestler). The match itself was excellent and was the first time we really saw the natural ability Charlotte possessed and alongside Natalya showed this in abundance. Natalya, who despite some tedious tendencies as a character is about as solid an in-ring performer as there is on the women’s side, will no doubt have helped Charlotte get to this point in her career that she can put on a great match, but it takes two to tango after all. and Charlotte met Natalya at every stage in this epic. The story they told was compelling and the counters and the counters to a counter that each woman did from Sharpshooter to Figure 8 submission moves was really impressive. Eventually it would see a Flair get one over a Hart once again as one Natural Selection later and Charlotte Flair was the 2nd ever NXT Women’s Champion and her honor-laden career had begun. The two embraced afterwards maybe out of respect but surely knowing they had changed women’s wrestling in one match. Or at least they certainly got the ball well and truly rolling.

9. Raw Women’s Championship: Bayley V Charlotte (C) – Raw; 13/2/2017 = ****1/4 

My thoughts watching this at the time were that indeed it was a good match, indeed the pop for Bayley winning the title and the feel-good moment itself was special, heck even Michael Cole, Corey and Byron’s calls were really well timed. But just IMAGINE this exact thing happening at that years Wrestlemania… Nonetheless this was Bayley’s moment and she had a match with someone she has faced for many years in Charlotte, and it was really good. Not often you’ll see a women’s TV match be this good (I say that knowing full well there are 2 more TV matches to come on this list but I digress…). We had just come out of the now famous series between Charlotte as heel champion/challenger against Bayley’s best friend Sasha Banks and so the Hugger was set up as the next challenger. The booking time wise was odd given they kept parading this undefeated singles PPV record Charlotte had going for her, and she had beaten Bayley at the royal Rumble a few weeks before, but they put the title on Bayley here, and then she beat her  at the PPV as well so Charlotte’s PPV ‘record’ was over, and then Bayley kept the title at Mania too… so why they couldn’t have kept the record and run of Charlotte as champion going and crown Bayley to an even bigger pop, and an even greater moment at Mania that year I still don’t know. This would prove to be historical as it would mark the last time Charlotte Flair was RAW Women’s Champion* (she not only was the first but record holder for number of reigns too), as she made the move over to Smackdown not long after Wrestlemania…

* subject to change at WrestleMANia… maybe…

8. NXT Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks V Becky Lynch V Bayley V Charlotte (C) – NXT Takeover: Rival; 11/2/2015 = ****1/4

People who have wanted any form of Horsewoman match may not be aware they actually did the 4 way previously in NXT. And I’m sure you wont be shocked to know it was pretty good. We were still at this point 6 months away from the first Takeover outside of Full sail, so that tells you were NXT was at at that time, but this was where the NXT women’s Championship era of THE LEGIT BOSS began. It also marked the end of Charlotte’s 258 day reign as the leading lady of NXT. It was a shame the match only got around 12 minutes, and it was sandwiched on the card between Finn Balor V Neville and Kevin Owens V Sami Zayn for the NXT title, but nonetheless it was pretty good.  Becky and Bayley both on separate occasions in the match came close to pinning Charlotte but in the end it was Sasha Banks who got the better of the then champion with a crucifix move that gave her the win to dethrone the former champion and win the title. It’s incredible to think in hindsight that we had all 4 of these women in NXT at the same time, so do go back and watch this one as a little taster for the ultimate Women’s match for WWE in the future…???…

7. Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks v Charlotte Flair (C) – Falls Count Anywhere Match – Raw; 28/11/2016 = ****1/4

So Charlotte had beaten Sasha for the title in the Hell in a Cell match in Sasha’s hometown, so going in to this match that took place in Charlotte, North Carolina the result was almost inevitable. But as gimmick matches on regular weekly TV go this was actually pretty good. They brawled all over the arena and in the middle of a now legendary series between the two, and in Charlotte’s hometown, it was Sasha who got the win with a really creative spot. As both women were in the stands near the fans Sasha had Charlotte in somewhat of a Banks Statement, but Sasha had used one of the arena rails to pull Charlotte against and it looked brutal with Flair’s back being pulled by Banks against the railing. Sasha still got the babyface reaction despite being in Flair country, and amazingly enough Charlotte’s father Ric came out after to give his approval to Sasha to really put her over as the babyface. As became the theme of the feud Charlotte got the title back soon after but in the series they had this was amongst the matches I enjoyed the most. The match also got me both twitter recognition from Ms Flair herself, and… shall we say… stick… from plenty of Sasha Banks’ fans the next day which was…. great…

6. WWE Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks V Charlotte Flair (C) – Raw; 25/7/2016 = ****1/2 

I LOVED this match. On the same Raw that Finn Balor, on his first night on Raw, pinned Roman Reigns CLEAN in the main event the ‘new era’ on Monday Night Raw was continued with Sasha Banks finally getting her big moment by overcoming the seemingly unbeatable Queen. The match was really well thought out, Charlotte played the cocky, defiant heel so well and Sasha fought her ass off to get the crowd on her side, and the Backstabber into the Banks Statement finish got a huge reaction from the crowd and Michael Cole, to his credit, called it so well. The finish was awesome and Sasha crying and giving the big babyface interview in the ring after was so great. About as good a women’s TV match as you’ll see.

5. Smackdown’s Charlotte Flair V Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey – Survivor Series 2018; 18/11/2018 = ****1/2 

Considering this was supposed to be Becky vs Ronda, and they had DAYS to practice it, this match was remarkably good. I’m still baffled how they had this good a match all things considered. They told a great story of a really personal feud which has only escalated in the months that have followed, and sure you could say they had this exact match planned for Becky, but the end result with Charlotte was great. And if you think about it now, if Becky has this match here I don’t know if they do the Mania match, so we probably got the best scenario in the end. Of course as good as the match was it was all about the post match beatdown where Charlotte annihilated Rousey with a kendo stick and then the spot where she stomped the chair around Ronda’s neck. This was all tremendously fun to watch.

4. Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (C) V Asuka V Charlotte Flair – TLC Match – TLC 2018; 17/12/2018 = ****3/4

I thought this match was really great. Hardly a shock with those involved but nonetheless in the main event of what was an…. interesting…. PPV… this was by far one of the show highlights. Of course everyone talks about the finish where Ronda Rousey comes out and pushes the ladder with Becky & Charlotte on it over, allowing for Asuka to climb and grab the title. It was obvious why it happened and where we were heading even that far back, and whilst some people complained Ronda’s actions made Asuka’s big title win feel cheap I’d say it really din’t matter. Asuka was the champion and she should have been at this time and it was the right result of a good match. So I see little to complain about. But this was a really good TLC match men or women.

3. WWE Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch V Sasha Banks V Charlotte with Ric Flair – Wrestlemania 32; 3/4/2018 = ****3/4

Historic for 2 reasons; the women had the best match of the show in front of the largest crowd in Wrestlemanai history, and this match marked the death of that god-awful butterfly belt. Sasha Banks came out as a megastar with her cousin Snoop Dogg playing her to the ring, Becky was over too, and Charlotte Flair came out looking like a huge star too. And this match was FANTASTIC! Probably the first time since the women in NXT really got the division going that we got to see a women’s match of this caliber on the main roster. And they did it at WRESTLEMANIA! Everyone wanted Banks to win, but in the end it was the former Divas Champion that got the win to begin the new era of women’s wrestling in WWE.

2. Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (C) V Asuka – Wrestlemania 34; 8/4/2018 = ****3/4 

As I’ve said before I’m not sure I realized at the time quite how good this match was, I think I was too emotionally invested in the time to be able to look at the match. Even after when my friends consoled me after Asuka had lost her undefeated streak by telling me it was cool that Charlotte had a huge moment and that the match was really good I didn’t take it in. But the next day I watched it back, and this match was great. Shouldn’t have been a shock but arguably the two most talented in-ring female performers in a huge match on the biggest show, we really shouldn’t have expected anything less that a good match. But Charlotte ended the streak of Asuka here, and then dropped her title 2 days later anyway, but nonetheless this was finally Charlotte’s moment to have a classic singles match on a PPV, and had it not been for a certain Rowdy One putting on an unbelievable debut performance Charlotte would’ve once again had the best match of WWE’s biggest show.

1, Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair V Becky Lynch (C) – Last Woman Standing Match – Evolution; 28/10/2018 = ****3/4 

There was a high demand for this match to close the first WWE all-female PPV, and after the match itself was over the argument was only greater that this absolutely brilliant match should’ve concluded what was a pretty good show overall. Becky was in the middle of her heel-face-who on earth knows phase of being THE MAN, which in turn led to Charlotte being by default the biggest heel on the show, and after somewhat of an underwhelming match in Australia a few weeks prior this was anything but that. Tonnes of weapon spots but they weren’t over-done as so many gimmick matches are nowadays. This match told a great story as the people just lapped up everything Lynch (who was at this stage supposed to be the heel) did. The highlight being a crazy spot where Becky did a leg drop on to Charlotte off a ladder to put Flair through an announce table, and then powerbombed her off the top rope through a table for the win. An epic match and maybe the best main roster females match of all time. For now… maybe…

Josh.

 

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