WWE's Charlotte: 'Now I Understand Why My Dad Ric Flair Never Wanted To Retire'
"When you absolutely love what you do... being a part of this NXT/WWE family, I get it now," Women's champ tells MTV...
NXT standout Charlotte has revealed working for WWE has helped her understand her legendary father’s passion for the business.
Hall of Famer and former 16-time World champ Ric Flair bowed out of the WWE ring in 2008 in an emotional bout against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24. But the 65-year-old continued to make sporadic appearances in other promotions before his second return to WWE in 2012.
Women’s champ Charlotte, who began training with NXT around the same time, told MTV connecting with WWE’s fans helped her realise what has driven her father - often regarded as the greatest wrestler of all time - throughout his high profile 40-year career.
"My dad lives, breathed professional wrestling,” an emotional Charlotte explained, smiling.
"I never understood how he could just continue to go and go and go. I’d say he had a hard time when he retired and I never understood that. 'You’ve retired. You’ve worked your whole life. Why do you still want to wrestle?’
"Today, now I understand. All he ever wanted to do was entertain the fans.
"When you absolutely love what you do... being a part of this NXT/WWE family, I get it now. You’re with them more than your own family sometimes."
The 28-year-old continued: "I get it and I get just as emotional thinking about it as he did because it does mean so much to you when you love what you do that much."
Touted as a potential future headliner for WWE, Charlotte also told how her dad urged her to compete with herself to raise her own exacting standards - and project that image to her peers.
Charlotte said: ”When I first started this, he told me: ‘You’re not going to go in there and half a** it. This is what you want? You have to want it.’
"My dad says: ‘Eat, sleep and train. And only do something if you want to be the best. Put your whole heart into it.’
"His biggest thing for me is believing in myself and not caring what anyone else says. Those are things we talk about on a daily basis."
The determined star added: “He’s said before: ‘You’ll get eaten alive in this business if you show them for one second you’re not sure.”