The Extraordinary Story of a True Fighter, Charlotte Flair

“Woooooooo!” will ring a bell for any wrestling fan. Quite frankly, you don’t even have to be the biggest pro wrestling fan to know the name Ric Flair – a true legend of the game and one of the greatest wrestlers to ever fight in the WWE.

Charlotte Flair / Charlotte Flair / Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair / Charlotte Flair.
Source: Getty Images

It’s a no-brainer that he has since taken his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. But Ric isn’t the only Flair who has made a name for himself. His daughter, Charlotte Flair, is on her way to becoming the greatest female wrestler to ever fight in the WWE.

Charlotte Is a Worthy Prodigy

It’s not uncommon for children of successful men and women to struggle to fit in their parents’ shoes. We’ve seen it in virtually every industry. Many successors to great predecessors do not always live up to the billing. Well, we can all agree Charlotte isn’t one of them.

Charlotte stands on stage, greeting the audience.
Source: Facebook

Charlotte Flair has repeatedly proven that she is worthy to wear her father’s crown. But we all know the saying “Uneasy is the head that wears the crown.” She has battled legal problems, marital issues, and the loss of a loved one. This is a fighter’s story.

A Broken Relationship with Her Father

Charlotte’s relationship with her father looks so sweet, right? Yes, it looks like that now, but Ric wasn’t the best dad. He didn’t spend a lot of time with his daughter during her childhood. Instead, the ‘Nature Boy’ devoted his time to his career in the WCW and WWE.

A dated picture of Charlotte’s childhood with her father.
Source: Facebook

Charlotte talked about this difficult period in her life during a TV segment with her father in 2016. She clearly called him out for not being there for her as a child. She even said she wanted nothing to do with him, but we assume this is in kayfabe (staged, in wrestling jargon).

Ric Flair Has Never Trained His Daughter

Yes, you read that right. Her father, a legendary wrestler and Hall of Famer, never trained Charlotte. Not once. We can’t say for sure if this was because of their broken relationship in the past, but Ric Flair was focused only on his own goal of becoming the best wrestler.

A picture of Ric Flair and Charlotte.
Source: YouTube

Just like the Nottingham Post, we also want to know why: “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,” Ric revealed.

Triple H Gave Charlotte Her First Experience

Not many wrestling fans know this, but Charlotte got her first feel of what it’s like in WrestleMania during Triple H’s entrance at WrestleMania XXX. Triple H appeared with a ‘King of Kings’ theme, flanked by three women. He chose Charlotte to be one of them.

A photo of Charlotte in WrestleMania.
Source: WWE

The other two women were Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks (yes, that Sasha Banks). Rather than simply employing models to feature in his entrance, Triple H wanted to give some up-and-coming female stars a sense of the glitter and pageantry of WrestleMania. Triple H, what a guy!

Charlotte Worked as a Personal Trainer

As the daughter of a wrestling legend, you’d think Charlotte was destined to become a wrestling star too. But no, it wasn’t like that. Curiously, she wasn’t even interested in being a wrestler at the onset. Charlotte chose to work as a personal trainer instead.

Charlotte attends an event.
Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images

She completed her education and went on to become a certified trainer. Charlotte worked at Ciarla Fitness in her hometown (which later closed), staying there until she chose to move on. She left her personal trainer position in May 2012 to sign a WWE developmental deal.

Charlotte Flair Was Sentenced to Prison

Many people end up on the wrong side of the law and wind up serving time in prison. One of those people is Charlotte Flair. The WWE superstar was arrested in 2008 after a confrontation with a police officer when she allegedly assaulted the officer.

A still of Charlotte speaking on the microphone.
Source: YouTube

Her father and Riki Johnson, Charlotte’s first husband, were also involved. She pleaded guilty and got a 45-day sentence. But luckily for her, the sentence was suspended, and she paid a $200 fine as well as being placed under probation. In all honesty, her arrest isn’t surprising given how hotheaded Ric can be too.

Her Rough Childhood Is to Blame

Despite her father’s wealth, Charlotte didn’t have the easiest childhood. One thing people don’t realize about wealth and famous parents is that it exposes their children to a lot more than normal kids face. This can be harmful, and it certainly took its toll on Charlotte.

Charlotte takes a picture of herself in a mirror.
Source: Facebook

Sadly, like her father, Charlotte has had legal issues throughout the years. In several interviews, the pro wrestler has expressed regret for becoming engaged in the famous altercation with the police officer and has said she is now more focused on moving on with her life.

The Flairs Are Unlucky in Marriage

Like her father, Charlotte Flair hasn’t had much luck in marriage. Ric Flair, as wrestling fans will know, wasn’t the most loyal of wrestlers. Yes, we agree he has been loyal to the WWE for a major part of his career, but the same can’t be said of his marriages.

A photo of Charlotte and Ric Flair attending a game.
Photo by James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images

Ric has been married four times – to Leslie Goodman, Elizabeth Harrell, Tiffany VanDemark, and Jackie Beems.

Just like her father, Charlotte hasn’t had much luck in marriage either. She is now on her third marriage after being wedded to Riki Johnson and Thomas Latimer.

Her First Marriage Was the Darkest

Although she has been divorced twice, Charlotte revealed her first marriage was terrible – and a dark chapter of her life. She married Riki Johnson in May 2010 and the marriage was already over about a year later. In her autobiography, Charlotte revealed why she divorced Riki.

A picture of Charlotte during an interview.
Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Riki wasn’t always the same person, according to Charlotte, which always led to nasty situations. “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.”

Riki Was So Violent, He Almost Killed Her

That wasn’t even the full extent of what happened to Charlotte Flair in her first marriage. As if being two different people wasn’t toxic enough, Riki Johnson almost killed her. Charlotte described how Riki became violent in the 2008 altercation we mentioned earlier.

A picture of Charlotte attending an event.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

While she was able to protect herself as best she could, Riki eventually left her struggling to breathe. What a disturbing story. We’re very happy she left such a toxic relationship. Now everyone understands why the marriage lasted barely one year before Charlotte called it quits.

A Tragic Loss Hit Charlotte

No one wants to lose their loved ones. Losing a beloved sibling is one of the most painful things anyone can go through. And Charlotte has felt that pain. Her little brother, Reid, died suddenly in 2013 from a reported accidental overdose. Reid was very dear to Charlotte.

A dated portrait of Charlotte with her brother.
Source: Pinterest

In a dual autobiography with her father, Charlotte wrote, “Reid pushed me to pursue a WWE career, and now I’m living his dream…. 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.”

Charlotte Had NO Training Before Joining WWE

You’d think Charlotte has been wrestling for most of her life, given how talented she is in the ring. But Charlotte didn’t have any training in the squared circle prior to signing a developmental contract with WWE. So we reckon this is just good genes.

A picture of Charlotte in her teens.
Source: Facebook

Of course, the fact that she was already a decorated athlete helped, as she had won two NCHSAA 4 A-State volleyball titles in high school. Charlotte began her career in North Carolina under Lodi’s tutelage before relocating to NXT in Tampa, where she was mentored by Sara Del Rey.

She Made Her Wrestling Debut at 13…Sort Of

Remember we mentioned earlier that she initially chose a different career path as a personal trainer? And that Triple H gave her the first experience of WrestleMania? Well, turns out Charlotte Flair wasn’t entirely new to wrestling. In fact, she had her first appearance at 13! Wait, we can explain…

A photo of Charlotte in the wrestling ring.
Source: WWE

She appeared as Ashley Flair in a May 2000 episode of Monday Nitro on the defunct WCW. Charlotte featured alongside Vince Russo, David Flair, and Daffney trying to break into their home to confront her father. The video is on YouTube, and it’s clear she had a career in wrestling ahead of her.

Her Real Name Isn’t Charlotte Flair

To be fair, many of her fans and those who follow WWE will probably be aware of this. A simple Google search and Wikipedia tells you her real name. But it’s still worth mentioning that the name with which she has become known worldwide isn’t her birth name.

A portrait of Charlotte during an event.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Charlotte Flair was born on April 5, 1986, as Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr, which will explain why she played Ashley Flair in the May 2000 segment. It turns out Charlotte isn’t the only one with a different name because there’s a story behind her father’s name too!

Ric Flair Doesn’t Know His Real Name

Yes, that’s right. Put in “Ric Flair real name” on Google and you’ll get Richard Morgan Fliehr. But the man himself isn’t sure that’s his name. In fact, his name could be nothing close to Richard – it could possibly be Fred Philips, Fred Stewart, or Fred Demaree. But how?

A photo of Ric and Charlotte Flair arriving at an event.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Shortly after Ric was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in February 1949, his adoption was planned by the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an organization that was involved in illegal adoptions – kidnapping kids and offering them up for adoption. As a result, it is unclear what Flair’s original name was.

Her Father Has a Commemorated Day

We cannot stress how legendary Ric Flair is, but his iconic status is so profound that he has a states-wide celebration day! But just so you don’t butt heads with a friend when arguing on a specific date, we’d like to clarify that it differs depending on the state.

A portrait of Ric Flair.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

If you’re from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ric Flair Day is on October 19th. Columbia, South Carolina, chose March 24th for him, and he was even given a key to the city! People in Norfolk, Virginia, celebrate him on November 15th, while it is April 18th in Charleston, West Virginia.

Ric Flair Isn’t the Real Nature Boy

Besides being a talented and skillful fighter, Ric Flair made a name for himself by being unique. But he wasn’t so unique in reality. Although he was (and still is) popularly regarded as the ‘Nature Boy,’ Ric Flair is in fact NOT the real Nature Boy.

A dated picture of Ric Flair after a fight.
Source: YouTube

While it’s common for wrestlers to adopt gimmicks from other wrestlers, they usually twist and personalize it – Hulk Hogan got his schtick from Billy Graham. Ric Flair, on the other hand, got his moniker, move-set, signature strut, and finishing Four Leg Lock from the real Nature Boy, Buddy Rogers.

Ric Flair Survived a Plane Crash

We cannot but admit one of the reasons Charlotte is such an extraordinary fighter is because she has Ric’s genes. The Nature Boy has been through a lot in his life, one of which is a plane crash in 1975. His career (and life) was whiskers away from ending.

A dated studio portrait of Ric Flair.
Source: YouTube

Flair fractured his back in the plane accident that killed the pilot, and doctors told him he’d never wrestle again. As a result of the accident, he had to change his wrestling technique, but he was able to return to the ring just eight months later. A true fighter!

He Also Survived a Lightning Strike

You’d think surviving a plane crash is amazing. But wait till you hear Ric has also survived a lightning strike. Although the lightning strike wasn’t as publicized as the plane accident, Flair maintains it occurred in the late 1970s and was equally as terrifying as the plane crash.

A picture of Ric Flair attending a game.
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

“I was getting off a plane in Richmond, Virginia…I didn’t go 10, maybe 15 feet, and all of a sudden…my umbrella shot 50 feet in the air…Lightning hit the top of my umbrella, bounced off, and hit a guy in the eye five feet behind me and killed him. Right there. It scared me to death.”

Ric Flair Has Slept With 10,000 Women

No, that’s not a mistake. You read it right. Ric Flair once revealed he has had sex with more than 10,000 women. It’s hard to believe, but the man stands firmly by it. We know loyalty isn’t his forte, but oh boy! However, he regrets saying it.

A portrait of Ric Flair.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

This is because his children, including Charlotte, and his grandchildren, would watch the documentary. “What I said was the truth, but I feel bad now that I said some of it. Ten thousand women. I wish I hadn’t said that because of my grandkids,” he said.

One of Them Was Halle Berry!

On an episode of The Ric Flair Show podcast in October 2016, Flair was asked if any celebrities had ever traveled on ‘Space Mountain,’ the nickname Flair gave to his manhood. He said “several dozen” and stated that one of them was Halle Berry.

Halle Berry poses for the press.
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“She was in Atlanta, and she had just divorced David Justice,” he recounted.

Berry dismissed Flair’s statements, even claiming that she had never heard of him. “There is no truth to this. Halle has never ever heard of him, let alone met him!” one of Berry’s reps said.

Charlotte’s Second Marriage Was Also Abusive

Charlotte Flair had the worst luck in marriage with her first two husbands. After marrying Riki Johnson in 2010, as mentioned earlier, the pair split about a year later due to Riki’s reported abuse and being two different people. Her second husband was a former NXT developmental star.

Charlotte takes a picture of herself at home.
Source: Instagram /@charlottewwe

He may be known to many wrestling fans – Thomas Latimer. He was previously Kenneth Cameron in NXT and is currently Bram in TNA Impact Wrestling. The couple married in 2013 but soon divorced after Thomas allegedly assaulted Charlotte. They divorced in 2015 but remain friends. Oof, poor Charlotte.

Why Her Brother Reid’s Death Hurt So Much

Admittedly, the death of any loved one can be cruel and a painful experience for anybody. But the death of Reid Flair was especially heartbreaking for Charlotte. Reid was also a professional wrestler. He appeared in WCW, wrestling in 2 matches between 1998 and 2000. He also fought in promotions.

A dated picture of Charlotte with her brother.
Source: Instagram /@charlottewwe

His death hurt Charlotte deeply because they spent most of her childhood together since their father wasn’t around much.

“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,” Charlotte wrote.

She Honored Reid with a Tattoo

Almost every tattoo is a story. It reminds people of something, someone important, or a motivation. Charlotte has a tattoo on her wrist, as you may have noticed. The phrase “A Little Patience” is inscribed on it. She has a deep connection with this tattoo.

A photo of Charlotte’s tattoo.
Source: YouTube

This is because it reminds her of her late brother, Reid Flair. Charlotte and Reid frequently sang the song “Patience.” This song was written by the American rock band Guns N’ Roses, Reid’s favorite band. So the phrase “A Little Patience” is related to the song.

What Do Charlotte’s Other Tattoos Mean?

Charlotte has a cross tattooed on the right side of her belly. The word “Reider” is etched out in the tattoo. As you must have already figured out, this tattoo is a memorial to Reid. Reid always wanted a tattoo, according to Charlotte, but Ric Flair was always against it.

Charlotte poses, showing off a tattoo on her arm.
Source: Promitattoos

However, Reid got a similar tattoo on his back when he was in college, but with the word “Fliehr.” Charlotte and several of Reid’s other family members inked this tattoo after he died. It has become one of WWE’s most significant tattoos – an incredible feat given all the tats we’ve seen.

She Got a Tattoo After Her Abusive Marriage

If you’re still wondering how bad Charlotte’s marriages were, then this will surely give you an indication. “Guard your heart above all else, for it will determine the course of your life.” Charlotte has this well-known Bible verse tattooed on her ribcage.

A close-up photo of Charlotte’s tattoo.
Source: Promitattoos

‘The Queen’ stated that she and her sister got the tattoo while going through divorces. It serves as a reminder of the agony they felt during their divorces. Her first tattoo is a pair of outline hearts which she got alongside her best friend, Ashley Heard, when they were younger.

He Was Supposed to Go on Tour with His Father

Although he never hit the heights his father and his sister have reached, Reid Flair also fought in the ring, albeit very briefly. But could he have had his big break if he hadn’t died suddenly at the age of 24 from a reported heroin overdose? We’ll never know.

A dated image of Reid Flair.
Source: Pinterest

The week before his death, Reid was added to Big Time Wrestling’s weekend tour, headlined by his father.

“Added to Hagerstown, Md. on Friday and Altoona, Pa. on Saturday is the son of the Nature Boy, Reid Flair. Reid returns to Big Time Wrestling after a successful tour of Japan.”

She Almost Suffered Another Tragic Loss

At this point, it is clear that Charlotte has endured lots of pain in her life. From having to grow up with very little fatherly attention, to losing her beloved brother and going through two abusive marriages, she has come through a lot. But she almost suffered another unimaginable pain in 2017.

A picture of Charlotte at home.
Source: Instagram /@charlottewwe

This was when her father was hospitalized for organ failure. Although he survived, he did shed some light on why his health failed. Flair, who had to be put in a medical coma, said he struggled with alcoholism when he was younger, claiming he consumed about “20 drinks a day.”

The Details of Charlotte’s Arrest

By now, everyone already knows that Charlotte was arrested after an altercation with a police officer. But the details of the event, which left Charlotte gasping for air after a struggle with her ex-husband Riki Johnson, was more than just an altercation with an officer.

A mugshot of Charlotte Flair.
Source: YouTube

On September 5, 2008, the police were alerted to a fight at an apartment in Chapel Hill. Although the fight was over, officers tracked a trail of blood to the apartment. Charlotte admitted the men (her father and boyfriend) fought but all was fine. Ric also refused to press charges.

Charlotte Is Light Years Ahead

Charlotte Flair is head and shoulders above her female counterparts. Despite the fact that the Women’s Revolution began just a few years ago, Charlotte is the only female wrestler to have ever held all three championships. In May 2014, she won the NXT Women’s Championship by defeating Natalya.

A picture of Charlotte during a wrestling championship.
Source: YouTube

She also won the now-retired Divas Championship by defeating Nikki Bella. Charlotte won the brand-new Women’s Championship (now renamed the RAW Women’s Title) at WrestleMania 32 in a triple threat match against Bayley and Sasha Banks. Finally, Charlotte won the SmackDown Women’s Championship in November 2017.

She Used to Be a Gymnast

Charlotte is indeed a true athlete. She used to do gymnastics when she was little. She’s even admitted to applying some of the gymnastic techniques during her wrestling fights. Charlotte was the team captain for the women’s volleyball team at Providence High School, winning two volleyball NCHSAA 4 A-State championships.

Charlotte takes a picture of herself during training.
Source: Instagram /@charlottewwe

In addition to her championship wins, she was also voted player of the year in 2004-2005 after guiding her high school team to success and the state championship. Charlotte’s volleyball career continued in college, when she represented Appalachian State University and subsequently North Carolina State University.

Charlotte Has 3 Siblings from Her Father’s Marriages

We discussed earlier how Ric Flair has been divorced four times, how he claimed to have slept with more than 10,000 women, etc. It’s obvious that he’s not the most loyal man on the planet. But there’s one incredible thing we can’t help but mention.

A photo of Charlotte visiting a radio show.
Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

How did he keep his children at just 4?! Surely this must be more impressive than King Solomon in the Bible with 300 wives and 700 concubines and just 3 children. Charlotte has two older half-siblings from Ric’s first marriage (Megan and David). She and the late Reid are from his second.

Charlotte Has a Tasty Dream Match in Mind

WWE fans, brace up! Charlotte Flair has something on her mind that’ll keep you on the edge of your seats! She has two dream matches in mind, as revealed to Uproxx in 2017. Her dream match would be to face Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch at WrestleMania.

Charlotte poses for the press.
Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images

“…Fatal four-way, Four Horsewomen, I think that’s the main event match,” Charlotte said. It could be difficult, considering the brand’s split. Charlotte also stated she would want to face Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania. Charlotte believes a ‘Queen vs Queen’ contest would be a memorable main event for a future WrestleMania.

Who Are the Four Horsewomen?

Some of us already know about them, but it’ll be criminal not to mention the Four Horsewomen. They are a pro wrestling stable in the WWE that includes Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks. They’ve won the Women’s Tag Team Championship four times.

A picture of Charlotte during a fight.
Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images

During their main roster run, they also included Paige. The name is a nod to the UFC’s The Four Horsewomen and The Four Horsemen, which included Ric Flair, Charlotte’s father. The team started on WWE NXT, and the initial four members all made the jump to the main roster together.

Why Did the Four Horsewomen Split?

Sasha Banks quit the group on July 6, 2015, when she formed Team B.A.D. with Naomi and Tamina, then turned against the Four Horsewomen later that night. Paige would eventually join in with the group. Bayley formed Baymella with the debuting Carmella in May 2016.

A photo of Charlotte during a championship.
Source: Wikipedia

The group later saw the return of Sasha Banks. On the December 19, 2016, episode of RAW, the group eventually split up and ended up in a subsequent feud. In June 2017, their feud came to an end, and they reformed as a team about one month later.

The Touching Tribute to Her Father

After retiring a few years ago, baseball legend Derek Jeter founded The Players’ Tribune. It gives a platform for players from different sports to share their stories with their fans in a way that they couldn’t do anywhere else. Charlotte used the platform to pen a heartfelt tribute to her father.

A picture of Ric and Charlotte.
Source: YouTube

In her blog, she wrote about how Ric has inspired her life and career in wrestling. She also mentioned how she knew he would approve of her decision to pursue wrestling since she knew it would make him proud and that he would never second-guess her choices.

She Almost Quit Wrestling

As confident as she appears, Charlotte almost quit! She discussed how she started second-guessing herself and losing faith in herself when the crowd started booing her early in her career, but Ric encouraged her to keep going because the public can tell if she genuinely believes in herself or not.

A portrait of Charlotte Flair.
Photo by Aalok Soni/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Things changed after she had a late-night phone discussion with Ric.

“And right there, in that hotel room,” Charlotte said, “… 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.”

She Brought Randy Savage to Show and Tell

Do you recall those days in kindergarten and elementary school when you had to show and tell? It was one of those times when students could bring in something or someone and speak in front of the class about how important they were to them. Charlotte easily swept the floor!

A dated portrait of Randy Savage.
Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic/Getty Images

While most children bring in relatives or neighbors with great jobs, she brought WWE Hall of Famer Randy Savage to show and tell in first grade! Charlotte was able to leverage her father’s WWE contacts to get the famed wrestler to her school. Isn’t that amazing?!

Her Father, Ric, Was Almost a Roman Gladiator

Jim Herd, former WCW Executive Vice President, believed Flair’s time had passed by the early 1990s. Herd believed Flair, at 39, was too old to remain WCW’s face. To make way for Sting and Lex Luger, Herd proposed that Flair ditch his Nature Boy image and shave his blond locks.

A dated image of Ric Flair in a wrestling ring.
Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images

That wasn’t all. He also asked him to don a Roman gladiator costume and rename himself ‘Spartacus.’ Nothing says ‘hip’ to a younger audience like a character based on a BC historic figure. Flair rejected the idea and Herd fired him while he still had the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt.

Riki Johnson Sued Charlotte

Riki Johnson filed a defamation lawsuit against Charlotte and Ric Flair. The lawsuit also named the WWE as a defendant. Johnson said Charlotte lied about him and their relationship in her book, including a statement that he is impotent. Johnson, a father of three, stated the claims have damaged his family.

Charlotte speaks during a conference.
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Riki Johnson also claimed he can debunk “multiple false allegations of physical and/or psychological abuse” in the book, as well as Charlotte Flair’s claim that he was dismissed from two jobs due to drug use. The WWE released a statement, calling it a “meritless lawsuit.”

Third Time’s the Charm?

After two failed marriages, Charlotte Flair is now in a relationship with AEW star and Mexican wrestler Manuel Andrade Oropeza, popularly known as Andrade El Idolo. The pair started dating in February 2019 and subsequently got engaged on January 1, 2020. But is the third time the charm?

A picture of Charlotte and Andrade spending an afternoon sailing.
Source: Instagram /@charlottewwe

Andrade tweeted: “She said siiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!” Toward the end of 2021, there were rumors the pair had broken up. After being silent for a while, The Queen posted their photos on her Instagram handle, wishing her fans a Merry Christmas. We genuinely hope Charlotte enjoys her relationship and marriage to Andrade!