Charlotte turning heel good move for division & character
Ric Flair earned himself the title “the dirtiest player in the game” for his heelish antics, and it appears his daughter, WWE Divas Champion Charlotte, is aspiring to follow in his footsteps.
This past Monday on Raw, Becky Lynch challenged best friend Charlotte to a good-natured contest. Charlotte hesitated at the prospect at first, but then conceded. They locked up while two-time Hall of Famer Ric Flair looked on at ringside.
The two former NXT stars put on a wrestling clinic, showing evenly matched skill sets, until Charlotte feigned a twisted ankle. The tactic, coupled with Flair’s presence, was enough to distract Lynch, allowing the champ to score a victory via school-girl roll up.
Backstage, Lynch demanded an explanation for blatantly cheating.
Charlotte, a smile on her face, declared the move “strategy”, not “cheating.”
“This isn’t NXT, sweetheart, this is the big leagues,” Charlotte said. “I’m just looking out for you. Everyone has to step up. Paige stepped up, I’m stepping up. I’m just trying to teach you a valuable lesson because I care about you.”
The interaction ended with Charlotte offering Lynch a handshake in the form of a “pinky swear”.
The angle of Charlotte turning heel on her friend Becky Lynch is a great move for both the division and for both characters.
Lynch naturally comes off as plucky and hard-working, if a touch naive. This, coupled with her fast-paced, hard-hitting style in the ring has made her a favourite with the fans. Being betrayed and taken advantage of by her best friend builds strong sympathy for her character and could enable a strong push for her in the ranks of WWE.
Aside from benefiting Lynch, a heel turn could be a massive boon for Charlotte.
It is easy to understand why WWE would want to promote the blonde bombshell as a babyface. Her father is wrestling legend Ric Flair, who is over with fans across the country. It would be tempting to use his popularity and his legacy to boost her own.
However, what is Ric Flair’s legacy, exactly? It is for being a master heel. Flair was the best because his cunning, conniving, underhanded ways made even the blandest of baby-faces into huge heroes, putting them over while escaping with the gold to fight another day.
Flair’s trademark in-ring mannerisms exemplify his heel-dom. Strutting, preening, and offering a hand to an opponent only to run it through his own hair were signs of disrespect and arrogance, and they drew heat with audiences coast to coast.
Over the years, as Flair aged and his influence and respect within the wrestling community was recognized and celebrated, he developed into a baby-face. His formerly devious tactics became “vintage Flair” spots, and received massive pops.
Charlotte mimics her father’s mannerisms in the ring. But the moves are still essentially despicably unsportsmanlike, and speak to a character reeking of arrogance. She even calls herself “genetically superior” – not exactly a humble statement by any stretch.
The current WWE Divas Champion has the makings of a masterful heel, and the time to push such a swerve has never been better.
Charlotte has been engaged in a heated, personal battle over the past month with former champ Paige, who took quite controversial shots at the champ and her family.
The effect was polarizing, with many fans sympathizing with Charlotte while many supported Paige, who has developed a following thanks to her tendency to light up pipe bombs.
Paige now comes as a bearer of warning to the baby-faced Becky Lynch, telling her to watch out for Charlotte’s ways. This not only helps to get over Charlotte and Lynch’s emerging program, it keeps Paige relevant as a top contender in the division.
Having more women involved in complex feuds will only help to drive competition and increase the importance of matches.
Perhaps fans can thank Sheamus capturing the WWE World Heayweight Championship for Charlotte turning heel and engaging in a feud with Becky Lynch. If Lynch were to capture gold, it would make her the third Irish-born superstar to hold a major singles title simultaneously. Alongside Finn Balor and Sheamus, audiences may soon look forward to an Irish takeover.