Charlotte (wrestler)

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Charlotte
Birth name Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr[1]
Born (1986-04-05) April 5, 1986 (age 30)[2]
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States[2]
Alma mater North Carolina State University
Spouse(s) Riki Johnson (m. 2010; div. 2012)[3]
Bram (m. 2013; div. 2015)
Family Ric Flair (father)
David Flair (half-brother)
Reid Flair (brother)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Charlotte
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[4]
Billed from The Queen City[4]
Trained by Ric Flair
Lodi[5]
WWE Performance Center
Debut July 3, 2013

Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr[6][7] (born April 5, 1986) is an American professional wrestler and former personal trainer currently signed to WWE on the Raw brand, under the ring name Charlotte, where she is the current WWE Women's Champion in her first reign. She is also a former NXT Women's Champion, and the final recognized Divas Champion.

She is the daughter of former professional wrestler Ric Flair and the sister of David Flair and Reid Flair. In 2014, she was named Rookie of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

Early life[edit]

Fliehr was born in Charlotte, North Carolina to Ric Flair and his then-wife Elizabeth. She has an older half-sister, Megan, and an older half-brother, David, while her younger brother Reid died in March 2013. Fliehr holds two NCHSAA 4 A-State championships for volleyball during her time at Providence High School, including being a team captain and player of the year from 2004–2005. She attended Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina before transferring to North Carolina State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in public relations in Spring 2008. Fliehr was a certified personal trainer prior to becoming a wrestler.[2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

WWE[edit]

NXT (2012–2015)[edit]

On May 17, 2012, Fliehr signed a developmental contract with WWE, and was assigned to their developmental territory, WWE NXT.[8] She adopted the ring name Charlotte, and had her first televised match on the July 17, 2013, episode of NXT, where she defeated Bayley.[9]

In late 2013, Charlotte formed a tag team with Bayley, and the two defeated Aksana and Cameron on the September 4 episode of NXT.[10] On the October 10 episode of NXT, Bayley accompanied Charlotte to a match against Santana Garrett, which she won, and during the match, the "BFFs (Beautiful, Fierce Females)" (Summer Rae and Sasha Banks) came to the ring and attempted to convince Bayley to join them, to Charlotte's annoyance.[11] However, on the November 13 episode of NXT, Charlotte attacked Bayley and joined the BFFs, establishing herself as a villainess in the process.[12][13]

Charlotte in April 2014

After a two–month absence due to an injury, Charlotte returned, on the January 8, 2014, episode of NXT, and began accompanying Rae and Banks to their matches.[14][15][16] In February, Charlotte confronted and challenged NXT Women's Champion Paige during an interview with Renee Young.[17][unreliable source] Following Rae's elevation to WWE's main roster, Charlotte and Banks went on to feud with Bayley, who formed an alliance with Natalya. On the March 27 episode of NXT, Charlotte was defeated by Natalya by disqualification after Banks interfered.[18] The feud between Charlotte and Paige ended on the April 24 episode of NXT, when Charlotte and Banks defeated Emma and Paige, with Charlotte scoring the pinfall over Paige.

In early May, Charlotte competed in the tournament for the vacant NXT Women's Championship, defeating Emma in the first round, Alexa Bliss in the semi–finals, and Natalya in the final at NXT TakeOver, to win the NXT Women's Championship for the first time.[19] After a four–month absence from the show, Summer Rae returned on the June 6 episode of NXT, distracting Bayley and allowing Charlotte to defeat her. After the match, The BFFs attempted to attack Bayley, only to be chased away by Emma and the returning Paige.[20] The altercation prompted a six-woman tag team match on the June 12 episode of NXT, which The BFFs lost after Bayley pinned Charlotte.[21] On the July 3 episode of NXT, Charlotte got a measure of retribution over Bayley in a tag team match, where she and Banks defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch. After the match, Charlotte left Banks to get attacked by Bayley, with Banks officially disbanding the BFFs in a backstage segment later that night.[22]

Charlotte wrestling Sasha Banks during a house show in March 2015

On the July 24 episode of NXT, Charlotte successfully defended her championship against Summer Rae.[23] Charlotte then went on to defeat Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way to retain the championship. After the match, she stopped Banks from attacking Bayley afterwards,[24] and after defeating Bayley in a rematch on October 2, she raised Bayley's arm before they shared a hug and shook hands.[25] Following this, Charlotte and Bayley feuded with Banks and her partner Becky Lynch throughout the following several weeks.[26] Charlotte made her first appearance on WWE's main roster on the Slammy Awards special episode of Raw on December 8, where she lost to Natalya in a non-title match.[27] Charlotte retained her championship against Banks at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution on December 11,[28] and in rematches that took place on the December 25[29] and the January 21, 2015 episodes of NXT, respectively.[30] At NXT TakeOver: Rival, Charlotte lost the championship to Banks in a fatal four-way match that also involved Bayley and Becky Lynch, ending her reign at 258 days.[31] She failed to regain the championship in a rematch against Banks that took place on the March 4 episode of NXT.[32]

At NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable on May 20, Charlotte teamed up with Bayley to defeat Emma and Dana Brooke.[33] After defeating Emma and Brooke again on the July 8 episode of NXT, this time teaming with her rival Sasha Banks, Charlotte challenged Banks to an NXT Women's Championship match, which Banks accepted.[34] They had their championship match the following week on the July 15 episode of NXT, in which Banks retained the championship. Afterwards, the two shared a hug and Banks raised Charlotte's hand as a sign of respect.[35]

Championship reigns (2015–present)[edit]

See also: Team PCB

Charlotte made her official debut on the main roster on the July 13, 2015 episode of Raw along with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, after Stephanie McMahon called for a "revolution" in the WWE Divas division and while Charlotte and Lynch allied with Paige, who was feuding with Team Bella (Alicia Fox and Brie and Nikki Bella), Banks allied with Tamina and Naomi and a brawl between the three teams started.[36] The trio of Charlotte, Lynch and Paige, which was originally dubbed the "Submission Sorority", was renamed to "Team PCB", after the first–name initials of each wrestler.[37] In her pay-per-view debut, on July 19 at Battleground, Charlotte defeated Banks and Brie Bella in a triple–threat match.[38][39][40] The three teams would ultimately face off at SummerSlam in a three team elimination match, which PCB won after Lynch pinned Brie Bella.[41]

On the August 31 episode of Raw, Charlotte overcame fellow PCB members' records in the first ever "Divas Beat the Clock challenge", and was named the new number one contender to Nikki Bella's Divas Championship.[42] Her title match with Nikki, initially advertised for Night of Champions,[43] took place on the September 14 episode of Raw, so Charlotte could stop Bella from surpassing AJ Lee's record and becoming the new longest–reigning Divas Champion.[44] Charlotte won the match by disqualification, but not the title, since Brie and Nikki switched places and Charlotte pinned Brie.[45] On September 20, at Night of Champions, Charlotte received a rematch, where she defeated Nikki to win the Divas Championship for the first time.[46] During Charlotte's celebration, the following night on Raw, Paige cut a worked shoot promo and turned on her partners, berating them and the Divas division.[47] Throughout October, Paige appeared to have reconciled with Lynch and Charlotte,[48][49] only to attack them and solidify her heel turn,[50] the night after Charlotte successfully retained her championship against Nikki Bella at Hell in a Cell.[51] Charlotte successfully defended her title against Paige, on three different occasions, at Survivor Series, on November 22,[52][53][54][55][56] in a rematch, the following night on Raw,[57] and at TLC, on December 13.[58]

On the November 30 episode of Raw, Charlotte began displaying villainous traits, after defeating Becky Lynch by feigning a leg injury, followed by a distraction provided by her father.[59] Throughout December, the relationship between Charlotte and Lynch continued to strain,[60][61][62][63][64] and after losing to her on the January 4, 2016 episode Raw, Charlotte attacked her and solidified her heel turn.[65][66] Charlotte successfully retained the Divas Championship against Lynch, with help from her father, three days later on SmackDown,[67] and at the Royal Rumble on January 24.[68] On the February 1 episode of Raw, after Charlotte lost to Brie Bella in a non–title match,[69] the two competed again at Fastlane, on February 21, where Charlotte once again prevailed.[70] She also retained the title against Natalya at Roadblock, on March 12.[71] Reanimating her rivalry with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, both women went on to compete in two matches to determine the number one contender for Charlotte's WWE Divas Championship at WrestleMania 32,[72] with the first bout ending as a no contest, after a double pin occurred,[73] and the second as well, after both Banks and Lynch were attacked by Charlotte.[74] As a result, a triple threat match between Banks, Lynch and Charlotte for the Divas Championship was scheduled for WrestleMania.[75][76] At the event, after it was announced during transmission that the Divas Championship would be replaced with the new Women's Championship,[77] with all three women competing for it in the triple threat match, in which she defeated Lynch and Banks, with help of her father, to become the inaugural champion at her WrestleMania in-ring début.[78][79]

After being confronted by Natalya during Charlotte's championship celebration the following night,[80] Charlotte made her first successful title defense against her on the April 11 episode of Raw.[81] On the April 18 episode of Raw, Charlotte was confronted by Natalya during an interview where Natalya revealed that Shane McMahon had booked them in a rematch for the Women's Championship at Payback and that her uncle Bret Hart would be at her corner.[82] At the event, she defeated Natalya after match referee Charles Robinson, ended the match as Charlotte held Natalya in the Sharpshooter submission hold, Natalya's signature finishing move, even though she had not submitted making reference to the infamous "shoot screwjob" the Montreal Screwjob. After the match, both Natalya and Hart applied their finishing maneuver the "Sharpshooter" on Charlotte and Ric Flair.[83] The following month at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Charlotte once again retained her title against Natalya in a submission match in which Ric Flair was banned from ringside, however, she was helped by Dana Brooke while dressed as Flair to provide a distraction on her.[84] The following night on Raw, Charlotte turned on her father by claiming he was no longer needed, and aligned herself with Dana Brooke.[85] At Money in the Bank on June 19, Charlotte and Brooke defeated Natalya and Becky Lynch.[86] After being defeated by Paige on two occasions, she was granted a title match on the June 20 episode of Raw, where she successfully retain her title with help of Brooke, and would be attacked by her and Dana post-match, before being saved by Sasha Banks and reignite their feud,[87] this led to a tag team match the following week on the June 27 episode of Raw, where Paige and Banks scored the victory.[88] Followed by multiple attacks and matches between Brooke and Banks,[89][90][91] it was announced that they would face off in a tag team match on July 24 at Battleground.[92] On July 19, at the 2016 WWE Draft, Charlotte was drafted to Raw in the first round of draft picks, being the first women's draft pick overall.[93]

Other media[edit]

Fliehr appeared in the January 2016 issue of Muscle & Fitness.[94]

Personal life[edit]

Fliehr was married to Thomas Latimer, a fellow wrestler better known by his ring name Bram, in 2013.[95] Their divorce was finalized on October 29, 2015, in the state of Florida.[96]

Fliehr was arrested on September 5, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for assaulting a police officer after a fight involving Fliehr, her then–partner Riki Johnson, and her father. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which was suspended to supervised probation and a $200 fine.[97]

In wrestling[edit]

Charlotte is a one-time and final Divas Champion

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Charlotte posing with the WWE Women's Championship prematch

References[edit]

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