Charlotte Flair challenged WWE SmackDown women's champion Natalya for the title on Tuesday night in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. While the fans got what they might have expected during the match, it was what happened afterward that left them shocked.
As we had reported on Tuesday afternoon, the odds were that Charlotte was going to capture the title. That ended up being true, as Charlotte forced Natalya to submit via the Figure Eight. The victory means that Charlotte has now captured every female championship in WWE: the NXT women's title, the former WWE Diva's title, the RAW women's title, and the SmackDown women's title. She is the only woman to ever do so.
The match itself was solid in the ring, what you would expect from two of the most technically sound female performers on the roster. Charlotte started the match on the aggressive, with the announcers pointing out that she had dedicated the match to her father earlier in the day via a video posted to social media.
Natalya was able to fight back, especially after using the ring post on the outside to her advantage. She locked in the Sharpshooter and it looked like she might be victorious, but after a couple attempts, Charlotte was able to reach the ropes for the break.
It wasn't long afterwards that Charlotte locked in the Figure Eight and the bell rang following Natalya's submission.
Following her win, Charlotte got on the microphone and thanked her hometown fans. She talked about how her family has faced some tough times of late and noted that everyone here in their hometown has seen all of her family's ups and downs. She said that she knew her dad couldn't be there tonight but was expecting to check her phone once she got to the back and see a nice text message from him. Lastly, she noted this title win was for Ric and exited the ring.
As Charlotte made her way up the ramp, her music cut and Ric Flair's music started up. After a couple of seconds of mystery, out walked the Nature Boy himself, his first appearance on WWE television since his serious health scare this summer.
Ric looked great and this was a touching, memorable television moment that won't soon be forgotten.
Charlotte will now go on to face RAW women's champion Alexa Bliss at Survivor Series in what should be a fantastic match.