Tuesday was an emotional day for the Flair family. Charlotte Flair, with her hometown crowd of Charlotte, North Carolina, behind her, defeated Natalya on 'Smackdown Live' to become the Smackdown Live Women's Champion. She celebrated her victory at the top of the stage with her father Ric Flair, making his first appearance on WWE television since he was rushed to the hospital for a life-threatening health crisis back in August.
But before all of that, Charlotte released a story on The Players' Tribune titled "Letter to My Dad." In the story she recalled the most challenging times of her wrestling career, and how Ric was there for her every step of the way.
Charlotte opened up with how challenging it was to be in the NXT developmental system while being the daughter of a 16-time world champion and two-time WWE Hall of Famer.
"Do I 'woo' or not 'woo'? If yes, how many times? If not, what should I do instead?" Charlotte wrote. "I knew that I had a lot of work to do in developing this persona, so I used my athleticism to my advantage in the meantime. Every week kept getting more intense. I had to learn the basics very quickly, or else — regardless of what my last name was — I wouldn't make it anywhere. I'd never been more nervous doing anything in my entire life."
She said she found comfort in her athletic ability, something Ric pushed her into while growing up.
"All those years making me see a trainer, never missing a practice, and attending camps before summer vacation was paying off," Charlotte wrote. "It's like you were grooming me since day one. I didn't realize it at the time, but you were there for me every step of the way."
She went on to describe sitting in the arena for NXT TakeOver: Arrival alongside Ric and her winning the NXT Women's Championship with him at ringside months later.
But the most important advice Ric gave Charlotte came after the 2015 Survivor Series. That night Charlotte defeated Paige to retain the Divas Championship, but she was upset that so many of the fans were booing her despite being a babyface.
She called Ric, panicking over how the match went.
"'But didn't you see the match? Dad — they hate me! They're booing! I'm supposed to be the good guy! Why can't the fans see how hard I've worked? Do they think I'm not good enough? Not pretty enough? Not … Flair enough?'" Finally I had said what I was afraid of, most of all. I was afraid that I couldn't carry on our last name."
But Ric's response was just what she needed to hear.0comments
"'You're getting a reaction — that's all that matters.'"
You can read Charlotte's full letter here.