Free from self-doubt, Charlotte Flair hungry to make SmackDown women’s title ‘mean more’ at WrestleMania 39

Charlotte Flair is the most accomplished women’s superstar in WWE history and could statistically eclipse every superstar in WWE history before it’s said and done. Flair enters WrestleMania 39 as a 14-time women’s champion — two short of the 16-time men’s world title reign record shared by her father Ric Flair and John Cena — but she is not complacent.

Flair returned to WWE programming in December following a seven-month layoff. She pinned Ronda Rousey, the last person to beat her, in Flair’s first match back to start another reign as SmackDown women’s champion. It was the latest milestone in a career full of them. The second-generation superstar’s unmatched 14 stints as women’s champion are compromised of seven SmackDown women’s titles and six Raw women’s titles, of which she is also the inaugural titleholder, plus a reign as the final WWE Diva’s champion. Flair is also one of only two superstars in history to have two separate reigns as WWE NXT champion.

Such a high degree of success can sometimes generate apathy among the fanbase. It’s happened to many surefire WWE Hall of Famers, from Cena to Roman Reigns. Flair’s last few title reigns have not set the world on fire, but she is more motivated than ever to elevate the title she proudly carries. The new creative direction of WWE, spearheaded by Paul Levesque (Triple H), has the gears turning in Flair’s head about how to make reign No. 14 stand out from the rest.

“Yes it does,” Flair told CBS Sports ahead of the March 26 A&E premiere of her “Biography: WWE Legends” episode. “I consciously think of how to make this better or how to make having the title mean more.”

Check out the full interview with Charlotte Flair below.

Flair has an appropriate dance partner in 2023 Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley. The foes will face off at WrestleMania 39, the biggest annual event in professional wrestling, on the first weekend of April. Flair enters the grand showcase motivated but unincumbered by the nervousness that sometimes overwhelmed her in the past.

“It’s not what I feel like I need to prove [anymore]. I’m just being Charlotte,” Flair said. “Whether that’s good or bad, whether you like me, don’t like me, whether you just respect me. I’m here for them. Now getting that opportunity to high-five every single kid in the front row and not focus on being old school and walking into the arena as the bad guy and leaving as the bad guy. It’s just it’s been extremely rewarding.”

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