Charlotte Flair at the age of 33, is already a 10-time WWE world champion. She is a second-generation professional wrestler, who made her WWE main roster debut five years ago. Known by the nickname 'The Queen', Flair has proved her in-ring acumen over the years. The wrestling royalty walked out of the shadow of her father Ric Flair and went on the justify her sobriquet.
CNN-News18 had a chance to catch up with Charlotte during her 3-day visit to India. Here's an excerpt from the interview where she talks about the rise of women's wrestling, 'The Man' Becky Lynch and her relationship with WWE Superstar Andrade among other things.
Question: This is your second time here in India. How does it feel to come back?
Answer: Well, I'm honored to be here but what's crazy is that it feels like yesterday, although it has been 3 years and how much I've changed, the industry has changed, how much the women's division has achieved but also the warm welcome that I received. I definitely feel like my presence is more known here. I got the feel how excited everyone was.
Question: You joined the main roster some 5 years back and that was around the same time #GiveDivasAChance movement started. Since then a lot has happened for female wrestlers. Personally, for you, you headlined WrestleMania, Hell In A Cell and then there was Evolution. That must feel brilliant?
Answer: Yes, the last time I was here (India), I was the Divas Champion. I wrestled Summer Rae. It feels great but you know sometimes I don't think I take the time to really reflect on, what has happened. Like, I made it to the WrestleMania, that happened, but it still hasn't sunk in. People ask me to take the time to appreciate what's happening. I'm sure 10 years down the road, I'll be like, 'Oh! I did that.' But to have the opportunity to talk about WWE's brand and come to India and reflect on the history that I've made with the women in the division and what women's wrestling means to me and to the WWE Universe as a whole, there's nothing that I love doing more. Actually, being here and interacting with fans feels awesome.
Question: As WWE superstar wherever you go, you are worshipped as superheroes, especially by the kids. How does that feel?
Answer: I feel like a superhero when I'm in the ring. But while casually walking from the gym to my room, I'm not like, 'Yes, I feel like a superhero.' You forget that sometimes how much you mean to people but like meeting the contest winners and certain individuals here, all of them telling me 'I'm such a huge fan.' You never want to take that for granted.
Question: In these 5 years you have gone on to become the most successful female wrestler with 10 championship titles, now if someone were to ask the best moment so far, what would that be?
Answer: It's so hard to pick one fight because every talent brings out something different. Like when I faced Becky in Evolution it was different from when I was up against Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. It was again different when I faced Sasha Banks at Hell in A Cell. Every fight is so different for me, I think that's what keeps me always in the picture because I'm able to adjust depending on the storyline. But I think the most pressure I've had in any fight was wrestling Asuka at WrestleMania 34 because she didn't have anything to prove and I felt like this was my one opportunity to show what I'm made of and I'd had many history-making moments before that, but that was a defining moment in my career.
Question: There are rumours that you are going to team up with Becky Lynch against the Kabuki Warriors at the TLC. What do you have to say about that?
Answer: How do you feel about that? You don't think Becky and I make better enemies? You know, it's one of those things when it comes to Becky, we will come together to face a common enemy. The enemy, for instance, the Kabuki Warriors. If we have to get along for those 20 minutes, I think we can make that happen.
Question: We have seen storylines where you and Becky have been friends and then turned into fierce rivals. What is your relationship with her in real life?
Answer: I just couldn't be more proud of her. She deserves everything and more and to see her rise to the top the way she has and be the face of the company, I'm so proud of her.
Question: India is known for its spicy food and peppy music, have you had the chance to try either of those?
Answer: Yes, yesterday I had a real lunch and I just kept thinking I can't eat all these carbs. I have to be on Raw on Monday, but the food is delicious, it really is and believe it or not, I love the spices. I love spicy food, my boyfriend (Andrade), who I'm not shy to talk about, is Mexican and he is so intrigued and loves the fact that I love spicy food.
Question: Now let's talk a bit about you and Andrade. What do you guys talk about when you get home? Do you guys still talk shop?
Answer: What do we talk about? Oh, what do we not talk about! You know, what's so special is having someone with you that understands what you do. His grandfather was a wrestler, his dad was a wrestler, his uncles are wrestlers. Being in the industry, liking the same things, understanding the pressure, understanding the travel. But the one thing that he has been able to do I felt like when we met, I was kind of going through a rougher time in my career I just ended the rivalry with Becky and I felt like I had lost that confidence in the ring and that's one thing that he has been able to do is bring out a different level of confidence inside the ring. We both try to teach each other things, I mean he knows everything there is to know about wrestling but little nuances or camera work or you know, just being a star. I mean he is a star in his own right, but we just come from such different backgrounds but at the same time it's very much similar. So, we're able to help each other that way.
Question: Survivor Series is the next big Pay-per-view event for WWE and this is the first time that NXT will be a part of it. Since you yourself came through the ranks of NXT, how big is this for that roster?
Answer: Oh, it's huge! It's an opportunity for the male and female talents to make a name for themselves. Yes, all of them have made, I mean the current roster who is actively on NXT, but this is another opportunity for them to stand out and make a name for themselves.