In an appearance on the latest episode of The Steve Austin Show, Ric Flair discussed several topics, including his recent health problems and relationships with Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, and Ricky Steamboat. The conversation then turned to his daughter Charlotte‘s career. Austin first asked Flair if he ever thought women’s wrestling would come this far, when in his day it was viewed as “an attraction” similar to little people wrestling. Flair said,
“In the time I started, they were just an attraction, and what’s become public now is they were whooped by Moolah… and then the girls were being underpaid and being treated horribly. It was not a good deal. And of course, nobody said anything back then because you didn’t get involved. They did their thing, but whatever we were doing it was twice as hard on them because they weren’t being paid anywhere near what they were worth.”
He praised the work for Sherri Martel and Stephanie McMahon in the industry, and gave Evolution a very old school wrestler compliment, “Long Island can be a tough crowd, and they were there for every minute of it.” (Austin added, “As a babyface, you never want to make a comeback in Long Island. You just don’t.”)
Austin asked Flair what goes through his mind, as the “greatest of all time,” when he sees his daughter working in the ring.
“I’m overwhelmed by it, Steve. Number one, I had no doubt that given the opportunity, which, you know, it all depends on how the ball bounces sometimes… she’d be good at it. But she is to the point now that she is like she was when she was competing in high school and college. She can’t stand not being the best, does that make sense?”
Stone Cold observed that some second-generation wrestlers struggle to get out of the shadow of their parent, but he feels Charlotte out of her father’s shadow, and the Nature Boy agreed.
“I think she is starting to understand she is making her own name… She went through so much. I wish for anyone that asked me that question or what I think about your son or daughter going into this business, it’s terrible for them. They made life miserable for her, and she wasn’t ready for that. She was ready to be just who she is…
She’s built her own brand. And I’m not saying this because I am proud of her, but I’m saying it because number one she’s that good. Number two, she’s made herself unique. I wish I could tell you I was the athlete in any time of my life that she is. I wasn’t, and very few people are. She’s got a gift, and she’s found her niche… I mean, right now, she’s driving to some town and she’s thinking about her match tonight. And sometimes I wish she would take it easy and relax…
She’s definitely out of my shadow and doing her own thing, and I think everybody recognizes that. I mean, to say I was a great wrestler, you know… I was a three-way gimmick. Could I work? Yes, but I didn’t have to do… I don’t know that I could do a moonsault… but now, you’ll go to a show, they’ll have three people doing moonsaults in the same show. But that’s the business, and who am I to say anything?”
After saying he loved both of Charlotte’s recent matches with Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey, Austin asked Flair his opinion on his daughter’s recent high-profile work.
“I loved them both for different reasons, but I really loved the one with Ronda because from the start, and I say this about Roman – Roman Reigns may not be able to beat Brock Lesnar, but he’s not afraid of him… which is important. If you’re going in the ring with a guy you’re relatively afraid of or don’t trust… I actually think that from the start of the match, people could feel Ashley wasn’t afraid of Ronda.”