Charlotte Flair made her triumphant return at WWE TLC, pairing with frequent foe Asuka to capture the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles from incumbent champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.
Having been a consistent presence on WWE television in recent years, and wrestling almost exclusively at a championship level, the multiple time champion took a leave of absence in June 2020.
In the latest in the WWE network’s ‘A Day Of’ series, Flair discussed the rationale behind her six month lay off and expressed the need for a reset:
It felt like hard times for the company – as talent, as individuals. But I was like, I need to go home. If I’m not going to do this now I’m never going to do it. When I left I felt so deflated, and it’s not because I wasn’t or didn’t feel creative, I just felt like I was at a standstill. I was working NXT, SmackDown, and RAW. I felt like I was doing the best work of my career, but I was not moving forward. I felt like, well am I letting the company down [because] I’m leaving? I’ve always been there. Regardless of how the fans view me as good or bad, so the last six months I just tried to think about when I do return, what does that look like and what do I want because I have done it all.
Prior to her departure, Flair was featured heavily across the board in WWE and perhaps understandably felt the need to remove herself from the equation for a period of time.
It’s a move that greatly benefited Flair’s fellow Horsewoman Sasha Banks, who herself took a five month hiatus from WWE programming back in 2019.
Speaking on the Mac Attack podcast shortly after her return to television, Banks expressed a similar sentiment to Flair on the rigors of a WWE career and the need for self care:
I’ve been doing this for 7 years straight. No breaks. People need to step back and re-evaluate their lives. Take care of their souls and their minds.
Elsewhere in the documentary, Flair described her refreshed outlook ahead of the next phase of her already glittering WWE career:
Yes, I’m satisfied with my career, but I need a new layer. I need a fresh start. This is my first time as a fresh start so yeah, maybe coming back and having fun versus [being] worried about the next day, worried about the next day. I don’t know, but at the same time, I’m like, I know when I lace up my boots how competitive I am. The only thing that’s changed is I’m able to be more in the moment and feel those nerves once I’m out there. Embrace it instead of [freezing].
Flair’s incredible WWE tenure has yielded a plethora of memorable moments, title reigns and noteworthy matches.
Her Women’s Tag Team Title win alongside Asuka makes them just the eighth team in history to have held the belts.