There have been plenty of instances where WWE superstars would be booked to lose in their hometown. Based on the logic of Vince McMahon, the feeling is that it draws more heat for the heel, in order to set up a bigger payoff. However, sometimes the hometown crowd is best to please, as they can leave with fond memories to recall in the future. This occurred on the recent episode of SmackDown Live, as Charlotte won her first SmackDown Live Women’s Championship.
One year ago this month, Charlotte was in a very different position than she was on SmackDown Live. Being one of the biggest heels on Raw, she was involved in a bitter rivalry with Sasha Banks. The two spent months exchanging the Raw Women’s Championship, and found themselves competing in a Last Woman Standing match on the November 28th, 2016 episode in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte would lose that match to Banks in front of her hometown audience.
This time, though, was much different. On top of potentially having the honor of defending SmackDown Live at Survivor Series, Charlotte received a hero’s welcome as she “walked that aisle” to face Natalya for the title. In the end, Charlotte would win, and will face Alexa Bliss this Sunday in Houston.
What happened after the match was even more poignant. As Charlotte was walking up the ramp, her father’s music hits, and Ric Flair walks out to congratulate her. The two embraced, and the crowd joined them in the emotional moment.
When interviewed backstage following the match, Charlotte admitted that she did not know Ric was going to appear. Ric added that this has only been the third time he has been out since the health scare, and he makes it a priority to attend Charlotte’s big matches. Charlotte stated that after all they have been through together, it feels good to know that everything turned out okay in the end, and she took home the title.
You can view the full interview below.
— WWE (@WWE) November 15, 2017
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