Ronda Rousey to WWE? Get in line, says SmackDown ‘Queen’ Charlotte Flair on Shenzhen trip
UFC legend is reportedly in training for a switch to professional wrestling and five-time champion Flair is eyeing a marquee match
Ronda Rousey was once the queen of mixed martial arts but if she is indeed training for a career in professional wrestling then she may find the throne there is already taken.
“I would tell her to get in line,” WWE superstar Charlotte Flair told the Post with a laugh, during a trip to promote WWE’s upcoming live event at the Shenzhen Civic Centre on September 17.
Flair, a five-time champion, is one of the pioneers of women’s professional wrestling in WWE and accordingly goes by the nickname ‘Queen’.
And she is relishing the thought of a potential marquee match against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) legend Rousey, who is reportedly taking her first steps towards a planned switch to the wrestling ring from the octagon.
“Ronda wouldn’t be my dream opponent, but if WWE was something she would want to consider, I would definitely want to be her first competitor,” Flair added.
Former bantamweight champion Rousey has not fought in the UFC since a first-round loss to Amanda Nunes last December and she sat ringside at Full Sail University in Florida for the taping of WWE’s “Mae Young Classic” in July.
She cheered on her best friend and former UFC fighter Shayna Baszler, who is competing in the all-female tournament which debuts on the WWE Network on August 28.
Also supporting Baszler were Invcita MMA fighters Jessamyn Duke – formerly with UFC – and Marina Shafir, who is engaged to WWE star Roderick Strong.
Baszler christened their group the “Four Horsewomen” three years ago, a nod to pro wrestling’s iconic “Four Horsemen” faction of the 1980s, which featured Charlotte’s father Ric Flair, a 16-time former world champion.
However, Flair is part of her very own “Four Horsewomen” in WWE, along with fellow female stars Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch, who all came through the company’s NXT developmental brand and popularised women’s wrestling on the main roster.
An angle was teased at the Mae Young Classic taping, with the two groups taunting each other.
“We’re the real four horsewomen – I have the lineage!” Flair told the Post.
She added: “I think it’s great, with us being a sports entertainment company, being able to highlight crossover performers is exciting.
“Honestly, it just draws more attention to the women as a whole. Anything that shines a positive light on women’s wrestling, and how popular it is today, is great.”
As for a potential match between the two “Horsewomen” factions down the road?
“They don’t stand a chance,” Flair said.
It has been a year of upheaval for her, having switched brands from WWE’s flagship television show “Raw” – where she dominated the women’s title scene – to “SmackDown Live” in April.
“From a business standpoint, it was a difficult but challenging transition,” she said. “But a good challenge, because now I’m playing a different role.
“I went from a villain to a good guy. I want to be the best good guy I can be. It just allows my character to have more layers.
“I find that the character is evolving even more, allowing the audience to see a lighter side. The first two years on Raw I was so serious all the time.”
Flair’s move to SmackDown also reunited her with fellow “Horsewoman” Lynch.
“I’m actually with my best friend now, on camera and in real life,” she said. “Travelling the world and working with Becky is amazing.”
They have only faced off once before in WWE, for the women’s title at the 2016 Royal Rumble, but Flair is anticipating a rematch.
“We were just touching the surface at the time, getting into our characters and getting adjusted in WWE,” she said.
“Knowing what we know now – the confidence, the ring presence, the psychology, just all of it – that is definitely a dream match.”