WWE Leaving Door Open for Charlotte as Face or Heel


Despite fighting on the side of good at this Sunday’s Backlash pay-per-view, Charlotte Flair could go in a number of directions following the event.

Long the dominant heel champion on Raw, Charlotte Flair’s arrogant persona has translated to SmackDown. And despite teaming with Becky Lynch and Naomi to take on “The Welcoming Committee”, she continues to display some of her heel traits.

From holding back Naomi on SmackDown in London last week to making it clear she’s not finished pursuing the Women’s Championship, Flair is far from the prototypical babyface.

It’s smart. It would have been jarring for Charlotte to make a sudden change from a confident, cocky heel into a smiling babyface who panders to the crowd. Her character has barely changed since arriving on SmackDown as part of the Superstar Shakeup, she’s just now fighting against the heels.

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AJ Styles made a similar turn after WrestleMania. Compare heel Styles to face Styles and you’ll notice only subtle changes. He’s still arrogant and claims SmackDown is the “house AJ Styles built”.

Most notably is the fact he’s not afraid to bash other babyfaces. After Chris Jericho won the United States Championship at Payback, Styles told him two nights later on SmackDown: “Nothing would please me more than to take that United States Championship away from you at Backlash. That is, if you’re still champion at the end of the night.” He briefly acted almost heelish, as opposed to taking a more respectful manner other babyfaces would have done.

Styles’ character hasn’t changed much over the past month, only subtly, but he’s seamlessly made the transition from bad to good. Charlotte can do the same.

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If Charlotte’s future is as a good guy, she can take a similar approach. Flair can still be “The Queen”, she can still prefer to work by herself and chase championships. She wouldn’t need to pander to the crowd or make any major tweaks to her character. Instead, Charlotte would just fight against other heels while being portrayed as a hero.

Alternatively, Flair could use Sunday’s six-women tag team match as a way of turning on her partners, showing she wants no part of any alliance and wants to chase the Women’s title on her own. It doesn’t mean Charlotte would suddenly need to team up with “The Welcoming Committee”, but instead continues on her own path as cocky, over-confident heel the fans love to boo.

The WWE has done a good job of staying true to Charlotte’s character. While she’s willing to team up with Lynch and Naomi in order to take down the trio that cost her a shot at the SmackDown Women’s Championship, she hasn’t forgotten the fact she’s still in line for a title rematch.

Charlotte never takes her eyes off of the title. The Queen isn’t satisfied until she’s on top of the Women’s division, and this vision doesn’t change no matter whether she’s a heel or babyface.

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The future of the four-time Raw Women’s Champion is fascinating. The WWE has opened up a number of doors for Backlash and beyond. Will Flair turn on her partners, or will she make a full transition to the side of good heading towards Money in the Bank next month?

The Queen’s next move is unpredictable, and it makes for one of the most intriguing stories on SmackDown Live.