WWE: Charlotte Flair’s return would help, but she can’t fix everything

WWE, Charlotte Flair (Photo by Samantha Burkardt/Getty Images for SXSW)
WWE, Charlotte Flair (Photo by Samantha Burkardt/Getty Images for SXSW) /

WWE Raw is itching for the shot of star power that Charlotte Flair can single-handedly provide, but do not throw the full burden on her shoulders.

Charlotte Flair is perhaps the most unfairly criticized wrestler in the modern WWE. I can understand the frustrations shared by many fans who see up-and-coming star after up-and-coming star glossed over, whereas the Queen’s monarchy becomes increasingly solidified with each title reign. I get it, and I only need to refer to my own very poorly-aged opinion that Charlotte beating Rhea Ripley was not, in fact, a bad booking decision.

But it’s equally frustrating to see some fans target Charlotte as if she is the one making the decisions or booking the show. They direct their vitriol towards her, conveniently neglecting how she uses her platform to constantly uplift her colleagues in the WWE Women’s Division. She does as much as she can to help her co-workers, whereas the people responsible for helping the next generation of stars consistently fails. (I’m looking at you Triple “H Stands For Heel Turn”.)

So now to Charlotte and 2020. We miss her. She is one of the true stars in professional wrestling. Everyone knows her name, and when she has a big match, she delivers. Every single time. Raw is a weekly three-hour time sink that moves with the pace of a Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode match. It is screaming for wrestlers like Charlotte and Naomi to help boost it, especially since it might actually lead the company to put more time into the Raw Women’s Division, which should be the highlight of the show.

But that’s where we get to the issue. Charlotte’s return can do nothing but help. I am absolutely sure of that. What I fear, though, is people heaving a whole bunch of unrealistic expectations onto her. I can already see the takes on social media. Charlotte returns. WWE continues to book the likes of Mia Yim and Dana Brooke in short matches. No stars are made. Wrestlers lose for no reason. Charlotte is the center of the division and does her best but still gets criticized because “See? She’s the problem!”, when, in fact, the issue is the man upstairs (who thinks that he is indeed the actual “Man Upstairs”).

Maybe I’m too worried, but please forgive me. Years of partaking in the alternate reality we call “Wrestling Twitter” has taken its toll. Yet my worry stems from the reality of having seen the same tired takes on my timeline.

We can’t sit here and act as if Charlotte returning is going to magically fix the consistent booking issues on Raw. It’s not fair to her, because if the haphazard booking decisions from above that seem to happen on a whim continue, which I think they will, then making bold claims about her being the “only fix” will backfire.

The key is to use her star power to help get the division and the other stars in the division more time, because she has so much to offer the product, the viewers, and her colleagues with her in-ring talent and experience.

But WWE has to do a better job of booking the wrestlers in the Raw Women’s Division. How often have we seen Asuka in a meaningful title program since her storyline with Sasha Banks and Bayley concluded? It’s been frustrating to see how little respect the Raw Women’s Champion is afforded in a division with the likes of Shayna Baszler, Mia Yim, Alexa Bliss, Mandy Rose, and Peyton Royce. There are a lot of notable names and capable wrestlers here, and it’s on WWE for not doing enough with them. (Please tell me why Royce is back in a tag team and there was no follow-up to her eliminating Bayley?)

Next. Stipulation matches in WWE have lost their value. dark

I very much look forward to Charlotte’s return, no matter her character or role in the division. It would make sense to have her immediately return to the main event scene because of her talent and reputation. Again, she will benefit everyone else. But let’s be careful with our expectations and how much of the show’s success we specifically put on one person, because the problems on Raw run much deeper than that. WWE is seriously missing out on the opportunity to create an engaging show around the Raw Women’s Division and tell some awesome stories. I hope Charlotte can be the catalyst, but let’s not set her up as a solitary savior just to gleefully tap our fingers on our phone screens if that doesn’t work out.