Following the UK performance centre opening in North London, WWE superstar Charlotte Flair has outlined the importance of the state-of-the-art facility in Orlando had in shaping her as a performer.
Despite her dad being two-time Hall of Famer and 16-time world champion Ric Flair, The Genetically Superior Athlete barely knew anything about the business when she was signed to WWE’s developmental system.
But Charlotte has since grown to become one of the most gifted in-ring talents in the company and one of the top stars.
And crucially, having been part of the very first class at the performance centre, she was made down in NXT.
“Truly that’s why I am here celebrating today because I am NXT homegrown,” Charlotte told SPORTbible.
“I know my dad’s Ric Flair but when I showed up at FCW/NXT, I didn’t know anything about wrestling – I didn’t watch it, I didn’t study it, I didn’t know the history of it – I just knew I liked my dad and he was a wrestler.
“If you take a clean slate like me, even though I played division one volleyball, the performance centre molded me. Yes, I had the last name but I wasn’t allowed to woo, I wasn’t allowed to chop and I couldn’t do the figure four.
“I couldn’t do anything like my dad, and I think they were like, ‘Wow she’s got the it factor, maybe she can carry the name’.
“They’ve molded a professional wrestler from nothing is how I look at it.”
In a huge announcement on Friday morning, WWE announced the opening of the first performance centre outside of the United States.
The 17,000 square feet facility, which will be used regularly by more than 30 of the European talent signed to the NXT UK brand, has two training rings, world-class strength and conditioning equipment and versatile content creation infrastructure.
And though it’s not always nice and rosy, the seven-time women’s champion urged the next crop of NXT UK talent to utilise all the tools and resources available to them.
“I still think regardless of the performance centre, it’s hard to make it to Raw or Smackdown,” Charlotte added.
“I do think it’s easier to get noticed but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get called up.They [the NXT UK up and coming talents] are just going to have to make a lot of sacrifices.
“This is something that you have to think about 24/7 and it can be monotonous day in, day out – but you’ll get your break, there will come a day.
“And when you have that moment, just utilise every opportunity from the strength coach, to the promo class, to the extra time because every little bit counts.”
As well as the physical aspects, there is space for performance analysis at the new facility – with matches loaded on a USB stick and put on the big screen for all to see and dissect.
For Charlotte, someone who is always striving for improvement, it’s a highly useful and helpful exercise.
“I talked to my dad about this because he never watched his matches back, so I go, ‘Well I wonder why it’s so beneficial for me’ because I kind of take everything he says to heart,” the 32-year old admitted.
“But I can still critique every moment in my match, whether it helps me get better or if it’s just learning as you go along. I think it’s very helpful, especially because the performance centre has all the technology to do that – even with your promos that you can watch back.”
Charlotte will be in attendance to “feel the vibe” for NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool on Saturday night but is confident one of the big 12 pay-per-views will emanate from these shores in the near future.
“I think so, 100 per cent,” she said. [It has to be] the right story, why are we going to the UK – but I definitely see it in the future.”
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