Charlotte Flair Needs Heel Turn to Save Title Run After Retaining vs. Ruby Riott

Charlotte Flair retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Ruby Riott at WWE Fastlane on Sunday night, but The Queen is in dire need of a character change in order to liven up her title run.

Charlotte retained after spearing Riott and locking on the Figure-Eight Leglock. The referee had ejected Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, so the members of The Riott Squad were unable to come to their leader’s aid. That left Riott with little choice but to tap out.

WWE

THE QUEEN continues to reign as @MsCharlotteWWE retains the #SDLive #WomensTitle! #WWEFastlane https://t.co/YDTOo42XBD

Although Charlotte has held the SmackDown Women’s Championship since November, her reign has left something to be desired.

Part of the issue was the fact that she and Raw women’s champion Alexa Bliss weren’t involved in the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble match, which meant there wasn’t much emphasis placed on her title.

An even bigger problem, however, is that Charlotte has been stuck in a role that doesn’t play to her strengths from a character or in-ring perspective.

Charlotte largely rose to prominence as a heel with her father, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, by her side.

While she came up to the main roster from NXT as a face and first won the Divas Championship as a face, she reached another level once she embraced a villainous persona.

Because of her pedigree and overall skill set, Charlotte is a natural heel who all other women on the SmackDown roster should be chasing.

Over the past several weeks, Flair has been embroiled in a feud with The Riott Squad, as Riott, Logan and Morgan have attempted to overwhelm her through the numbers advantage.

After a few weeks of that working in The Riott Squad’s favor, Becky Lynch and Naomi stepped up to help Charlotte stave them off.

While the story of The Riott Squad ganging up to take down the bigger and stronger Flair makes sense, it’s difficult to build sympathy for someone with the physical gifts Charlotte possesses.

She is also far better on the mic when she is a heel since it allows her to be cocky and put her "better-than-you" attitude on full display.

The fact that Charlotte is hugely popular plays a role in why she is a face, but there are far more intriguing feud options available to her as a heel, including women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka and best friend Becky Lynch.

It looks like Asuka is changing brands in order to challenge Charlotte. The Raw star showed up at Fastlane after Charlotte’s win and confronted the champion before pointing to the WrestleMania 34 sign:

WWE

SHE’S MADE HER DECISION. The first-ever Women’s #RoyalRumble match winner @WWEAsuka wants @MsCharlotteWWE at @WrestleMania! #WWEFastlane https://t.co/aBXpfVFyFF

Asuka didn’t utter a word, but her actions certainly indicate she’s using her title opportunity to wrestle Charlotte.

Because of her athleticism, ability and link to a wrestling legend, Charlotte has the ability to be a massive crossover star and perhaps the biggest star in the history of women’s wrestling.

Her best path to getting there is by making moments and memories as a marquee performer; however, that hasn’t happened much since she made the move from Raw to SmackDown.

With WrestleMania on the horizon and the SmackDown Women’s Championship still in her possession, the time is perfect for Charlotte to turn heel and return to her comfort zone ahead of the biggest match of the year.

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