Now the second time NXT Women's Champion, Charlotte Flair admits that her competitors have been the best that WWE has to offer. When comparing the women's division on NXT to Raw and SmackDown's, Charlotte believes that she has to go above and beyond more so than ever before.
"I wouldn't necessarily say refreshing. I almost find it more challenging," Charlotte answered on WWE's The Bump. "You have this fresh crop of girls, who have nothing to lose, and everything to prove. They're ready, and they're hungry. They always say that it's harder to stay at the top. I've gotten to the top up-down, up-down. Now, can I keep up? It's almost like a competition where I'm testing myself like I still got it. But, it's been amazing to be part of what they're continuing to do with NXT."
Charlotte noted that in her career, facing Rhea Ripley for the Championship is one that will be etched in her greatest matches book. However, she found it to be a bit challenging how this year's WrestleMania 36 was set up, especially since there wasn't a live audience to cheer or boo her victory.
"I think for me, it was taking the challenge of not having an audience, and looking at it as an opportunity to say hey, I'm one of the best performers in the company, and I don't need an audience," Charlotte stated. "I was also thinking ok if this goes bad, there's only one person to blame, and that's me. I felt so much pressure.
"It's hard to rank the moments when they're so special and different. I couldn't be more proud of Rhea. I'm still the Queen [though]. But, she brought the fight to me. Yeah, I did exactly what I wanted to do - you don't need an audience. I wanted people to absolutely forget that there was no one there, and I think that's what we were able to accomplish."
As announced last week, NXT TakeOver: In Your House will premiere on June 7th, on the WWE Network. When looking at who she would like to defend her Championship against, Charlotte ran off a few names before saying that she just wants to make it an open challenge to any and all female NXT Superstars.
"Hm, definitely Io [Shirai]," Charlotte pondered. "Rhea needs to wait in line. Candice LeRae, I've had my eye on her. It's almost like an open challenge. I challenge everyone, bring it!"
Looking back at her accolades, Charlotte has done it all. Though she has held every women's championship in WWE (minus the Women's Tag Team Championships), she believes that if she hadn't won the NXT Women's Championship back in 2014, she wouldn't be where she is today.
"I don't feel more connected. It's just sense of pride," Charlotte noted. "It's what put me on the map, to begin with, and it allowed people to go ok, she's really here to work hard. She's not going to ride her dad's coattails. If that moment never happened, I'm not sure I'd be where I am today.
"Especially, if you look at the talent as a whole in the company, I don't know how many you could say are NXT homegrown that are successful as I've been. That means a lot to me."
You can watch Charlotte Flair's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE's The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.