Charlotte Flair the PPV Queen: Ranking All 16 WWE PPV Victories

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2017

Charlotte Flair the PPV Queen: Ranking All 16 WWE PPV Victories

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    To say that Charlotte Flair's string of 16 straight pay-per-view victories in singles competition was impressive would be an understatement of massive proportions.

    A second-generation star bred for success between the ropes, she exploded on to the main roster in 2015 and wasted little time building her legacy in the same vein as her father, the legendary Ric Flair.

    His 16 world championships earned him the status as one of the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots. Her singles pay-per-view victory streak established her as the measuring stick in women's pro wrestling. The face of Raw's women's division, she has grown into the role of elite performer on Monday nights.

    During her two years on television, she has amassed a second-to-none PPV resume. She has made history and headlined pay-per-view events while winning championships and respect.

    At Fastlane on March 5, her streak came to a screeching halt, as Sasha Banks assisted Bayley in pinning her shoulders to the mat. Questionable timing aside, it was a major moment that WWE management did not properly set up or execute.

    In honor of her unprecedented win streak under the brightest lights, on the biggest stage and in the most significant championship clashes, relive every one of her victories, ranked from worst to best according to match quality and historic significance, with this exclusive countdown.

16. Survivor Series 2015: Charlotte Defeated Paige to Retain the Divas Title

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    A lack of spark severely hurt the Divas Championship match at Survivor Series in 2015.

    Paige, having faded into the background upon the arrival of NXT exports Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, had no believable shot at dethroning the new champion. She was a placeholder, bridging the gap between matches with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, both of whom were higher-profile stars.

    The match was lethargic and never evolved past that of something fans would see for free on television.

    The result?

    Arguably the most lackluster of Charlotte's pay-per-view bouts, it was the first hint that she needed an equally over opponent to generate the excitement and drama necessary to provide the quality of match fans expect out of her.

15. Battleground 2015: Charlotte Defeated Brie Bella and Sasha Banks

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    The first match of a three-team feud, Charlotte battled Brie Bella and Sasha Banks in a Triple Threat match at the Battleground pay-per-view in 2015.

    Hampered by the involvement of Bella, who was clearly the lesser of the three Superstars involved, the match never got past a thoroughly enjoyable television level. Given WWE's insistence on creating a Women's Revolution, booking a match that was not beneficial to the performers was a misstep on the part of WWE Creative.

    Late in the match, Banks appeared to be on her way to victory after putting The Bank Statement on Charlotte. A late save by Bella allowed the second-generation star to recover and trap Banks in The Figure Eight for the tapout win.

    It was the culmination of a mediocre match that demonstrated the talent of the competitors, even if the structure was not ideally suited to their abilities.

14.Hell in a Cell 2015: Charlotte Defeated Nikki Bella to Retain the Divas Title

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    Just weeks after Charlotte ended Nikki Bella's historic reign as Divas champion, she defended the title against the Total Divas star in singles competition.

    The match did not live up to the expectations set by their strong first battle, thanks primarily to a closing segment that made little sense.

    At one point, Charlotte trapped Bella in the Figure Four. The former champion fought to the ropes and grabbed them, forcing the break of the hold. From there, she neck-snapped Charlotte but, unfortunately, fell victim to The Figure Eight moments later and had no choice but to tap out.

    So why do the finish tease just minutes earlier if it's not going to build to anything memorable or significant?

    It felt unnecessarily elongated when Bella probably should have tapped to the initial submission hold rather than adding a spot just to lengthen the match by a few minutes.

13. TLC 2015: Charlotte Defeated Paige

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    Like the match at Survivor Series a month earlier, this was a match devoid of any real story or structure.

    Things just...happened.

    The lack of chemistry between Divas champion and Paige was on full display at the December 2015 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view. There was no discernible intrigue and a complete lack of drama. Paige was not going to win the match and derail Charlotte's momentum heading into 2016.

    Moves happened, near-falls were tallied and Charlotte cheated her way to victory after shoving Paige face-first into an exposed turnbuckle.

    The finish would suggest that Paige was supposed to continue as a top contender to Charlotte's title into January. Instead, she disappeared and the second-generation champion set her sights on Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks as WrestleMania season kicked into high gear.

    But more on those ladies in a bit.

12. Payback 2016: Charlotte Defeated Natalya

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    With Bret Hart at ringside for this Women's Championship between his niece Natalya and Charlotte, one had to suspect WWE Creative would try something stupid for the finish.

    It did not disappoint.

    Late in this lackluster match between two women who had put on vastly superior contests previously, Charlotte attempted to humiliate her opponent by forcing her to tap out to her own finishing maneuver, The Sharpshooter.

    Before the hold could even be executed properly, referee Charles Robinson called for the bell and the match ended prematurely. WWE had once again made a mockery of the Montreal Screwjob. A dejected Hart argued the outcome while Charlotte and father Ric Flair celebrated the "win."

    Had the match up to that point been even remotely above average, it may have survived the crappiness of the closing moments. As it is, though, it was a mediocre pay-per-view bout—on an otherwise fantastic card, that left fans underwhelmed.

11. Extreme Rules 2016: Charlotte Defeated Natalya

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    Both Charlotte and Natalya specialize in submission wrestling.

    The former perfected her Figure Eight as a take on her father's legendary Figure Four while Natalya adopted The Sharpshooter, made famous by uncle Bret Hart. At Extreme Rules in 2016, the issues between the two ladies escalated to the point that only a specialty match would settle things.

    Enter the dreaded Submission match.

    The match was slow, plodding and lacked sizzle, primarily thanks to the lack of pinfalls available to the women. Building drama through two-counts had been a staple of the Women's Revolution, and without that crutch to lean on, telling the story Charlotte and Natalya attempted to tell proved troublesome.

    Add in a late-match distraction by Dana Brooke, who dressed like Ric Flair to the dismay of the fans in Newark, New Jersey, and you have an ugly match that never reached its potential.

    The first time a specialty match featuring Charlotte truly disappointed.

10. Fastlane 2016: Charlotte Defeated Brie Bella

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    Charlotte had delivered plenty of solid matches with Nikki Bella, but there was real doubt surrounding her Fastlane 2016 contest with Brie. After all, Brie was the lesser wrestler of the two reality-star siblings and was discussing retirement.

    While their match was hardly anything superb, it relied heavily storyline and emotion rather than pure athleticism and in-ring action. The involvement of Ric Flair at ringside helped in that it provided more smoke and mirrors for the performers to work with.

    Charlotte won the match with The Figure Eight and continued her march to WrestleMania.

    While it was hardly a superb wrestling match, its placement above others on this list can be best attributed to the emotion and heat it generated in comparison.

9.Night of Champions 2015: Charlotte Defeated Nikki Bella to Win the Divas Title

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    Charlotte was at the forefront of the Divas Championship hunt in September 2015. To earn her first taste of WWE gold, she would have to dethrone the longest-reigning Divas champion ever, Nikki Bella. Their match at the Night of Champions pay-per-view was one of the more anticipated bouts on the card, if only for the potential history-making moment fans were certain would happen.

    And it did.

    Charlotte made Bella tap to The Figure Eight and earned her first title on the main roster.

    If only the match would have been better.

    Charlotte apparently suffered a knee injury early, which Bella was quick to attack.

    Suddenly, though, Charlotte battled back and scored the win from out of nowhere with The Figure Eight. So a woman who endured tremendous pain and punishment throughout the contest, courtesy of a concentrated attack by Bella, was able to overcome said pain and use a submission hold that is based on her use of her legs to execute it properly.

    The shoddy logic and psychology behind the bout hurt it significantly.

8. Clash of Champions: Charlotte Defeated Sasha Banks and Bayley

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    Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley made up three of the Four Horsewomen who dominated NXT and helped that brand earn global recognition on WWE Network. At September 2016's Clash of the Champions pay-per-view, those three women showed fans of the main roster what they are capable of in a major Triple Threat match for the Raw Women's Championship.

    The champion entering the match, Charlotte was forced to fend off the challenge of two fierce rivals, each looking to dethrone her as the top star in the flagship show's women's division.

    There was a disjointed and mistimed nature to the match, but it also featured a few fun spots to whet the appetite of fans who were waiting for a stellar match between the three. That Bayley was beaten so soon after her injection into the title picture was also problematic.

    It added to the ongoing continuity and logic issues that persisted throughout the match and left it just shy of the quality fans expected given the talent of the women involved.

7. Royal Rumble 2017: Charlotte Defeated Bayley

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    The first Raw Women's Championship match of 2017 pitted the dominant Charlotte against consummate underdog Bayley in the opening match of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

    Bayley fought from underneath for the majority of the match, overcoming an onslaught of offense from the second-generation competitor. Late on, she thwarted a moonsault from the top rope, getting her knees up and stunning Charlotte.

    As the fight moved to the ropes, Bayley's heroic comeback was cut short as she bumped to the arena floor. From there, Charlotte delivered Natural Selection on the ring apron and scored the pinfall victory.

    The narrative of the match was that of the underdog again coming so close to victory but, ultimately, succumbing to the better opposition—a timeless story that works across any generation. It also helped strengthen a match that kicked off one of the most prestigious events in WWE.

6. Royal Rumble 2016: Charlotte Defeated Becky Lynch

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    Charlotte and Becky Lynch never got the opportunity to square off in a high-profile match during their time in NXT, so their Divas Championship clash at Royal Rumble 2016 was a fresh one for all.

    It was in this contest that Charlotte began to exhibit the type of worker she would become. A smart, cerebral one with impeccable timing, she worked with Lynch to deliver a smartly structured match.

    At every turn, the champion cut Lynch off, slowing The Lass Kicker's momentum and keeping her grounded. When Lynch finally did manager to wrest control away from the second-generation Flair, poppa Ric interfered from ringside.

    The brief distraction was all Charlotte needed to regain her composure, deliver a spear to Lynch and retain her championship.

    A better match than it gets credit for, it was the first hint that Lynch could carry her own women's division, leading to her status as SmackDown Live's first female draft pick.

5. Roadblock 2016: Charlotte Defeated Natalya

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    The most significant bout in Charlotte's young career came in NXT, at TakeOver, when she defeated Natalya in a brilliant wrestling match to win her first women's title.

    Fast forward nearly two years, and the competitors clashed again, this time on the main roster in front of a rabid fanbase in Toronto at Roadblock.

    The match, originally an afterthought on a card that featured a WWE Championship defense from Triple H, stunned the audience and stole the show. The crowd was red-hot for every near-fall and legitimately bit on Natalya upsetting the champion on more than one occasion.

    A technically sound match that featured two proficient workers recapturing the chemistry they proved to have years earlier, they captivated the audience all the way until Charlotte grabbed a schoolboy rollup and put her feet on the ropes for the unfair advantage and victory.

4. SummerSlam 2016: Charlotte Defeated Sasha Banks

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    Fresh off a string of show-stealing performances, Charlotte and Sasha Banks took to the squared circle for what was arguably the most anticipated match of the SummerSlam card in 2016.

    The Boss had defeated Charlotte to capture the Raw Women's Championship weeks earlier and was looking to become the first woman to defeat Charlotte in singles competition on the pay-per-view stage. Unfortunately for the NXT export, it was a task much easier said than done.

    The women delivered a performance that was brutal, hard-hitting and punishing as any other on the card. Banks took a nasty bump on the back of her head that had some worried about her well-being, but she soldiered on and continued her quest to retain her title.

    Late, it looked like she may do just that.

    Banks trapped Charlotte in The Bank Statement and was moments from securing a submission victory when Charlotte, showing great awareness, shifted her weight and scored a pinfall victory from out of nowhere.

    It was a finish that strengthened Charlotte's claims that she was the best wrestler in the promotion and increased the on-screen heat between her and Banks.

    A stellar match that set the stage for the greatness that was to come.

3. Hell in a Cell 2016: Charlotte Defeated Sasha Banks

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    Raw women's champion Sasha Banks and Charlotte made history at Hell in a Cell 2016, simultaneously becoming the first two women to compete inside the most unforgiving structure in the sport and to headline a major pay-per-view event.

    Motivated by the honor, the champ and The Boss delivered a match that was far more physically brutal than any of their previous bouts.

    A powerbomb through the announce table nearly ended the contest before it began, as Banks was stretchered out. The Boss recovered, though, and fought to defend her Women's Championship in front of her hometown fans in Boston.

    A back injury that plagued Banks earlier in the match, but was forgotten throughout, came into play late as The Boss tried to put Charlotte through a table with a powerbomb. Her back gave out,  and she crumbled to the ground.

    Charlotte delivered Natural Selection for the unsatisfying finish.

    This match probably would have ranked at the top of this list had every spot went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Neither woman was heavy enough to break the tables, leading to repetition of spots. They were unfamiliar with how to execute the weapon-filled moments because they had never had to before and, worst of all, the crowd had all of its life sucked from it when Charlotte won in a rather unspectacular fashion.

    Banks, who had just won the gold weeks earlier, saw another title reign come to a premature conclusion for no reason other than to bolster the undefeated pay-per-view streak of her rival. It was disappointing to fans and significantly hurt what was otherwise a damn fine war.

2. Roadblock: End of the Line 2016: Charlotte Defeated Sasha Banks

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    Sasha Banks had once again defeated Charlotte to capture the Raw Women's Championship prior to Roadblock: End of the Line in December 2016.

    The title, the subject of a game of Hot Potato between the elite female performers, would be up for grabs at the pay-per-view in the first-ever 30-Minute Iron Woman match produced by the main roster. Banks had been involved in the gimmick bout before, coming just seconds away from defeating Bayley in such a match during their time in NXT.

    Charlotte, however, had never experienced the grueling nature of a half-hour-long match before.

    That would be no problem, as it turned out.

    The match was high drama late. Despite a 2-1 lead some 24 minutes in, Banks found herself the recipient of an onslaught. The former champion targeted her knee, wearing it down and softening it for the Figure Eight.

    When the heel finally applied the move, Banks fought through tremendous pain and punishment. With just one second left between her and a successful title defense, she tapped out, sending the bout to sudden-death overtime.

    Her mouth bloodied, Banks was unable to overcome another stint in the hold and tapped out a second time, giving Charlotte the win and the title.

    It was a questionable booking decision, for sure, but the match told a magnificent story and featured one of the best performances of Charlotte's career. While all of the post-match criticism was directed at Banks' third short title reign, it was the legendary Nature Boy's daughter who shone brightest and continued her dominant pay-per-view run.

1. WrestleMania 32: Charlotte Defeated Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks

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    Was there ever any doubt that the show-stealing match from WrestleMania 32 would make the top spot in this countdown?

    Charlotte strutted to the ring with the style and confidence of her father, sporting a robe made of the same material Ric Flair's was at WrestleMania some eight years earlier. She stood graciously and classy across the ring from Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, determined to demonstrate she was the elite performer in the women's division.

    It would prove harder than she thought.

    Banks stole the spotlight. Dressed like her hero, Eddie Guerrero, The Boss seized the moment and made sure fans in Dallas' AT&T Stadium remembered her. Lynch was the understated workhorse, but it was Charlotte who held the match together, at the heart of every major spot and dramatic near-fall.

    And in the end, she was the opportunistic villain who tapped The Lass Kicker out to the Figure Eight while her father held tight to Banks on the outside, preventing her from making the save.

    A clearly emotional Charlotte held the newly established Women's Championship high overhead after the match, having realized her dream and etched her name in the history books. In the highest-profile match of her career, she performed up to expectations and, alongside her friends, stole the night out from underneath luminaries such as Triple H and The Undertaker.