Charlotte Flair helps take the WWE’s ‘SmackDown’ to a new TV home

Fox becomes the network for the weekly wrestling series

Charlotte Flair of ‘Friday Night SmackDown’ Friday on Fox.

Q: What do you think about the move of what now is titled “Friday Night SmackDown” from USA Network to Fox?

A: I know WWE is excited to be a part of this talented, sports-obsessed network team. And for me as a woman, with the females moving the needle in the WWE and having the opportunity to take the women’s evolution from cable television to broadcast television and this message that we have been sending the last two years, it’s so much bigger than what we do at WWE. It’s worldwide. I know how loyal our fan base is, and to have it go from 80 million homes to 100 million homes is going to be huge.

Q: For someone who might not be familiar with the program, what would you say a strong suit of “SmackDown” is?

A: The advantage of what WWE has over any other sport is we get to control that halftime, that cliffhanger … leaving the audience either like, “That’s the team we wanted to win” or, “That’s not the girl that we wanted to win.” So that’s (something) to look forward to, because we control that.

Q: Do you think any changes are in store for “SmackDown” with its change of network homes?

A: Being an athlete, plus a superstar highlighting that athleticism as a sports entertainer, I think it will stay the same. I don’t think it really will change, because that’s part of the reason we’re moving to Fox; people are actually acknowledging that WWE is a roster of athletes telling the simple “good guy vs. bad guy” story.

Q: How do you feel about being one of the WWE faces helping to promote the “SmackDown” move?

A: That’s the big message to me. Having me up here and not another male is the message from WWE, saying, “Hey, our women are taking over.” And we hope that this message spreads to every industry, because WWE is positioning us as superstars equally as the men in every aspect in the company.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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