WWE headlined Raw last Monday with a Divas Championship Contract Signing for the title match between Charlotte, the champ, and Paige, the challenger, at Survivor Series. In an attempt to draw some heat to the angle, Charlotte’s late brother Reid, who died of a drug overdose in 2013, was disparaged by Paige, who said “he didn’t have enough fight in him, did he?”
While there were some people who said they were fine with WWE having done this, the overwhelming majority were against it. That includes those closest to the situation, Reid’s parents, Elizabeth and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. The former took to Twitter to voice her displeasure while the latter used his podcast to say he “cried” while watching it. Both have said that they weren’t told about it beforehand.
In response to the backlash, WWE released a statement on the matter to various wrestling news outlets.
“Subject matter this personal is only approved as a result of the strong advocacy of the talent themselves. Notwithstanding that, WWE is ultimately responsible for what airs in its programming.”
Prior to WWE issuing its statement, Dave Meltzer spoke to a company representative on the phone and was specifically told that the angle was Charlotte’s idea and that she had wanted to do it for months. The rep noted, “We didn’t really want to do but she was insistent on it.”
Meltzer revealed late Saturday night on Wrestling Observer Radio that in response to the public’s negative reaction to the angle, WWE had Charlotte “take one for the team” by pinning the blame on her to the public. Bryan Alvarez noted on Friday on Wrestling Observer Radio that the creative team got the idea to run the angle after seeing Charlotte talk about Reid on the WWE Network show Table for 3.
The reality is, as previously noted, is that the angle was not her call and it wasn’t her decision. Keep in mind that they re-aired the angle on SmackDown and it is still up on their YouTube channel.
WWE was also unhappy with Ric Flair for talking about the angle on his podcast.