The on-screen and possibly backstage rivalry between WWESmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and WWE RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch took yet another turn on Monday night, even after RAW went off the air.
Flair participated in an interview with WWE's United Kingdom broadcasting partner BT Sport to promote the upcomingSurvivor Series pay-per-view in which she will battle Lynch in a cross-promotion match.
BT Sportshared a clip of the interview in which Flair addresses reports of criticism against her as being "difficult" to work with, which she questioned possibly being based on her gender.
“Yes, it obviously does rub people the wrong way. But if I was a man would it rub people the wrong way? I mean, no one ever looks at a man and goes, ‘Why does he want to be the World champion again?’ Or, ‘He’s been on top all these years.’ Is it because I’m a woman? Because I’ve done it all, because we have a smaller division? Why?
“What — ‘Charlotte’s difficult.’ Why, is it because I stood up for myself, because I stand up for what I believe in? That makes me difficult? But if I was a man, I’d have big balls, right? No, I know how good I am. Man or woman, I’m the best... no, but really, is it because I’m a woman?
“That’s what — so, I’m just supposed to come this far to come this far and be like, ‘Alright, yep, take my spot. All these years of hard work, please, just take it.’ No. If you’re gonna take it, take it. But you’re gonna have to take it from me.”
Lynch quote-tweeted the clip an hour after RAW's live telecast ended with, "No one on our roster acts like this, man or woman. Gender ain't the issue here."
Last week, Lynch appeared on the SI Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina and acknowledged the incident occurring, as well as heat on Flair from several other members of the women's locker room.
“I don’t know, man," Lynch said. "We don’t talk anymore. We don’t talk. So all I’ll say is the locker room needs a hero sometimes. And sometimes somebody’s gotta be a hero. I’m all right being that hero. That’s what I’ll say on that matter."
Traina asked several follow-up questions about the two top stars' fractured relationship in which Lynch confirmed she doesn't trust Flair and that things were difficult between the two.
"We used to be best friends," Lynch acknowledged when asked if she and Flair were no longer friends.
Last month, Lynch and Flair were reportedly involved in a "backstage confrontation" after a segment on Friday Night SmackDownin which they swapped championships amid being selected by opposite shows.
PWInsider.com reported the two exchanged "loud words" over Flair disrespecting Lynch by "trying to make her look bad" during the live segment in which Flair -- the then-RAWWomen's champion but recently drafted to SmackDown -- and Lynch -- the then-SmackDown Women's champion but recently drafted toRAW-- were booked to hand over their new show's respective titles to each other.
The report confirmed the situation "was heated but did not get physical" between the two top stars.
Flair reportedly "voiced concerns" about her character potentially looking weak during the segment prior to the show's live broadcast, which WWE attempted to air as originally planned.
During the live broadcast, Lynch attempted to grab the title from Flair, who instead pulled it away and threw it on the ground, which reportedly varied from WWE's script.
On-screen authority figure Sonya Deville demanded Flair retrieve the belt and hand it to her, which Flair did, before Deville asked Lynch to hand over her title, which she instead shoved at Flair.
Initially, PWInsider reported that Lynch shoving the title wasn't planned, however, clarified that it was, but occurred "differently" after Flair dropped the belt intentionally.
Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT reports "no one involved" with the segment "was happy about the title switch and it was debated throughout the day" prior to SmackDown's live broadcast.
Additionally, McCarthy reports that Lynch and Flair -- who were once very close friends during their run in WWE'sNXTdevelopmental system and their initial years on the main roster -- have had a strained relationship "for some time," which sources close to the situation said stemmed from Lynch calling Flair "plastic" during a promo several years ago.
Lynch is set to face Flair at the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view in which champions on RAW and SmackDown face each other.
The Irish champion told Traina that matches involving opponents with real-life heat makes things "100% more difficult."
"When you’ve got two people that are wanting to work together to make magic, then you make magic. Sometimes when there’s hostility, when you can’t trust the person, then you never know what’s going to happen. You always have to be on guard. It’s like a game of chess. You have to be thinking two steps, three steps, four steps ahead. What are they gonna do? How am I gonna handle it? If they do this, if they do that, whatever.
“This business is built on trust and working together that’s the art of it. That’s the beauty of it. If I make you look good, you make me look good. It's an art. It’s a beautiful art, it’s an art I love more than anything. If people don’t know how to make that art, then it becomes difficult. It becomes tricky and you never really get the full potential. But there’s intrigue there, too, because we never know, was this meant to happen? Was that not meant to happen? What’s gonna go down? There’s interest in both ways. One way, it’s the beautiful pure art of pro wrestling. The other way is a bit of a s--- show. So we’ll see what happens."
You can watch Lynch's full interview onSI.com here.