This weekend marked the one-year anniversary that Becky Lynch became “The Man”. It’s absolutely crazy to see the trajectory that she would go on since uttering those now hallowed words. The greatest thing about Lynch’s mega-stardom is that it wasn’t supposed to happen. In essence, her rise to prominence is all because of a botched heel turn and the fan’s unwillingness to dislike her.
Lynch’s story is one high, lows, struggles and triumph. Lynch went from forgotten star to the biggest name in sports entertainment in the space of two phenomenal years.
Let’s take a retrospective look at that journey and the impact it has had.
Becky Lynch has always been a fan favourite. Her genuine “realness” and likability matched her natural “it” factor.
She was also the perfect underdog character. In NXT she playing fourth fiddle behind Sasha Banks, Bayley and Charlotte and was the only horsewoman unsuccessful in her quest for the NXT Women’s Championship but her guile, guts, and determination made her easy to cheer for her.
Since coming to the main roster Lynch has experienced many ups and downs. Initially, Lynch was brought in alongside Charlotte and Banks to launch the women’s evolution. Lynch was part of the WrestleMania 32 triple-threat match with Banks and Charlotte to crown the first WWE Women’s Champion. Charlotte would leave victorious in a stellar match and Becky would have to wait for her moment in the spotlight.
Things would start to look up as Lynch would be drafted to SmackDown Live later that year and would go on to be the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion. She would hold the title for 84 days, losing to Alexa Bliss in a tables match at TLC and wouldn’t regain the title or top spot for a long time.
Despite being a number of firsts, such as the women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match and the women’s Royal Rumble, Lynch’s star floundered somewhat. She became lost in the mid-card and for a period of time was hardly seen on WWE programming. It was this absence that set things in motion for the biggest rise in popularity and legitimate mega-stardom completed by a female wrestler.
During this time Charlotte and Banks had been tearing it up over on RAW becoming multi-time Women’s Champions in the process. Charlotte was drafted to SmackDown Live and instantly became the focal point of the women’s division, which led to an air of animosity in the live crowds and especially online. The animosity stemmed from the feeling that Charlotte was being overly-used at the expense of others, such as Becky Lynch.
Lynch and Charlotte would mix it up in a triple-threat match against SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella at SummerSlam 2018. Charlotte won the match and title, of course, but Lynch would smash Charlotte in the jaw after the match, turning heel in the process. This would lead to one of the fastest rises in popularity the wrestling world has seen.
For context, Lynch’s upward trajectory can be measured from WrestleMania to WrestleMania. Lynch went from performing at WrestleMania 34 in the Women’s Battle Royale on the pre-show to winning both Women’s Championships in the main event WrestleMania 35 just one year later.
The fans weren’t ready for a heel Becky and despite a few attempts at dissing the crowds, she remained as popular as ever. The Man was born and Becky would become the top of the promotion.
During Lynch’s rise to become the biggest name in modern wrestling, Ronda Rousey would dominate anyone in her path on RAW. What followed next would be a masterclass in social media manipulation as Lynch absolutely destroyed anyone who came before her on Twitter. So ruthless was her Twitter game that it was reported that Rousey was legitimately upset by what was being said.
Becky Lynch took part in many “firsts”. The first and most obvious is headlining WrestleMania with Ronda Rousey and Charlotte. This unprecedented achievement is a testament to Lynch’s grit and determination. It will come as no surprise that the desired match from WWE was Charlotte vs Rousey but Lynch made sure that she was to be part of this once-in-lifetime historic event.
But things could have been very different. Lynch and Rousey were supposed to face off at Survivor Series in a champion vs champion match. Then Nia Jax‘s right hand changed everything. In an angle when SmackDown, led by Lynch invaded RAW, led by Rousey. Nia Jax clocked Lynch so hard she broke Lynch’s nose and gave her a concussion. Such a thing would have beaten lesser people but not Lynch. Lynch sucked it up and continued as the blood poured down her face and queue the coolest, most badass and iconic moments in WWE history.
Lynch’s success story is all about taking negative situations and turning them around and molding them into positives and there is no better proof than this moment. The grudge match of Lynch vs Rousey was off and none-other than Charlotte would take Lynch’s place at Survivor Series.
The focus seemingly switched to Charlotte vs Rousey but Lynch, and the fans would not allow her to be forgotten about. The three would battle it out at WrestleMania 35 in the main event with Lynch leaving as the victor and the ‘champ champ Becky 2 Belts’ But as the great Mia Hamm once said ‘It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.’
But stay there Becky has, and with much gusto. Her subsequent WrestleMania feuds with Lacey Evans and Natalya weren’t great yet Lynch, especially in Evans’ case, was able to carry the feud, remain prominent and on top of the WWE world.
The return of Sasha Banks lit a fire under her and gave us a Hell in a Match so innovative and violent it was a joy to watch. Lynch was the first WWE Superstar shown on the premiere epsiode of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX and was the number one draft pick in the whole company. And if that doesn’t show you just how much Becky Lynch means to WWE then I don’t know what will.
Lynch’s rise has been such a success that she has not only elevated herself to main-event calibre but the WWE women’s division and dare I say women’s wrestling as a whole to an unprecedented level. And long may it continue.