Since early summer of 2018 Becky Lynch’s popularity has been on the rise. For a good year prior to late spring or early summer of 2018, Becky was almost forgotten about. But she started gaining traction and caught favor with the WWE universe. Cut to SummerSlam last year and the Becky Lynch and Charlotte rivalry took off.
It was a triple threat match between Charlotte, Becky and then champion Carmella. After a great match, Charlotte ended up winning and regaining the Smackdown women’s championship. When it looked as if Becky, who was best friends with Charlotte, was going to shake her hand and congratulate her … heel turn!
Becky attacked Charlotte with a vengeance. Slapping her several times and even continuing the beating on the outside of the ring. Charlotte was left wondering what happened. I believe the WWE thought Becky’s actions would incite a large amount of boo’s, but instead it was a ‘pop’ reminiscent of Stone Cold Steve Austin during the attitude era.
First, for novice wrestling fans, a ‘pop’ is a sudden reaction from the crowd be it positive or negative. I will be using this word quite a bit throughout the blog, so I didn’t want there to be any confusion. As for Stone Cold, he was one of the most popular wrestlers of his era, or any era for that matter, hence a Stone Cold Steve Austin pop.
Back to Becky. Becky turns on Charlotte and the crowd at SummerSlam goes nuts for Becky. After that Becky went on the get the loudest pops of any wrestler in any promotion for months. She would have promo’s that most would consider heel like promo’s, but the fans still cheered for her.
Charlotte was supposed to be the baby face in the rivalry and she was booed out of buildings. The WWE was forced to revert back to attitude era thinking. What I mean by that is, everyone during the attitude era was a bad guy. Baby face’s were cheered, but you heared more boos, heel’s are booed, but nothing special. Baby face’s who act like heels … very, very popular.
Becky fits that mold of baby face who acts like a heel, thus huge pop. Eventually it only made sense for the WWE to embrace the cheers for Becky and have her be a legit baby face. For weeks Becky was still cutting heel promo’s, but she was doing it a way that fans had no choice but to cheer.
A typical heel would cut a promo and get cheap heat by putting down the city they are in or saying something derogatory towards a famous athlete associated with the town. Becky wouldn’t do that. She would say things a heel would say that made her appear to be a butt kicker or even a superstar with a big ego, but she never put down the fans a la Stone Cold Steve Austin.
For the remainder of summer and most of fall, Becky was on fire. Even winning the Smackdown women’s championship. Just when it was looking like Becky was about to be the next Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, John Cena or better yet the first Becky Lynch … Nia Jax breaks her face.
It was that point. That exact moment was the beginning of the end to her meteoric rise. For the months prior to that incident on Monday night, Becky had looked strong and was being put over nearly everyone she faced. Be it an accident or a legit punch to the face, it absolutely was an injection of poison to the popularity of Becky, slowly dying off.
The punch to Becky’s face ruined a much-anticipated match up against Ronda Rousey. Instead of playing to the storyline of a legit ‘bad ass’, WWE had Becky go out and pick a substitute. Ugh, I hated that they did this, because not only did it make Becky look weak, she picked Charlotte and then gave her a hug!?
If you’re the female version of Stone Cold, you don’t trust anybody, let alone hug them. What I would have done was hide the injury. I get WWE doesn’t want to put injured wrestlers anywhere near the ring, but what if they had Becky attack Ronda backstage, or in the parking lot or at her hotel? Why didn’t they have Becky show up at survivor series and give Jax a receipt?
I’m not saying a physical receipt like a match, but a simple stare down and knockout punch to Jax could have done the trick. Instead of really thinking about it, they went the easiest route, put in Charlotte. Charlotte ended up losing the match to Ronda vis dis qualification and began a heel turn of her own.
Since Survivor Series, Charlotte has returned to heel ‘queen’ Charlotte Flair. There is no question Charlotte is better as a heel, but the turn, be it intentional or not, took away some of Becky’s steam. Charlotte started ripping off some of Becky’s character traits. Charlotte was also healthy and able to compete which did Becky no favors.
To make matters worse for Becky, Asuka was gaining momentum headed into the triple threat TLC match. Becky went in as champion and thanks to Ronda Rousey, Asuka left as champion. The loss lowered Becky’s stock, even though the odds were not in her favor, Asuka took some of the pop that Becky was getting.
So no longer being the Smackdown women’s champion, actually helped with Becky’s popularity as she is now on the chase. A good way to get a baby face some favor with the crowd is to have baby face get close to the title, but not obtain it. Within weeks of losing the title Becky had earned the right to be the number one contender for it at the Royal Rumble.
As the weeks went by leading up to the Royal Rumble, to me, it was noticeable that the reaction from the crowd for Becky was not as loud as it was late summer 2018. I felt her promo’s were coming off flat, and there were several times that she was bested during back and forth promo’s with Charlotte.
Finally we get to the Royal Rumble, this is when decisions for Becky’s character took a strange turn. In her one on one match with Asuka for the women’s championship, she tapped out to Asuka, within seconds of being put in Asuka’s finisher. What?! I thought Becky was supposed to be the next Stone Cold? Anyone remember the attitude era? Stone Cold never tapped out!
I get having her win the title would have made it hard for her to get to Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania, but there were other ways around it. I hate the tap out. It made Becky look very, very weak. If Becky was supposed to lose the match, I would rather her pass out instead of giving up. Then they could have said that Becky, didn’t give up, Becky didn’t quit!
Stone Cold and Bret Hart WrestleMania thirteen. Check it out. Bret had the sharpshooter locked in on Stone Cold. With blood flowing down his face, Stone Cold refused to quit or give up. But he eventually passed out from the pain. It would have been a simple answer to make both Asuka and Becky look strong if they would have followed that formula for the Royal Rumble match.
However, that was not the end of Becky’s Royal Rumble participation. Later on in the Royal Rumble match, Becky replaced the injured Lana to enter the rumble. Ok, so Becky now has another opportunity to earn a shot at the Women’s championship. Becky manages to make it to the end of the rumble match, where it came down to her and Charlotte Flair.
So, all Becky had to do is throw Charlotte over the top rope and she would be on her way to WrestleMania. Before the two even squared up, Becky was pushed by Nia Jax off the ring steps and landed awkwardly and hurt her knee. Another weird angle in the Becky character. It looked as if Becky was not going to be able to continue the match, but managed to get back in the ring and eventually eliminate Charlotte Flair.
So to recap Becky’s Royal Rumble, she lost the Smackdown women’s championship match via tap out. And then was rewarded for quitting by being allowed to enter the rumble match. Then blew out her knee, was going to have to quit, but miraculously recovered to throw Charlotte over the top rope to win a WrestleMania title match.
I feel like the WWE was packing a months worth of storylines in one night with Becky. And it’s been like that for the last couple of months since the Rumble. So the next night on RAW Becky made the announcement that she wanted “Ronnie” at WrestleMania. All the stars were now aligned … so we thought.
Things became complicated with Becky and her character after the rumble. For starters, the knee she initially grabbed during her injury angle at the rumble, was not the same knee she was supporting on RAW. Any smart wrestling fan is immediately dismissing the idea of a legitimate knee injury.
Instead of a week or two of selling the injury she walked around with a crutch for months. And because of her injury, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H suspended her until she was medically cleared. For about a week or so, Becky was suspended until she saw a doctor and was cleared.
The all clear from the doctor was said in passing during a promo. So if she is medically cleared to wrestle, then why the crutch for eight weeks? To make things even more confusing within minutes of having her suspended lifted, Vince McMahon came out on RAW and said “Becky, you’re suspended for sixty days. Which means you won’t be reinstated until after WretleMania. I am replacing you with Charlotte Flair.”
Becky was suspended for having a ‘bad attitude’. I know you can’t see it, but I am rolling my eyes as I type. So, I get this was a way to get Charlotte into the match, but it was Becky’s reaction to getting suspended that bothered me. All she did was drop her jaw in shock. No outburst, no fighting it…nothing. I hated her reaction to the suspension.
Obviously, she was not going away. She would show up at live events and even at RAW to run in on Rousey’s matches. The crutch, which I was starting to believe was attached to her armpit, was used violently against Rousey and Charlotte on several occasions during her suspension. To me it came off as cowardly.
This went on for weeks, until out of the blue, Becky is no longer suspended and is now fighting Charlotte at Fastlane for a chance to be added to the WrestleMania RAW women’s championship match. Again, I know you can’t see it, but I am rolling my eyes. The match at Fastlane between Becky and Charlotte was probably the worst match on the show.
For the majority of the match, Charlotte attacked the injured knee of Becky. It went on for what seemed like forever, before Rousey came down to the ring and punched Becky in the stomach, forcing a dis qualification. To make matters worse, she came out on Smackdown two days after the match and ditched the crutch. Suddenly her knee is fine after being targeted at Fastlane. (Rolling my eyes again.)
So Becky, from the get go, never really earned a chance at the title or Ronda Rousey. I know what you’re thinking, but she won the Royal Rumble. I will agree, she did, but she wasn’t even supposed to be in the match. She was given Lana’s spot after quitting an hour before in another match. It’s confusing, the writers in WWE have failed to connect the dots in this storyline and I don’t think I am the only one who has given up on Becky really being ‘The Man’.
Luckily for Becky, there is a little thing called Twitter. So as bad as WWE has made her look over the last few months, she is saving face on social media. The back and forth between her and Rousey is, at times, more entertaining than what is playing out on television. They are worth a follow, like them or not.
So, after reading this, are you as confused as I am? WWE has really dropped the ball with Becky. They had their next franchise superstar right there in the palm of their hand and the threw it away. I think it’s safe to say that Kofi Kingston is now the people’s choice for a WrestleMania moment. There is still time for Becky, but they certainly have a lot of re tracing their tracks to do.
We are about three weeks from WrestleMania and if it were me, I would have Becky quit limping on that knee, maybe even stay away from the ring for a week or two. There is nothing wrong with her doing a couple vignettes of her re-habbing the knee so she is one hundred percent for WrestleMania. She has to be strong going into this match.
If they are going to keep her on tv, she needs to get over in any segment she’s in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a promo, a match, a back stage segment or a vignette, please WWE I implore you to have her quit looking weak. I was, at one point, looking forward to seeing Becky, Charlotte and Rousey being the main event match at WretleMania, but now, give me Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan.
So to answer the question “Is Becky Lynch really ‘The Man’?” My answer… nope. Not literally, figuratively or even anatomically. Don’t get me wrong, I like the gimmick, but she needs to start living up to it if ‘The Man’ is what she claims to be. With that said, I still would rather see her win the title at WrestleMania and will be rooting for her.
How’s that for confusion?
Let me know what you think, is it just me or do you agree that Becky has dropped a few pegs in popularity. I certainly wouldn’t consider her anywhere close to a Stone Cold during the attitude era. But, there is still time and hopefully the book Becky correctly over the next couple of weeks.
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