Becky Lynch: Becoming 'The Man'

Standing among a sea of people with her face covered in blood, Becky Lynch simply couldn’t have looked more at home. She stood confidently, arms outward and head high, ‘The Man’ had arrived on Monday Night RAW and her star was shining brighter than ever. In a world of pre-planned entertainment, sometimes things just go perfectly wrong and this past Monday was a great example of that. While obviously not ideal at that very moment, Becky’s bloody face made a good angle great, creating a quite iconic visual that thus far, captured this run better than words ever could.

Well, turns out that in truth, my praise was perhaps slightly premature. The above paragraph was something that I produced almost five months ago, a planned feature in preparation of Survivor Series: Rousey vs. Lynch, an all champion clash. In my mind, that match represented Becky at the peak of her powers, the culmination of a recent hot-streak that had catapulted Lynch among her industry’s elite. However, Becky’s aforementioned crimson mask proved pivotal, removing Lynch from that Survivor Series bout and as a result, causing an unforgettable chain of events.

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At that time though, Lynch’s injury was cause for concern. After suddenly capturing quite historic form, Becky’s momentum was now once again halted, all just days before arguably her biggest match yet. Nonetheless, once the dust had settled, fans were left with a different view. That RAW segment simply couldn’t be erased, becoming entrenched in the audience’s memory and only elevating the aura surrounding Lynch’s ascension. A match with Rousey had been rendered mandatory and frankly, only one destination made sense.

Before that, Lynch would first have to return and thankfully, that’d occur almost immediately, with Lynch remaining as SmackDown Women’s Champion. While her Rousey match had been taken, Becky’s momentum continued to build, headlining TLC in a memorable main event with Asuka and Charlotte Flair respectively. Lynch lost her title there but the direction boded well, with Rousey interfering as their marquee match once again began to take shape. With Flair (Becky’s prior replacement) involved, this collision course remained very much intact.

Lynch’s title loss was an inevitable result of that shift but Becky’s time as champion perfectly represented her change of fortune. Just a year earlier, Lynch seemed well removed from that crown, a belt that she’d once proudly held before anyone else. In the summer of 2018 though, things changed and rather quickly too, with Becky swiftly climbing the ranks before at SummerSlam, her whole career changed forever. Failing to regain the blue brand’s title, Lynch lashed out Flair and as a result, seemingly became the promotion’s biggest hero in an instant.

While always popular, this apparent ‘turn’ maximized Becky’s appeal, capitalizing on a perception that rightly or wrongly, had surrounded her for years. Never the chosen one, always underappreciated and forever fighting for better. Lynch’s coronation hadn’t arrived in New York but a defining moment had, the change in personality that would rapidly reshape her whole presentation. Too popular to remain a villain, Lynch quickly returned to her role as protagonist but this time, the portrayal was rather different. Naive scrapper no more, Becky Lynch was now a defiant conqueror, she was now ‘The Man.’

With the SmackDown Women’s Title soon back around her waist, Lynch entered a monumental spell, famously defending her crown in a staggering Evolution thriller with Flair. That match solidified Becky’s main event capabilities, an encapsulation of her progression and a perfect example of the unique package that she can provide. There’s a grit and fire to Lynch’s offense, a spirited aggression that historically, had so perfectly positioned her as a scrappy underdog. A new layer of confidence had emerged as of late though, an assuredness that firmly positioned Becky as a threat to any potential foe.

That trait soon became even clearer, with Lynch exiting TLC unmoved regardless of her established title loss. Royal Rumble was fast approaching and while the wrestling world began to ponder Becky’s WrestleMania route, another major moment awaited. Taking on Asuka in the event’s opening match, Lynch’s in-ring showing was sublime that night, having a far more traditional title tilt but one that remained entrenched in physicality and personality nonetheless. The pair told a wonderful story, with Becky standing firm in the face of Asuka’s revered skill, fighting valiantly until the match’s eventual close.

As most expected, Lynch didn’t leave Phoenix as SmackDown Women’s Champion but in the end, she departed with something even greater, winning the Royal Rumble match and booking her ticket to WrestleMania. The destination was now clear and one night later, any lingering doubt surrounding Becky was vanquished, grinning in Rousey’s face while shining in a memorable promo exchange. Since then, the angle’s twists and turns have been well-documented and on Sunday, Lynch and Rousey won’t be alone.

Instead, Charlotte Flair has re-entered the fray, controversially making the trio’s historic WrestleMania main event a ‘Winner Takes All’ triple threat. Even still, this is the culmination of a storied journey, the once unfathomable mountain top that will define Lynch’s career for years to come. It’s astonishing to consider that without Becky’s removal from Survivor Series, this occasion may not even exist but at this point, that’s simply a stop along the way, a background detail to an upcoming landmark in wrestling history.

After all of these years, modern WrestleMania moments don’t always remain ‘special’ but that won’t be a problem on Sunday. Alternatively, this truly is a time capsule that’ll live forever, a chapter that’ll be revisited many generations down the line. When that reflection arrives, Lynch’s place will be undeniable, a genuine game changer that helped lead the women’s division to this very point. A few iconic visuals will surround those words: that aforementioned bloody taunt, the Rousey face to face and after Sunday, they’ll hopefully be joined by a double title celebration too.

Whether that’s the case or not, well that’s still to be seen but Becky’s impact isn’t up for debate. Out of nowhere, Lynch has indeed become ‘The Man’ and as a result, women now main event WrestleMania. Three brilliant women will rightly share this feat but only one owns that moniker and in truth, it’s one without much debate too. Those words symbolize something: a certain standing and status that’s rare, a leadership and importance to be admired, a particular presence even.

Unsure of what I mean? Just watch Becky Lynch at MetLife Stadium. That’ll explain it better than my words ever could.

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