WWE has always been marked the "land of opportunity" for wrestlers, particularly SmackDown Live, where commissioner Shane McMahon promised that the show would overshadow the flagship program Raw within his reign as commander.
The two-hour Tuesday sports entertainment package has, in recent history, pushed itself as different, fresh, and the spot for new talent. A plethora of superstars have earned their stripes on SmackDown, and WWE veterans, like The Usos and New Day, are getting the recognition they deserve from the program.
For every superstar who gets the attention and opportunity they deserve, however, there's one who doesn't. For Becky Lynch, WWE has not been the land of opportunity most have dreamed for her.
In 2002, 15-year-old Rebecca Quin began training in Ireland under Fergal Devitt and Paul Tracey, chasing her dreams of becoming a professional wrestler, alongside her brother. Three months later, she debuted as Rebecca Knox, taking her training to the British professional wrestling promotion NWA UK Hammerlock.
She spent the next four years joining numerous independent wrestling circuits and forging her way through a crowd of women who shared the same dream she had.
She won an 18-person Battle Royal in Tokyo under the International Women's Grand Prix, won the World Queen of Chaos Championship at the Fighting Spirit Federation promotion, won the SuperGirls Championship, and defeated Daizee Haze at Shimmer Women Athletes in a two-out-of-three falls match that lasted 29 minutes, and that promoter Dave Prazak described as "probably the best women's match seen on U.S. soil in years, if not ever."
In 2006, while competing for German Stampede Wrestling, Quin received damage to her eighth cranial nerve, and left wrestling after deciding wrestling wasn't the correct career choice.
Unable to completely stay away from wrestling, Quin returned in 2011 to manage tag-team Saraya and Britani Knight.
During 2013, it was announced that Rebecca Quin, now going by the name Becky Lynch, signed a two-year agreement with WWE's developmental territory, NXT, and would start that year. NXT seemed to be where Becky would shine, making her debut in June of 2014 alongside Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.
Lynch's never-say-no attitude stuck with her throughout NXT, and gave her opportunities few other female superstars got the chance to achieve. She joined Banks to form team B.A.E (Best At Everything), before performing in her infamous fatal four-way match at NXT Takeover: Revival, where teammate Banks won the title from Charlotte.
In April 2015, Lynch won a triple-threat match against Bayley and Charlotte to become the number one contender to the NXT Women's Championship. The next month, Becky unsuccessfully challenged Banks for the title at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable in a match that critics continue to praise.
Lynch debuted her new look, inspired mostly by Magic: The Gathering character Chandra Nalaar at the NXT pay-per-view, and it looked like she had finally hit her stride, even though losing her title opportunity. Throughout the 26-minute match, the crowd could be heard chanting "this is wrestling", singing Lynch's entrance music, and giving standing ovations to the women who proved that a woman could be just as tough and creative in the ring as a male superstar.
The crowd reactions, the submissions, submission counters, dead weight drops, and in-ring creativity would be typical of Becky Lynch's stay at NXT, and even in her segue into the main roster of WWE.
July 2015, Lynch made her debut on Raw as the fan favorite with Charlotte and Sasha Banks, after Stephanie McMahon announced WWE was calling for a "revolution" in the then called "WWE Diva's Division". The three female NXT stars would go on to be given credit for the uprising of women in WWE and the talent that fans expect from those female talents, today.
It looked like Lynch could go nowhere but up in WWE, and for a time, she got her chance to shine. In August 2015, she won a three-team elimination match at Summer Slam against Team Bella and Team B.A.D. At the end of 2015, she also got to compete in the first-ever "Divas Beat the Clock Challenge".
In April 2016, after noticing the changes to the female talent and fans' expectations, WWE changed the "Divas" title to the "WWE Women's Championship". Lynch, Charlotte and Banks were the first to compete for the new title, competing in a triple-threat match at WrestleMania 32.
A few months later, Lynch was drafted to SmackDown Live, and fans were excited to see the possibility of Lynch spreading her wings on the Blue Team. In September, Lynch competed in a six-pack elimination challenge, lastly eliminating Carmella to become the inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion.
Lynch would go on to serve as a babyface in important matches to come, but never secured her title again after losing it to Alexa Bliss at TLC.
She participated at the first-ever women's Money in the Bank match, and lost out to Carmella and James Ellsworth. She was captain of Team Blue at Survivor Series in 2017, and was the first eliminated. She even beat Ellsworth in an intergender match by submission, that lead to Carmella's final goodbye.
At the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match, Lynch lasted over 30 minutes, but was knocked out by a new and less experienced Ruby Riott. Lynch has failed to get a second chance at her title shot, even though her best friend Charlotte now holds that tile, thanks to Riott and the Riott Squad.
WWE has failed to properly hone in on Lynch's inner drive and ambition, leaving her to be a crutch for the company to lean on when new talent is not pulling their weight. Lynch's character development has halted, even though her story could be the voice of a million women who refuse to let their past dictate their future.
Lynch noted in the beginning of her career, that alcohol and marijuana was leading her down a bad path, and that wrestling helped her clean her slate. The story that Lynch possesses naturally is enough to give WWE a reason to hold her at the head of the pack, and yet they fail to do so.
Rebecca Quin has performed stunts for television, got an acting degree, broken both ankles and had two stingers, overcame brain nerve injuries, was voted No. 4 in PWI's Female 50, has one of the most brutal finishing moves in the "Dis-arm-her" the Women's Division has ever seen, and has a story that young female fans could look up to. The San Jose Barracuda even play her entrance music every time a goal is scored on home ice.
Becky Lynch is an inspiration for women athletes and fans everywhere, and WWE is failing to see the gold mine they are sitting on. Fans are calling for more action in the "Women's Revolution", so that the revolution can turn into an "evolution". Let Lynch prove how hard she works for the company, and let her be the shinning role model she has been, even when compared to Charlotte and Banks.
Whether it be against her best friend Charlotte for the title, or against a physically vicious newcomer like Shayna Baszler in NXT, Lynch can and will hold WWE to standards that they so desperately need. Becky Lynch deserves better.
- From The Web