Welcome back to The 3 Count. Last week I discussed Tetsuya Naito and the two ‘mystery men’ that WWE were reportedly looking to sign from NJPW. Every week I will be looking at the hot topic in pro wrestling, this could be WWE or otherwise. This week’s topic should really come as no surprise…it’s The Man, Becky Lynch.
Becky refers to herself as ‘straight fire,’ now she appears to be setting the entire company on fire. Last night’s RAW ended with the Irish Lass-kicker standing with a bloody nose goading Ronda Rousey. In terms of anti-hero characters they don’t come with much more hype than Becky has right now.
What led to Becky becoming this phenomenon? The fans always had a soft spot for the Smackdown Live Women’s Champion. Live audiences giving her a fair reception on shows with almost Dean Ambrose in 2014 perfunctory cheers and applause.
Something that WWE and wrestling fans have in common is the lure of the underdog. We saw this in the build to WrestleMania 30, with Daniel Bryan finally overcoming the odds and main eventing the biggest spectacle in sports entertainment. Could anyone have predicted that Bryan Danielson of ROH fame would even get to WrestleMania? Could anyone have guessed that he would main event the thing? If you would have told me this in 2005 I would’ve laughed you out of the room. Another thing that wrestling fans seem to enjoy is a good anti-hero, the biggest can be seen referenced in the headline of this article.
When WWE decided to have Becky Lynch ‘turn’ on her friend Charlotte Flair and engage in a feud it is doubtful that they would’ve been building to Lynch vs Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series next Sunday, at least in they way it turned out. When Charlotte stole the win over Carmella at Summerslam the seeds were sown for the feud, but WWE went into this thinking that Flair was going to be the fan favourite…how wrong they were.
Becky Did Nothing Wrong
With WWE pushing Becky Lynch as the antagonist they missed a vital ingredient…Lynch didn’t actually do anything wrong. Fast forward to today and the more that WWE attempted to push Lynch as a vicious heel the more that the audience where drawn to her and got behind the Irish Superstar. Last night’s appearance on RAW solidified Lynch as the ultimate anti-hero, the symbol of a bloodied Lass-kicker in her Smackdown Live shirt on RAW oozed attitude…but let’s not pretend that Becky is just an Austin clone or re-hash. ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch is the perfect attitude and character for 2018’s WWE.
The question is, were WWE extremely tone deaf when it came to the way Lynch was portrayed? Or was this the plan all along, to make the Survivor Series bout a de-facto face vs face match against Rousey? The optimist in me hopes that they had at least somewhat of an idea of Lynch’s popularity, the realist knows that they butchered the push and got extremely lucky.
WWE is now in a very delicate position with Becky. How many times have we seen something completely organic and cool be ruined by the company when they decide to get behind it? Fandangoing, Zack Ryder, Ryback (yes, really)…we all have our own examples. The key here is to just let Becky be Becky and let her natural charisma and vision drive this push, but again the realist in me knows they’ll likely choke all the fun out of it.
How do you think WWE should book Becky Lynch going forward?