Becky Lynch: from WWE’s 4th favourite Horsewoman to the Main Event of WrestleMANia

Rebecca Quin (fka Rebecca Knox aka Becky Lynch) got her start in professional wrestling in June 2002 by training at the school opened in her native Ireland by fellow-Irish wrestlers Paul Tracey and a certain Fergal Devitt… whatever happened to him I wonder… She would make her in-ring debut 5 months later. A run in the independent wrestling scene would follow until in September 2006 Quin sustained a serious injury whilst competing in Germany. She would then only compete or even appear in any capacity on any wrestling show on a minimal number of occasions during what was otherwise a hiatus totaling six years.

In April of 2013 Quin was given the new in-ring name of Becky Lynch upon signing with the WWE to be part of their ‘developmental’ brand NXT. Lynch would make her televised in-ring debut in June 2014 in a win over Summer Rae. One week later she would team with Bayley in a tag team match against Sasha Banks and the then NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte… wonder if those 4 women will cross paths again… Across the next few months Becky Lynch would be booked to lose in championship matches to Charlotte on 3 separate occasions. In October of that year Lynch would turn on Bayley in order to align herself with Sasha Banks. However Lynch’s loyalty to Banks would then be repaid by Sasha then double-crossing her back as Banks cost Becky a match against Bayley. The various permutations and conflicts between the 4 top contenders would culminate in a Fatal 4 Way match at NXT Takeover: RIVAL that would see Sasha Banks come out on top against Lynch, Bayley and former champion Charlotte to win the NXT Women’s title. Lynch would go on to earn an opportunity to challenge Banks by winning a triple threat match against Bayley and Charlotte. This would lead to a match that would see Becky lynch challenge champion Sasha Banks for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable. The match itself was widely acclaimed as being a good match but it would see Lynch fail in her first title singles match in WWE.

On the 13th July edition of Monday Night Raw Becky Lynch would make her main roster televised debut. She was brought up alongside both Charlotte and Sasha Banks by Stephanie McMahon as part of the ‘Divas Evolution’. Lynch and Charlotte aligned themselves with Paige to create Team PCB. The trio feuded with the teams of Team Bella (Nikki Bella, Brie Bella and Alicia Fox) and Team BAD (Sasha Banks, Naomi and Tamina). This firstly led to a tag team match between Becky Lynch and Paige against Sasha and Naomi on the 20th July Raw. In her first match on the main roster Becky Lynch was on the losing team. Over the next few weeks the 3 trios would be in a series of singles and tag matches against each other that were booked fairly evenly result wise. It would be finally decided which was the most dominant women’s trio in a 3 way tag team elimination match at Summerslam 2015. The match would finish with Lynch pinning Brie Bella to win her match for her team in what was her PPV debut. Meanwhile Lynch was still a part of the NXT roster and would lose to Bayley on the edition of NXT shown on 12th August 2015 in a match to decide who would challenge NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn at the Barclays Center (in what would be the first NXT Takeover to take place away from Full Sail University). Also in a match filmed prior to Takoever: Brooklyn that was then shown as part of the 26th August NXT Lynch would be pinned by Emma in a fatal 4 way match involving Dana Brooke and Charlotte. After the match Charlotte put Dana Brooke in the Figure Eight, while Becky Lynch put Emma in the Dis-arm-her. Nonetheless it would see Lynch lose in what was her final appearance in NXT before she became a part of the main roster full time. Becky Lynch would leave NXT as the only member of group that would go on to be known as the Four Horsewomen to never to be crowned the NXT Women’s Champion and to never be booked to win a match at an NXT Takeover event.

After Charlotte won the Divas Championship Night of Champions 2015, the next night on Raw during her celebrations, Paige turned on both her Team PCB teammates saying Charlotte was only there because of her father and that Lynch was the “least relevant” member of the group. In November Paige pinned Lynch in a fatal 4 way match to earn a shot at Charlotte’s Divas title. Charlotte would retain her title but then on the November 30th Raw she feigned injury to beat her ‘friend’ Lynch. The two would become increasingly at odds and after Becky finally got a win over Charlotte on the January 4th 2016 Raw it was the Divas Champion who attacked The Irishwoman afterwards and finally confirmed her turn on her former friend. Becky Lynch would then get 2 opportunities to challenge Charlotte for the Divas Championship, on an episode of Smackdown and then at the 2016 Royal Rumble PPV. After interference from Charlotte’s father Ric Flair, Lynch was screwed booking wise and therefore lost both of her title challenges.

Following the Royal Rumble PPV in which Sasha Banks made her return to confront champion Charlotte, The Boss teamed with Lynch in a tag team feud with her former teammates Naomi and Tamina. This culminated in a win for Lynch and Banks against the two at the Fastlane 2016 PPV. The following night on Raw a match was set up between Sasha and Becky that ended with a double pin, and a rematch on the following Smackdown was interrupted by Charlotte attacking both, and so a triple threat was made. And so at Wrestlemania 32, in front of 100,000 people in AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas we had Champion Charlotte Vs Sasha Banks Vs Becky Lynch for the newly-created WWE Women’s Championship that was replacing the former Divas Championship. The match itself was excellent, but of course Lynch tapped out to Charlotte. Although for once I can say this was maybe the right finish, as Banks was crazy-over and Charlotte was the one they wanted to be the big star, but once again Lynch was the after-thought in WWE’s eyes anyway.

With Charlotte as champion now and with Dana Brooke now by her side, Natalya was set up as her next challenger. At the Money In The Bank PPV in June 2016 Charlotte and Dana Brooke beat Natalya and Becky in a tag match where Charlotte pinned Natalya. Lynch comforted her beaten partner afterwards, but then Natalya turned on her for seemingly no reason. The two feuded after that ended when Natalya beat Lynch at Battleground the next month and the last PPV before the 2016 draft was bought into effect and Lynch made Smackdown her permanent WWE home. Becky was the first female drafted to Smackdown and started her stay on the blue brand well by beating Natalya in their rematch, but then was on the losing team in a 6 woman’s tag match at Summerslam when a returning Nikki Bella won the match for her team with Alexa Bliss and Natalya against Carmella, Naomi and Lynch. BUT… FINALLY… AT LONG LAST… Becky Lynch got her moment… On September 11th 2016; on the same glorious night that AJ Styles won his first WWE Championship; Becky Lynch won a six-pack elimination challenge to become the first Smackdown Women’s Champion! She then successfully defended the title against Alexa Bliss before she was the final woman eliminated in the Women’s Smackdown vs Raw 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match… because Team Raw’s women had to win… yes, as you might be able to figure out… Becky was a 2nd fiddle again… she was women’s champion yes, but on the B show, meanwhile over on Raw Charlotte and Sasha were feuding for their Women’s title and main eventing PPVs… sigh… ANYWAY Lynch’s glory wouldn’t last long as she lost the title to Alexa Bliss at the TLC ppv at the close of 2016. The finish in the tables match was… well… it was clunky and came out of nowhere. Lynch was champion for 84 days. At this stage Bayley had held championships for a combined 223 days, Sasha for 263 and Charlotte for 639! … just for context…

Becky (who masked herself as ‘La Luchadora’) beat Bliss in a non-title match to earn her rematch which she got on the January 17th Smackdown. In what was a Steel Cage Match Becky Lynch lost after interference from another ‘La Luchadora’ revealed herself as Mickie James. Becky’s next championship opportunity would come on the 22nd February Smackdown where she would face Alexa Bliss after Naomi had to vacate the title. Lynch lost after Bliss pinned her with a serious hold on her tights. Becky went on to take part in the six-pack challenge for the championship at Wrestlemania 33, in which former champion Naomi regained the title. The next month after in May, the superstar shakeup bought Charlotte Flair to Smackdown and this led to Lynch teaming with Flair and Naomi against ‘The Welcoming Committee’: Natalya, Carmella and Tamina. This led to a 6 woman’s tag match at Backlash. Natalya submitted Becky Lynch with the Sharpshooter to win the match for her team. Lynch went on to compete the next month in the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. It was won by Carmella after Lynch looked to be climbing the ladder and retrieve the briefcase but JAMES ELLSWORTH (Carmella’s manager) pushed the ladder down and dropped the briefcase to Carmella to give her the win. After the controversial finish a rematch was ordered, which Carmella won again. At the Battleground PPV there was a fatal five-way elimination match to determine who would face Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Summerslam. The match featured Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Tamina, Natalya and Lana. Lynch scored the first elimination by making Tamina tap out to the Dis-Arm-Her, then did the same to Lana immediately afterwards, but then was pinned by Natalya who rolled Lynch up and held her tights whilst getting the elimination. Becky Lynch then took no part in either the Summerslam or Hell In A Cell PPVs. Towards the end of October Becky won a 5 way match between herself, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Tamina and Carmella to become the Team Captain for the Smackdown women’s team at the upcoming Survivor Series. She also defeated JAMES ELLSWORTH in a match on the Smackdown in the UK to end his first WWE run. She also was a part of the various invasions of Smackdown to Raw as the brand rivalry built towards the PPV… and then in the women’s match… Becky Lynch as team captain was the first competitor eliminated and her team lost. Towards the end of 2017 Lynch was alongside Charlotte and Naomi in combating the newly-debuted ‘Riott Squad’ (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan)… but in 2017 Becky Lynch did A LOT of not winning and where she did win it either A. didn’t mean much of anything long term or B. wasn’t made a big deal of or she had to do the job back not long after. Becky continued to play 2nd fiddle.

Lynch was part of history when she took part in the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match in 2018. This also marked the first time women closed a big 4 PPV. Becky entered at Number 2 and lasted over half an hour, eliminating Lita (not a full time superstar) and Vickie Guerrero (one of 4 that eliminated her) before she was eliminated by Ruby Riott. She then had a mixed bag of results on the early Smackdown of the year before she teamed with Naomi to take on Carmella and Natalya in a tag team match at Fastlane. Of course they lost and of course Becky got pinned after she was distracted by Natalya with Mella’s MITB case and then Carmella superkicked her for the pin. She had another mixed bag of results ahead of taking part in the Women’s Battle Royal on the kick off show of Wrestlemania 34. She didn’t win of course, was eliminated by Mickie James and she wasn’t really one of the key player sin the story of the multi-woman match. Meanwhile Bayley and Sasha were in the final 3 and Charlotte got a big singles win on the main show to retain her title. Following Wrestlemania Becky teamed with Asuka in a loss to The IIconics (yes, indeed ASUKA and Becky Lynch lost to THE IICONICS…) , was on the winning team in a 6 woman’s tag, and then… despite having her friend Sonya Deville barred from ringside… Mandy Rose (in her Smackdown singles match debut) pinned Becky in less than 3 minutes… Lynch though kind of recovered by winning a triple threat match against Deville and Rose to qualify for the Women’s MITB Ladder Match. Her momentum continued the next week when she beat Charlotte clean. She helped Charlotte back to her feet after in a sign of mutual respect heading in to the PPV. The next week Becky was on the winning team heading in to the PPV in a 10 woman tag match that saw Asuka, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Lana & Naomi beat the team of Billie Kay, Carmella, Mandy Rose, Peyton Royce & Sonya Deville. It was Alexa Bliss who won the Women’s MITB match in a very entertaining match…

and then… IT ALL BEGAN TO CHANGE!!!

Becky Lynch quietly began to build a winning streak, with Smackdown TV wins over Billie Kay, Sonya Deville, Peyton Royce, Mandy Rose and the then Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella as well as wins in tag team matches alongside Charlotte against The IIconics and then Rose and Deville. This led up to Summerslam where it was supposed to be Lynch one on one with Carmella for the title, but… somehow… Charlotte Flair managed to big-time her way into it and it was suddenly a triple threat match. Going in to the event it seemed the level of support behind Lynch was higher than it ever had been, with the general consensus being that she had earned her time in the spotlight as well as an appreciation for her recent winning run. And so we went to the Barclays Center with ALL the momentum behind Becky Lynch… AND… Charlotte Flair pinned Lynch after a Natural Selection to win the title. And so with Flair now champion she was face-to-face with Becky in the ring… and after initially showing respect for her friend Becky then “turned heel” by attacking the new title holder, reducing her to tears. The crowd went wild for this as they finally got to see the side of Becky they had always wanted. One that didn’t stand for being 2nd best anymore. On the next week’s Smackdown Lynch blamed the crowd and the fans for her position, saying that they weren’t really supporting her the whole time and that she was being denied opportunities which were always being handed to Charlotte Flair. Everyone in the aftermath was confused; we had never not supported Lynch, she had fastly become one of the most popular women on the roster, but unlike previous when WWE would blindly turn a character face/heel regardless of what the fans wanted they very quickly edited the version of Lynch’s promo were she went in on the fans and thus it was never referred to again. She was still a heel (for now) but they’d already after one promo toned it down and changed course slightly. Feeling robbed of her championship opportunity Becky got her singles match with Charlotte at the Hell in a Cell PPV. And for the first time on PPV Becky Lynch pinned Charlotte Flair. Becky Lynch was the new Smackdown Women’s Champion! The crowd were ecstatic, and after the match Lynch defiantly shunned the handshake offered by Charlotte much to the delight of the fans. Lynch continued to stand up for herself in the face of the previously all-conquering Charlotte and managed to keep her title in two title defenses; losing by DQ at the show in Australia and keeping her belt again via a double count-out on the October 9th Smackdown in which the title could’ve changed hands was Lynch to get DQ’d again. And so we then looked towards the first ever all women’s WWE PPV; Evolution. Becky Lynch as the huge crowd favourite by now against Charlotte Flair (who probably got the biggest heel reaction of the show) in a Last Woman Standing Match. Lynch won what was an all-time classic women’s match, widely regarded as being excellent, to retain her title. On a night when all eyes were on the women of WWE… THE MAN was born!

With her moniker of being THE MAN now in full swing, Lynch was the hottest star in the company. THE MAN doesn’t take no for an answer, THE MAN doesn’t take shit from anyone, THE MAN doesn’t try and grab the brass ring, THE MAN rips that brass ring down and beats people up with it. And THE MAN was due to lead the Smackdown Women’s division in to Survivor Series for the now annual set of matches against Raw. Lynch was scheduled as Smackdown Women’s Champion to take on Raw’s Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. The match was being spoken about in such high terms that many even thought it would close the show, such was Rousey and more so actually Lynch’s popularity at the time. On the 12th November episode of Raw, the final one before Survivor Series, Lynch led the Smackdown women’s division in to an invasion and attack on the Raw women’s locker room. Lynch had Rousey in a Dis-Arm-Her as the rest of the women brawled in the ring before Lynch and then Rousey joined in an all out brawl. Lynch and the Smackdown women then retreated and Lynch stood in the stands with the fans with a bloodied yet defiant reaction in what has now become an iconic image. The bloodied face was as the result of a stray punch by Nia Jax during the melee, that actually caused Becky to suffer a broken nose and a concussion. Rumours swirled the internet in the following hours, and then on the next night’s Smackdown it was confirmed Lynch was hurt and would be unable to face Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. On the eve of the biggest and most hyped match of her career, Lynch was out. Lynch chose Charlotte as her replacement and her and Rousey had a great match that ended with Flair delivering a beatdown to Ronda with a Kendo Stick for the DQ.

People have begun to compare Becky’s current THE MAN run to Stone Cole Steve Austin. Well if Lynch is Stone Cold then this was her Summerslam 1997-Owen Hart-Tombstone-neck injury moment. A blessing in disguise if there ever was one.

THE MAN returned on the 27th November Smackdown and received a thunderous welcome “and I heard as it were the noise of thunder, the man has come back around” Corey Graves on commentary quipped. She was not long after interrupted by Charlotte and after the two went back and forth General Manager Paige later in the show made a Battle Royal to see who would join the two of them in the title match at the next PPV. The Battle Royal was won by Asuka and so the match was set to be a triple threat Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, a first for women in WWE. The next week the three women took part in a contract signing for the match, before being interrupted by Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville that led to Asuka and Charlotte teamming in a tag match against the two with THE MAN watching on from ringside, which after a mix up between the two title challengers led to Deville pinning Charlotte. The animosity continued on the go-home show when after a match between Asuka and Charlotte ended when Flair attacked her opponent with a Kendo Stick and then Becky (who was on commentary) joined in the brawl, concluding with Asuka standing tall after hitting both The Queen and THE MAN with the Kendo Stick multiple times. At the show (Lynch also had a backstage segment where she got one back on Nia by dropping her after Jax had lost her match on the show) the match went on last, as it should have as it was by far the most hyped match going in, and it was excellent. These 3 women tore the house down and brutalized eachother. It reached a krushendo when Lynch and Flair were both a-top a ladder, and then Ronda Rousey (whom of course had beef with them both with Flair’s attack on her following their Survivor Series match and Lynch who had her in the Dis-Arm-her during the Raw invasion) ran out and pushed the ladder down knocking both women off. This then allowed for Asuka to grab the title and become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion, ending Lynch’s 2nd reign at 91 days. Lynch closed the year with a segment on the next Smackdown where she was angry Ronda cost her her title, and then the next week she teamed with John Cena winning against Andrade and Zelina Vega, with Lynch getting one up over Cena in probably the highest pedestal you could get. despite ending the year without a title Becky Lynch probably had her bust full year in WWE so far…

Becky began 2019 by winning a triple threat match against Charlotte and Carmella to earn her re-match against Asuka. This was odd as the match was confirmed previously, but they played it off storyline-wise by having former GM Paige say she tried to make the match before she left her position but it was turned down. In reality it was down to a communication era between different departments in the WWE, nonetheless the match was made and happened anyway. Lynch also tapped out Peyton Royce heading towards the Royal Rumble PPV… And then… the 2019 Royal Rumble happened… Asuka as champion defending against Lynch opened the main show of the PPV. I thought it was a really good match, with the crowd cheering Becky hugely. But in the end Lynch tapped out… in a PPV opener where she was the most popular person on the card, Becky Lynch lost clean in the first match of the show. 

But… BECKY’S NIGHT WAS NOT OVER YET!!!

During the Women’s Royal Rumble Match Lana entered at number 28… but she didn’t. On the kick off show Lana had been hurt during her Husband Rusev’s match and when she came out here she was really hobbling and looked very upset due to the pain. Medics and officials saw to her as the match went on, and then the crowd suddenly exploded… Becky Lynch came marching out demanding to WWE official, and fellow Irishman, Fit Finlay that she be allowed to enter the match as a replacement for the injured Lana. After a back-and-forth Finlay eventually agreed and let Lynch enter as the crowd went crazy. THE MAN was in the Royal Rumble Match! After match had very much… struggled… up to that point Lynch seemed to breathe new life into it as the crowd were near non-stop invested and cheering for Becky. In the end Lynch through out her rival Nia Jax and lastly her former best friend Charlotte Flair to win the 2nd Women’s Royal Rumble Match. WWE finally did it, their fans wanted something to happen and they did it. THE MAN was going to WrestleMANia!!!

Well… she was going, then she wasn’t, now she is again. It was Becky Lynch Vs Ronda Rousey, then it was Charlotte Flair Vs Ronda Rousey, and then now we finally have the match (the match that was always the plan all along by the way regardless of what was happening on TV); THE MAN Becky Lynch Vs The Queen Charlotte Flair Vs the Raw Women’s Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey, in what will be the main event. The road to WrestleMANia has been… interesting if not weird at times. In fact it appears only the two top matches were planned to be on the card any significant time in advance. Yes in 2019 we have the incredible set of circumstances that has seen WRESTLEMANIA be pretty much thrown together you could say. But lets just rejoice that THE MAN is in the match we all wanted… well some people are pissed that Charlotte is involved but not me. Ronda is probably leaving afterwards right? So really it benefits WWE two-fold to be able to say they have TWO women who ere in the first female main event of Wrestlemanai that one right? And you can’t tell me CHARLOTTE FLAIR is going to take down the match’s quality AT ALL, the best female performer in WWE history in my opinion. Of course it’s all good me saying this and that it’ll all be fine, but I hope WWE have learnt form the past how much damage could be done here. We’re at the point now where I think to the live crowd in MetLife Stadium and to everyone watching around the world just waiting to tweet all their hate to WWE; if Becky Lynch doesn’t end Wrestlemania as the Raw Women’s Champion A LOT and probably a huge majority of people will be furious!!! Come one WWE, you buried Becky enough in her first few years in the company up until last summer. Now she’s on the best run any female in your company may ever have had, DO NOT fuck this up now when she is on the verge of immortality. You can only do something for the first time once, so lets make sure the first time is done RIGHT!

WWE; you have been warned! Becky Lynch MUST win the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMANia.

Josh.

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