It has been quite the journey for Becky Lynch has it not? It seems just like yesterday where everyone got hyped when Becky lost a triple threat match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Summerslam, only to smack the taste out of Charlotte’s mouth. The crowd erupted, we all erupted, and we did so because we knew that a changing of the guard was on the horizon. Becky instantly became the most must-see thing on television, cutting scathing promos, putting on great matches, and showing the bad-assery that we felt like she was hiding this entire time.
That is why the way I feel about her now feels weird. Her entire journey has come full circle, as she defeated the two embodiments of the obstacles she’s had to face during her time in WWE, Charlotte Flair, and Ronda Rousey, in the main event of WrestleMania. She walked into WrestleMania the only one empty-handed and walked out with everything. I should be ecstatic to see her every time she appears on my television screen. However, when I listen to her and look at her these days, that same vigor I once had for her in the fall last year has cooled off considerably. Why is that?
Well, the easiest way to analyze this is to listen to the way she carried herself when she was a heel and when she is a face. When she was a heel, she was honest, and sometimes brutally so. She did not care what anyone else thought and she frequently talked down to others, but not out of arrogance, but out of confidence. It was all awesome. There were so many awesome one-liners and images of the reign that made people gravitate towards her. I’d like to think that this was because she was showing signs of who she might actually be. It could also be because many wanted Lynch to turn heel for the longest time because no other character needed a change more. After years of frustration and being walked upon, she started taking names. It was all lovely.
However, now when I listen to her, it is catchphrases, name-calling and crowd pandering. Her promos these days seem to have lost their steam in lieu of making sure she is in the good graces with the crowd. I feel like her promos these days comprise of three things. Those three things are reminding everyone who will listen that she beat Ronda Rousey in a botched finish in the WrestleMania main event, she scratched and clawed her way to the top for so long, and “Becky Two Belts”. Do you get the picture? It’s repetitive banter that heavily deviates away from what made her popular as a heel, to begin with.
I think many of the issues stem around WWE wanting Becky to follow the same career arc as Stone Cold. Remember when he was bloodied and locked deeply in the Sharpshooter but refused to quit? That facilitated perhaps the greatest double turn in history and ushered in a new era of professional wrestling. Bret Hart turned heel and defected to WCW not too long afterward and Stone Cold became arguably the greatest character in WWE history. Many compared that moment to Nia Jax legitimately knocking Becky Lynch out cold but Lynch continuing to fight with blood trickling down her entire face, and taunting the entire RAW Women’s roster from the top of the arena like a Greek God saying, “are you not entertained?”. However, there is one major difference.
Stone Cold, no matter as a heel or a face, stayed true to who he was. The only difference was who he associated himself with and who he was facing. He would still attack good guys and bad guys all the same and did whatever it takes to get whatever he wanted. He did not change, and the crowd’s reaction to him would only change if there was only a clear face or clear heel he was up against. Then, take in Becky. Becky has slowly transformed from an angry, frustrated heel not interested in forming personal connections and who once told Edge to not hurt his neck leaving her ring to a “fight-the-power” anti-hero who would take advantage of opportunities and fight despite the odds to a full-fledged good person.
While that transformation within a year is not necessarily bad for a character, it shows in her character and her appearance. This is not to say that Becky cannot still be entertaining. The problem is that she is relying on the same shtick these days to get over when she doesn’t have to be. If she were ever allowed to be herself, and I honestly believe that was who he saw during her feud with Charlotte last fall, we would salivate any time she was on TV because she is that good. The problem is she is now resorting to catchphrases that are clearly to sell merchandise, calling Ronda Rousey a “little weirdo”, and calling Lacey Evans a “plank”. I remember none of this last year.
It’s hardly hurt her in terms of her accomplishments because she holds both titles and will be pulling double duty. That is good for her, and I’m happy that she is getting the recognition that she deserves. But I also do not want to believe that she reached her peak too early and the apex of how great she could truly have already come and gone.
What do you think? Do you believe Becky has cooled off or is she still just the same as she was as before?