I like Becky Lynch. I really, really, really like Becky Lynch. I liked her her way back in NXT. Okay, maybe not when she was some weird Irish line dancer. But I liked her when she started showing off what a great wrestler she was. When she started acting more tough and someone who was incredibly dangerous in the ring. I liked her when she debuted on RAW along with the Submission Sorority (don’t go do a deep search using that name at work, though). I liked her steampunk look and when she snapped on Charlotte Flair. She stopped being a goody two shoes and started being the toughest woman, nay, the toughest person in WWE’s roster.
After she assaulted Charlotte at last year’s SummerSlam and delivered what was supposed to be a “heel” promo, the WWE Universe saw the full potential of how big Becky Lynch could be in the business. This was the beginnings her “The Man” persona.
Becky’s “The Man” gimmick quickly became the highlight of RAW and Smackdown. When she appeared on either show, you could feel the energy just shoot up with the crowd getting pumped. The WWE was so behind her and, shockingly, the upper echelon of the WWE decided to go with it; that’s something they don’t really do these days. They even were okay with her headlining Wrestlemania. Well, it was going to be against Ronda Rousey, their biggest mainstream draw at the time, so I’m not totally sure if they made it the main event because it was The Man or The Baddest Woman on the Planet. Still, this was the first time a women’s match closed out Wrestlemania. That’s a huge deal.
Flash forward to today, roughly one year after we saw the budding emergence of Becky Lynch’s “The Man” persona. Things have petered out and, well, it’s just not the same anymore. Seeing Becky Lynch on screen still gets the live audience hyped but not as much as when she was white hot. What the heck happened?
In my opinion, it’s the WWE’s upper management’s and creative’s fault. They were slowly but surely “de-manning” The Man way before Wrestlemania.
Oh, you can argue that it’s not the WWE’s fault and say that no one can have a super big push forever. You can even state that fans such as myself just got tired of Becky Lynch. To a certain degree, that might be true, however, it’s more on what the WWE tried to do with The Man character with their storylines and scripts after they figured out she was their next big thing.
Things were going fine for a while after Becky Lynch became “The Man.” She got legitimately injured by Nia Jax before her Survivor Series dream match against Ronda Rousey. This didn’t damper her push; it actually made it stronger, especially when you have that shot of Becky Lynch with her bloody nose still acting defiant despite her being hurt.
When she did come back, The Man was white hot. During the Royal Rumble, she may have not been able to beat Asuka to regain her Smackdown Women’s Championship but she did win the Royal Rumble and earn her Wrestlemania shot against any champion of her choosing. She picked Ronda Rousey, of course. It looked like we were going to get our dream match: a one-on-one fight between The Baddest Woman on the Planet vs The Man.
Then the WWE just had to screw things up.
After that, there was this really convoluted storyline where Lynch was suspended for disrespecting The McMahons. This led to Vince McMahon substituting her with Charlotte Flair. The Man then got put back into the match because… look. Let’s just say “it’s wrestling” and move on. The bottom line is that the WWE wanted to add Charlotte Flair for some reason instead of just giving us the one-on-one match between Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey. Maybe it was to protect Rousey. Maybe they just really like Charlotte Flair. Whatever the reason, the WWE should’ve just did what’s best for business and left it alone.
Oh, they also had Becky Lynch get “injured” to make her look like an underdog. This was the start of The Man not looking like The Man all that much. They wanted to make her look like the heroic face overcoming all hurdles but it was unnecessary since she was going to face Ronda Rousey in the first place! She was already an underdog! They didn’t need to make her hurt as well!
Becky Lynch did win both the RAW and Smackdown belts at Wrestlemania in a controversial finish, which did somewhat hurt The Man’s impact of winning. It should have been a clean finish but I guess the WWE needed to protect Ronda Rousey? Her win at Wrestlemania did earn her the monicker “Becky Two Belts” as she was not carrying both the RAW and Smackdown Championship belts. Cool nickname but… aren’t you supposed to be The Man? Why muddy the waters by confusing the live audience on what to chant?
Anyway, this would’ve been great if the WWE let Becky Two Belts run for a significant amount of time. But they quickly dropped it after a scant one month with Charlotte Flair regaining the Smackdown championship at Money in the Bank thanks to interference by Lacey Evans. At this point, Becky Lynch was still The Man but she started to lose support a little bit. She was still the top draw but the WWE wasn’t done with “de-manning” her as they did the worst thing they did to her character.
The WWE made her off-screen romance with Seth Rollins a storyline.
This in itself isn’t a bad thing. Having a relationship in the wrestling world is fairly commonplace I would assume. But it was just wrong to make it an official story. Becky Lynch didn’t look like The Man anymore. She just looked like a woman who with Seth Rollins. It destroyed the mystique of what made Becky Lynch the toughest person on the WWE roster. Heck, I felt they had to soften The Man’s character because it would look weird if Seth Rollins wasn’t the man (notice the lowercase “m”) in the relationship.
It was great that Becky Lynch saved Seth Rollins at Stomping Grounds but when they were all lovey-dovey, she didn’t look nor act like The Man anymore. She was just a girl who liked a boy. Now, that would’ve been fine if they showed that Becky Lynch was still The Man during their match at Extreme Rules doing something The Man would do. She could’ve tried to take on Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin at the same time if Seth Rollins was taken out. Or she could’ve locked in the Dis-Arm Her on Baron Corbin, the male of the opposing team, which would’ve been spectacular. Instead, we got Baron Corbin connecting with End of Days to her and Seth Rollins going ballistic because his girlfriend got hurt.
I guess it was a cool spot since “a woman got hurt by a man” in the WWE. But at that point, The Man became some damsel in distress. The Man became someone that needed saving and Seth Rollins was there to defend her honor. It didn’t sit well with me. They didn’t even let Becky Lynch get her revenge on Baron Corbin or anything! Brock Lensar did swoop in and cash in Money in the Bank to get the WWE Universal Championship to be fair. But it felt like The Man wasn’t man enough to get revenge on Baron Corbin.
That storyline definitely put a damper on Becky Lynch’s The Man gimmick. It was more focused on trying to put Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch was just a plot point. She was there in the hopes of Seth Rollins absorbing some of Becky Lynch’s crowd appeal but it didn’t work. It just made The Man look weak.
Now it looks like the WWE is struggling to recapture the magic that drew fans to Becky Lynch. They’re trying with this weird feud against Natalya. On this week’s RAW, they had Becky Lynch attack Natalya from behind while training. Is that something The Man would’ve done during her peak? I guess but it just didn’t feel right. Not because The Man isn’t ruthless but because it was a weak attack from behind.
This doesn’t feel like The Man anymore and I put a lot of the blame on how the WWE tried to “fix” the character. It’s actually a recurring pattern whenever they want to turn a character from a face to a heel: they become generic tough guys.
Seth Rollins was a diabolical mastermind as a heel but just a tough guy as a face. The Miz was a flamboyant and arrogant A-Lister and now he’s a tough guy. In Becky Lynch’s case, The Man was brash and challenged John Cena to prove who was the toughest person on the roster and drank a disgusting protein shake made by Heavy Machinery.
What is The Man now? Just a person who is willing to take on all challengers. In other words, a generic tough guy. The WWE softened Becky Lynch’s The Man and stripped her of what made her a cool character. She isn’t The Man that we grew to love anymore. I still like Becky Lynch as a WWE performer and wrestler. She still incredible on the mic and all. She is still The Man for all intents and purposes… but the WWE is slowly “de-manning” her into oblivion.
What do you think of Becky Lynch’s The Man character today? Does it still work? Let me know in the comments section below!
4 thoughts on “Episode 318: The WWE is “De-Manning” Becky Lynch”
It’s another story of the WWE having something special and screwing it up. Some of their gimmicks grow old in my mind but “The Man” angle was something built to last like Steve Austin’s persona.
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