Today on my list of WWE’s Best of 2018, Becky Lynch went from being an overlooked fan-favorite in the SmackDown Women’s Division to demanding her place at the top of WWE, and we backed her 100%.
Becky Lynch began her year with WWE in 2018 just like she’d spent the time stemming off her first reign with the SmackDown Women’s Championship – constantly just short of being at the top of the division. As fans, we all yearned to see Lynch finally break through and become champion again.
We were all ecstatic when SummerSlam rolled around, and Becky Lynch earned the opportunity to face then Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella. It seemed like WWE had finally found the proper moment to again elevate Becky Lynch to a position we were all ready to see her back in.
WWE, of course, had other plans, and a returning Charlotte Flair was added into the match as well. The rest is, well, history.
In the latter half of 2018, Becky Lynch has propelled affectively into superstardom within the WWE and even outside of it, and it never seemed that hard for her to do.
I’ve never, ever complained about the rise of Becky Lynch in 2018 (she was alway my favorite of the Four Horsewomen from the jump), but from time to time I ask myself why Becky Lynch took off so much after “turning heel” after her SummerSlam loss to Charlotte.
We’ve loved Becky Lynch all along, and quite frankly, I’ve heard the “this is my title, I deserve it” argument so many times at this point that it barely even registers to me. So, what about the combination of these two elements made them both astronomically affective this time?
The best answer I’ve been able to come up with personally is a bit of a two-parter. The first part of course is that coming from Lynch, that argument has simply has never rang more true. Becky was the people’s champion; her upbeat demeanor, her undeniable talent in the ring, hell, her puns, even – if we could have handed her the championship ourselves on account of her personifying a perfect babyface, we would have.
Becky never exactly turned heel in our eyes because all that she was saying was exactly what we were all thinking – Becky Lynch in our eyes was the SmackDown Women’s Champion. That’s nothing against Carmella or Charlotte; it was simply Becky’s time. So, the ferocity with which she went after Charlotte and the championship felt right, even sweet.
The second almost-part of this is that the aura of “The Man” that Lynch created was really too empowering to deny. “The Man” of course was coined in conjunction with Ric Flair’s old line, “If you wanna be the man, you gotta beat the man,” but when Becky Lynch took on the moniker, it became something else entirely.
“The Man” became about owning who you are and what you’re capable of and never settling for anything less than you deserve. It became more than just a way to say you were “the best” or “the coolest”, “the most talented performer”, or hey, even actually a man; rather, it embodied unbreakable confidence, resilience, and refusing to belittle yourself to appease someone else.
Becky Lynch turned the game on its head this year by becoming the most relentless and hungry version of herself, and there was something in her character that absolutely everyone seemed to gravitate towards.
What’s next for Becky Lynch in 2019? Well, we can only hope that she’s granted to opportunity to teach Ronda Rouse what it means to be The Man in any millennium, and she should certainly see some more WWE gold around her waist sometime soon.
Either that or something calls up Seth Rollins, and we have that good ole’ fashioned “The Man”-off we’ve all been dreaming of.
So Becky Lynch… you don’t need me to tell you how awesome you are. Keep givin’ it to ’em in 2019.