To nobody’s surprise, Becky Lynch stole the show again with her appearance on WWE Raw, and her face-off with Stephanie McMahon was yet another example of the promotion showing faith in The Man as a future mainstream star.
For nearly a year, the build to WWE WrestleMania 35 has been centered around Ronda Rousey main eventing the show as the Raw Women’s Champion, and while Rousey has looked tremendous in the ring, she is a mere footnote in comparison to her April opponent, Becky Lynch.
Last week, Becky upstaged Ronda, soaking up every single cheer from the Phoenix crowd, whereas Rousey was booed out of the building for the first time in her career. But, well, it wasn’t about Ronda; anyone would have been booed into the oblivion when standing against Becky.
WWE fans were worried about how the company would handle Becky’s rise, but between her appearances overshadowing John Cena, her Women’s Rumble win, and her takedowns of Rousey, it’s clear that the promotion has placed a great deal of effort in making sure Becky reaches the summit. Whether that will translate into a singles match and title win against Rousey at WrestleMania remains to be seen, but with five new shirts released after her Rumble win, Becky is well on her way to cementing her status as WWE’s next “Top Guy”.
On last night’s episode of Raw, Lynch added another huge, main-event-star-confirming (at this point, nothing is a “star-making” performance for Becky…she’s been a star) performance to her resume, completely overshadowing everything else on the show when she brought the fists to Stephanie McMahon.
It all started when Stephanie came out to seemingly encourage Becky, reminding Lynch that she’s like Rousey to see a day of reckoning after beating her up at WrestleMania 34. But Stephanie’s concern for Becky’s knee injury seemed more like an effort to push Becky out of the main event, perhaps in favor of someone like Charlotte Flair.
Whatever the case, Becky felt that Stephanie was threatening her spot, and she decided to act quickly. She wasn’t going to take Stephanie’s suspension without giving the former Raw commissioner a reason to suspend her. When officials came out, Becky threw them to the ground while still selling her knee injury, showing the type of intensity we’ve come to love from one of WWE’s best brawlers.
About one year ago, shortly after Ronda’s debut at the Women’s Rumble, there were rumors that WWE wanted to make Ronda vs. Stephanie the new Vince vs. Stone Cold. That didn’t pan out, because the interactions between Stephanie and Ronda just weren’t organic enough for the crowd to truly get behind.
Becky and Stephanie, however, were made for this. WWE fans compared the Lynch and McMahon stand-off last night to the Stone Cold and Vince rivalry, even getting this belief on Twitter Moments. Yes, that’s Becky’s power.
Lynch is better than anyone else at capturing the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe, and her down-to-earth relatability – and awesome brawling – help give her those Stone Cold comparisons. And Stephanie is almost the perfect foil for Becky, as the rich, villainous authority figure who is hated by the WWE Universe as much as anyone.
Stephanie doesn’t often get owned by a superstar in this way. Lynch absolutely destroyed her after standing up to Stephanie with her words, commanding the microphone better than any current superstar in a promo like this. Giving Becky a moment like this against Stephanie on Raw is yet another example of WWE believing in Becky’s future potential as a mainstream star. Because, as Elle Collins wrote so wonderfully, The Man is WWE’s next big crossover star.
This WrestleMania season has become all about Becky Lynch, and this shouldn’t be the first time she gets the better of Stephanie McMahon in a segment. The whole rumored Stephanie vs. Ronda idea as a way of making Ronda a Stone Cold-level superstar failed because Rousey hasn’t developed Becky’s elite promo skills and presence. Lynch has all of that and more, because she has the WWE Universe behind her against a hated authority figure.
This segment ruled, and the potential for more Becky/Stephanie encounters should make WWE fans even more excited to see how Becky’s road to WrestleMania proceeds; these face-offs could help further establish Becky as the John Cena replacement at the very top.