FanPost

Did Becky Lynch give the promo of the year on SmackDown?

WWE.com

Becky Lynch is well-liked at Cageside Seats for any number of reasons: She an outstanding talker, a consistent and relatable character, charmingly geeky (or is it geekily charming?), funny and skilled in the ring. (To say nothing of being beautiful with a great accent.) While admittedly a fan already, I would make the case for her segment speaking with Daniel Bryan on SmackDown this week as perhaps the promo of the year.

While there was nothing bombastic or epic about it, Becky’s frustrated plea to Daniel Bryan shows her everywoman connection, strong ethical sense and even growing self-awareness. When she gets to the part about getting so close before James Ellsworth "slithers in" to take the Money in the Bank briefcase, her emotional speech hits high gear:

And we keep talking about how SmackDown is the land of opportunity but it’s not. It’s not feeling like that. It feels like the land of handouts.

[Adorable impassioned stuttering] I don’t know … it doesn’t matter how hard I train, how hard I work, how good I am, there is always somebody willing to come in and cut in front of me and take shortcuts and weasel their way to the top. The saddest part about it is that I’m prepared for it. I’m prepared for it. I know it’s going to happen but there’s nothing I can do. Daniel, help me out, what can I do?

When Daniel says the situation is complicated, Becky has the perfect response:

"Is doing the right thing really that complicated?" She might be asking herself that as well as the SmackDown general manager.

Becky is a rare example of a pure babyface who could be any or all of us. We go to work or school or other pursuits and try to be our best and do the right thing. But we might see others cut corners and who don’t seem to work as hard get better grades or the promotions or the best projects that pass us by as we follow the rules and simply think hard work is its own reward. It's not hard to feel something very real and relatable watching this speech.

That Becky’s characterization is so consistent underpins all this. Bayley might be the most pure babyface on Raw, but somehow the writers have made that confusing -- she wants a kendo stick match then doesn’t want to use the weapon then asks Corey Graves for a hug? What? Becky, meanwhile, is an unwavering anchor whose character is always relatable and provides the moral compass to SmackDown (with help from Bryan when he’s on the show). Her motivations are to be the best and do things in a way she can live with herself and stay a role model.

Adding to the effectiveness of the promo was its positioning. Carmella led off the show and killed it playing the exact opposite character as Lynch. The Princess of Staten Island came across as convincingly selfish and unconcerned with rules or history or fans. Yes, Ellsworth did her dirty work but so what, she asked, she’s been overlooked and doesn’t care about the women’s revolution or her fellow workers. She’s in it for herself: The ends justify the means.

Becky, meanwhile, believes the ends don’t justify the means when it requires going outside of her ethical boundaries. Being true to herself and her ideals are the true prizes. It’s laudable even if it’s led to disappointment and, as she heartbreakingly puts it, she’s prepared for it to keep happening time and again.

One could also argue that Becky’s existential talk is the final element that forces Bryan to make the decision he does. We can argue over the meta narrative -- the ridiculousness of a man getting the briefcase and how the reversal can complicate all the storylines, kayfabe and real-world -- but there’s no denying everything Becky says is true and relatable and lays a logical foundation for Daniel’s decision.

We’ll truly know the weight of this promo in how it plays out over a longer term. If it gives us a peek into the reason for Becky to have a heel turn, it’s very telling. Or if -- my own hope -- it makes this a turning point in Becky’s road back to the title, probably without the briefcase, as the worthy hero who stays true to herself and finds the ultimate reward, then it will be even stronger.

One way or another, watch that promo and it’s hard not to develop amazing admiration for Becky’s delivery and whomever wrote the content, in terms of the perfect combination of character, motivation and moment. Watch it again -- and again -- and you can’t help but see it as a promo that deserves great consideration.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.