If you’re among those who dislike Becky Lynch, don’t get her appeal (generally, or specifically of her current Badlass persona) or distrust what you perceive as groupthink whenever a fandom enthusiatically embraces something... sorry. I can’t speak to whatever metrics WWE uses, but by all the ones which drive Cageside Seats’ traffic, she’s the hottest thing in pro wrestling, and it’s not even close.
There will be GIFs. There will be hyperbole. She’s popular, and she’s good.
Another example came from the Nov. 6 SmackDown in Manchester, when Lynch followed a really strong on air promo directed at her Survivor Series opponent, Ronda Rousey, with this bit of backstage, online exclusive fire:
“So Ronda went out there and she wanted to belittle my path to getting here, and she talked about the odd jobs that I’ve had, and she talked about - she talked about how an alarm clock would wake me up for school in the morning, was that it, or whatever? And she talked about how her mom would wake her up with armbars, right, training her to be the best in the world. Well, so that’s a little bit different from my path, okay, because my mom wasn’t training me to be the best in the world. I had to fight against my mother to be the best in the world, because she didn’t want me in this sport. She didn’t want me in this game.
So at 15 years old, I had to leave home to go over to England and I wasn’t being woken by alarm clocks. I had a dog run over my head to wake me up on the gym mat that I was sleeping in the wrestling school in Kent in England, right? And then I had to travel the world, I had to leave home in order to be the best in the world because my mother was not helping me. She wasn’t training me to be the best.
And okay, yes, I stepped away for a few years, and I did everything else that I thought my mom wanted me to do. Or that society wanted me to do, but I saved every penny that I made so that I would be able to come back and do exactly what I’m doing right now, which is changing the game.
And Ronda goes out there and she talks about she’s a natural born killer. Alright. Well, Ronda Rousey, your name got you to the main event of Evolution. But my skill got me to match of the year at Evolution. And talk about toughness. Talk about being a natural killer. Well being born tough isn’t nearly as long-lasting as being made tough.”
YOU’RE GOD DAMN RIGHT, CHAMP! SPEAK YOUR TRUTH! F*** YEAH! TALK THAT $#1+!
Ahem, sorry. What was I talking about?
Okay, yeah, so... that’s a good speech. It’s of a piece with the one from the broadcast, but with more focus on Lynch’s backstory and specifically rebutting Ronda’s argument about their different paths. It’s not as focused on landing verbal shots, although it does land a few zingers. Personally, I prefer the closer here to the televised one centered on WWE’s favorite word, “bitch”.
Mostly, it emphasizes Becky’s love of pro wrestling and the sacrifices she’s made to pursue her dream of being a pro wrestler. And that’s why (along with the meta-comparison Lynch & WWE are also smart to highlight often, the perception that fans chose them against the wishes of Vince McMahon & company) she’s forged a connection with the audience that’s very similar to the one Daniel Bryan had with us 2013 - 2014.
If you’re a doubter/hater, don’t worry. These things pass. In the social media world, Andy Warhol’s old “15 minutes of fame” is more like 15 seconds. Remember when this site was New Day Seats dot com, or every other post was about Kevin Owens taking down some fan on Twitter? Be thankful we didn’t exist in the Attitude Era. It would just be rotating stories about what the nWo did, or The Rock’s Instagram.
Alright, there are times when we’re that last one anyway, but you get my point.
Who knows how long Becky Lynch’s run will last? Either because of fickle fans, WWE booking, or both, this could all be over in weeks or months. For now, we’re gonna enjoy every minute, and post whatever tickles or impresses us.
The Man doesn’t come around that often.